'Lamentations of Destruction' is already the second album by Sear, yet the first to be reviewed by Lords of Metal. Could you start off with a short introduction of the band for our readers?
M: So we come from Finland and we play Death/Black metal. The band was formed in 2003 when we met L. Laaksonen(drums) before that we made one demo under the name Sear but the style was slightly different because I didn't have the right kind members in the band. In 2004 we made our first demo and right after that we signed with Dynamic arts records. But just after releasing our first album our bassist and singer left/made to leave the band. But now we have new members and the band is stronger than ever. Basically we are making all the music with L. Laaksonen but now the “new” members are also attending to compositions.
A question I usually ask relatively new bands is where the name comes from. Why did you guys choose Sear to be the name of your band?
M: Hehe I have to say that I don't really remember. But I think the name is short enough to remember and the name tells you quite much about the music!
L: Sear as a word represents us quite well and fits the music and overall concept. Also the name is simple and therefore good for band like us.
The main component of your music is black metal, yet you guys obviously listen to much more than just black. What other genres and bands do you guys take as influence?
M: If we are talking about influences I might get influences from any kind of music. But basically I listen death and black metal. But Sear is quite different band because we don't have any certain kind of style with we are trying to create, basically we are trying to do music witch we would like to hear ourselves!
It's always nice to hear new reviews because different people are always hearing different things.
For most of the people we are playing Death metal but the others are saying that we are pure Black metal band hehe! I see our music Death metal with black metal influences in some riffs and lyrics.
H: Actually I don't listen much music outside the black metal scene. I guess that I am somehow stuck in the 90s cause 95% of the stuff that I daily listen is black metal of that era.
L: Well, the way I see it our main component is Death metal if we have to point some genre. Most of us are more death metal heads than anything else. Most of all we are influenced and driven by guitar riffs that punch you in the face and we don't think too much about genres. We are of course influenced by numerous black-, and death metal bands but also all kinds of music and moods.
In my review I used the name Emperor. You guys seem to be quite influenced by them, especially in the song writing department. Is this correct? What other bands do you admire?
M: Heheh I have never thought that we would sound like Emperor but it's great to hear that someone would compare us to them! But I don't see anything common with Emperor heh! Some of my favourite bands are Strapping Young Lad, Hypocrisy (older stuff) Bloodbath, Marduk, Immortal, etc…
H:WOW! in my book Emperor is one of the greatest bands ever, But I have to agree with M. Helle that I don't find many elements of Emperor in our music. Maybe the intensive listening of their music shines through in some way but I haven't really thought about it.
L: You are really the first one to say that we remind of Emperor. Actually, I can't really point out that Emperor is our big influence as that band relies so much in keyboards, but there might be some truth. Maybe it's the atmosphere, some guitar riffs, I really can't say but I would not wonder if there are some Emperor influences audible as it is one of my (and all of ours) all time favourite band. And I CANNOT WAIT to see them live this summer! Anyway, a great compliment to us.
What are the most important elements for a good song according to Sear?
If I'd dissect a song and think simple… Yes, the guitar riffs, vocals and pounding drums are the main parts which makes a song. But what makes a song a great one is the song structure. It is something we think about quite a lot. No changes in tempo, riff or part should pop out too much – everything must have a good flow and the song must be interesting from start to finish. Some parts might sound boring and dull on its own but in a right context it works out perfectly. Then come the details. Small things that you can't necessarily hear the first time you listen to a song. The details are THE elements that makes an album interesting after you've heard it twenty times before, There always has to be something to discover. Some have said that the album is hard to get into. Might be – just listen to it more and you'll see what's it all about.
M: That the song has a good vibe hehe! That's the most important thing! Sometimes when we are making a new song it might sound totally different than the other Sear songs but after everyone puts their own instrument parts on top of the riffs the song is always sounding like us! We are people with quire some self-criticism so I think that most of the crappy parts aren't even going to the rehearsal room hehe!
Something which sets Sear and 'Lamentations of Destruction' apart from other black metal bands is the vocal variation, does your singer Hyytiainen produce all these different styles? How important is it for Sear to diverge from the rest?
H:I just like to use all the sounds that I am able to produce. Maybe I could have made even more diversity in the vocal section but I thought that it wasn't the point. In my opinion the only thing that really matters is that the maker of the music/lyrics etc is pleased.
You guys do not seem to be handling the usual black metal Satanist/anti-Christian topics in your lyrics. What do you guys write about? What inspires the lyrics?
H:A quite big question hahah. I really thought about this thing when I made the lyrics and I came to the conclusion that the usual way to do it was not right for Sear. One major argument was that I think the band is as equally death metal as it is black metal so it needs a totally different kind of approach than the traditional declarative way of black metal. On the other hand the lyrics are more like visions of a larger view than the pure gore of example brutal death metal. So I just tried to melt these two things together as fluidly as possible. The main inspiration for me is a total hatred towards the human race that has danced on the edge the whole time of their idiotic existence. I truly hope that they plunge off the cliff to the depths of oblivion is near and that I am here to see it.
L. Those topics are present but this time the lyrical theme is more about destruction of various things. Religions, mankind, individual etc. The ultimate end of everything.
There is one song on the album, 'The Burning', which starts rather strange, with a kind of distant sound to it, what is going on here?
L: When we started to think the song order we realized that almost all the songs start with a bang. I can´t recall who of us thought that we should try something different – maybe cut off the beginning of the song or… make it lo-fi. Few experiments and there it was.
One of your songs is written in Finnish, why is this? What do you guys prefer, writing in English or in Finnish?
H: Maybe it was because the first album had also a song in Finnish I don't really know. I think the lyrics just fit the music's mood perfectly and so did the other members of the band and maybe we will continue the tradition on the future albums as well. I myself prefer English because it just is a lot more fluent language than Finnish and for me it's easier to express myself with it, though its nice to use the native language once in a while.
Have you guys played outside of Finland yet? If so, how was this, if not what do you expect from it?
H: No we haven't but hopefully someday we can. I really don't know what to expect from it...probably lots of nice gigs and a bit different audience.
L: Not yet but looking forward to.
Will you guys be supporting 'Lamentations of Destruction' live anytime soon?
M: We have few gigs here in Finland but hopefully we will do a bigger tour later this year!
OK these were my questions, thanks a lot for your time and hopefully see you soon. If you have any last words for our readers, go ahead:
M: See you on the road and remember to listen our album heheh!!