Let us start with a slightly obvious question, yet one that has been on my mind for a while. Where does your monniker come from?
It comes from Tolkien’s ‘Sillmarillion’, which is easily the best of all of his works. The name means mountains of shadow and is in a location near to Hithlum during what is the First Age, where one the book’s most grandiose battles begins. The name sounded good rolling off the tongue and will summon epic dark mountains to mind to those familiar; it stuck.
Were you aware of the Swedish band by the same name?
No I was not. Nor was there a Swedish band of that name until very recently. I had named this project by late 2004 and have maintained it throughout the years. Having some demo material uploaded to the now defunct MySpace and being selected to provide a song to potentially appear on the Summoning tribute CD back when that happened (‘Flight Of The Nazgul’). With that and any sort of release not coming to full fruition due to studio problems and the online music profiles I had used in the past becoming irrelevant to society and left in hibernation, I see how it could have been easy to miss the paper trail of that name being taken. The member contacted me and let me know it must have been a coincidence, so we both were pretty surprised to have selected such a unique name. Lesson: Don’t trust any location or any name ever created by Tolkien to be safe for a new band name, no matter how unique.
Your lyrics deal mostly with fantasy books. Could you explain a bit about the books you have chosen and what the lyrics are about?
Let’s just cover the lot, shall we. We start with ‘Frozen Rivers’ which is one of three songs not based on novels in some way, which is about escaping the standard dimensions and witnessing time in a different view in a bid to have liberty from elements of a previously limiting reality.
‘Frigid Tides’ and ‘Requiem for the Fallen’ have ‘Malazan Book of the Fallen’ influenced lyrics. The previous has a more epic soldiering and wayfaring kind of viewpoint and the latter is directly influenced by the prologue of Midnight Tides; epic battle ensued by betrayal -read it!-.
Bloody Annals’ is completely influenced by G. Cook’s ‘Black Company’, portraying the company sojourning to ‘Khatovar’. ‘Into the Stars’ is about a kind of human ambition to reaching the stars but, also has portents of events in ‘Horus Heresy’ novels which can be discerned in the clean vocals especially.
‘Realm of the Tyrant’ reflects hatred towards ever encroaching tyrannies, but I put a fantastical book-like twist to the writing.
‘Stellar Graveyard’ is the outro and all about the Cosmos. The lyrics within are purely about Supernovae.
Why have you chosen this subject matter instead of the usual devil worship / Satanism / paganism / occultism? Do you not feel drawn to those subjects?
Not really, I read constantly in my spare time and witness the epic elements around me. I’ve also always had a mind for war strategies and could picture sequences of battle in my head bigger than most books would dare try and create. I don’t practice Satanism/paganism (though I love Norse mythos and imagery) nor any religion in any part of my time so, the choices came more naturally than some of what can be considered regular black metal subjects, but then again, the subjects I enjoy are still pretty prolific within the genre.
You work alone. Both in writing as in playing and recording. Is there a specific reason why?
I have a band that I play live with, Winterlore. We released a full length last year and have another coming out soon this year. As for Ered Wethrin, it’s just easier to do this project alone and my own flavourings will get to be implemented from start to finish; fits my introverted personality, I suppose. I may have a couple guest musicians in the future, as I know amazing lead guitarists, flute players, clean voices and even perhaps use a session drummer; possibilities of the future.
Do you feel a part of any local scene? Or do you see yourself as a lone wolf?
A mix of both I suppose. I’m glad to help my local community get more attention and definitely have interaction with the scene via Winterlore, but Ered Wethrin starts as always, as uncontrived music for myself to enjoy and from there I am happy that others can enjoy what I have created.
And now, for the standard final question. What does the future hold for Ered Wethrin?
The future looks great. The next album is almost fully recorded/written/conceptualized and it’s sounding very promising and I’m proud of the overall feel that is shaping therein. Fans can anticipate something cold and epic.