Hi there guys, and congratulations on the release of your latest album. The last interview you did with us was back in 2004, so before we go into details on the new album, you might have to reintroduce yourselves to our readers. So please tell us some basic facts about the band Guardians Of Time.
Thanks! 2004? Damn, it has been too long haha! We are one of the few metal bands from Norway, which do NOT play black metal! We have been around since 1997, playing mostly power/heavy metal. This is our fifth album.
After the release of your previous album, the excellent ‘Rage And Fire’, the band went quite dark for some time. Except for your anniversary show last year, hardly any live shows were played and updates became scarce. What were the reasons for this?
We were working on this album, and at the same time we had the classic “second guitar player problem”. We played a few festivals and did some touring so it wasn’t all bad, but still, as you say, we could do more. But now we are back with this album, which is in the stores as we speak!
So back and hopefully back to stay, with yet another great record ‘Tearing Up The World’. How has the reception of the record been so far?
The reception is fantastic! Top scores all over! Even my aunt loves the album! The worst score was actually in the Norwegian press, not surprisingly, hahaha!
What I loved about the album is that it introduces a twist in musical direction, a more straightforward heavy metal sound such as on the title track. On top of that it mixes perfectly with the more familiar Guardians Of Time sound that can still be heard on songs like ‘Raising The Eagle’. On the whole, I feel that this album turned out a lot heavier than the previous releases. What is your opinion on this?
Yes, I can agree on that. We just love to push what we do. Harder, faster, louder! We love harder bands like Immortal, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, as long as the melody is in there, you know? If a song is good it’s good, either if it’s The Beatles or Gorgoroth. Also our Swedish mix master Fredrik Nordström is a big reason why it all sounds harder. He is the brain behind “the Gothenburg sound” (In Flames etc) and is still pushing limits in heavy metal sound engineering.
You have two notable guests joining in on the album, Tim Ripper Owens and your fellow countryman Abbath. Why the choice for these two fellows?
I met Ripper in London, just by coincidence. It all ended up in lots of beer and bad jokes. Later on he wanted to sing on the album, and we just thought “fuck yes, let’s do it!”. Abbath we first met when we played at a biker party near Bergen some years ago. Suddenly this black-haired fellow came along and wanted to help us rig down the drum kit. We just went: “WTF! It’s Abbath!”. Later on we discussed the best all-time Kiss-guitarist. I think we ended up agreeing on Vinnie Vincent, hahaha. Then, last year he heard we had finished a new album. He wanted to listen to it and at the start of the first song ‘Tearing Up The World’ he said: “Give me the lyrics”. After two minutes he went: “I want to sing on this track”. And so he did!
If I have to pick a favourite song on this album, which is a tough choice, the choice would be ‘Burning Of Rome’, mostly because it features so many elements that make Guardians Of Time the band it is. It has the choirs, melodic guitars, a great solo and also the increased heaviness that marks this latest album. Any notes on this song?
I think it was the last song to be completed before the recording of the album. Started out with the nickname “Kamelot-song” because of the Kamelot-ish intro, haha! I think it has some of the coolest guitar solos of the album. Paul and Jamie, who was our second guitarist at the time, did a fucking great job here!
You have been trying to gain a foothold in the metal landscape as a melodic power metal band in Norway. What difficulties did you have to face while working on this in that “true” black metal country?
No special difficulties other than explaining in all interviews why we come from Norway and are NOT playing black metal, hahaha! Listen, we do things our way and the band started because of the love for melodic power metal. We love certain black metal bands and we are also friends with many black metal musicians, but we do what we do because we love it. We don’t mind to be different. Do it good, or don’t do it all!
Does your new contract at Rock Of Angels records open up some new opportunities for the band? For example in terms of some more life shows?
First time we released an album on vinyl. And maybe some re-releases. We have a good feeling about the guys in ROAR and hopefully this will result in more publicity than ever. This is a fucking great album and everybody needs to know about it!
So now that your album is released, what is next on the agenda of Guardians Of Time?
Plan festivals and touring in 2019.
Well, I think we can wrap it up for this time. Anything you would still like to say to the readers of Lords of Metal?
Keep it stiff!