Interviews by Katherine Tullett

Before this years Red Roar festival; held in Dartford, we had the fantastic opportunity to chat with some of the bands that were playing here. First on the agenda was ‘No Sign Of Life’; a metal band from Finland.
Well… we all know there’s no going wrong with THAT combination!


Antti Ström – Singer/Songwriter
Elmeri Ström – Drummer/Songwriter
Juuso Timonen – Bassist/Songwriter
*at the moment NSOL uses external guitarist on stage

1. For the upcoming Red Road festival in Gravesend, do you feel
nervous about venturing outside Finland? And England too, that’s quite
far away, are you looking forward to playing to UK fans?

Well, wouldn’t say nervous more than excited! Many of us has been
travelling a lot before already and for myself it’s not even the first
time in England. But yeah it is exciting and new in all levels.
There’re dozens of things more to be remembered than in usual inland
gig-trip, not forgetting about the communication issues. Luckily we’re
not that bad English speakers. We definitely are looking forward to
meet all of our UK fans at Red Roar festival, 2nd of September! You
don’t want to miss this.

2. There have been lots of rumours about your upcoming album, has this
been stressful to deal with and has it effected the album or
yourselves in anyway?

Not really. Our passion is in writing music and playing it live so
when we do either one of those we’re not aware of anything else.
Rumours comes and goes but facts remains the same.

3. Also, further to you playing with some big names at Red Roar, do
you have any plans to tour with any big names?

Yes! We do have some plans of supporting some big names here in
Finland. But I wouldn’t talk about anything certain yet. It’s a tough
competition to get on those slots but we have a good try on too.
Thumbs up!

4. If not or if you had to choose any others what would your dream line up be?

Oh boy, there’re so many bands we’d love to play with. But if we had
to choose only one line-up I’d say for No Sign of Life the best would
be: Rage Against the Machine as a headliner supported by Slipknot, us
and Avenged Sevenfold. If Dime would be alive (RIP), Pantera would be
the cherry on the top.

5. Are there any local/smaller bands that you regularly talk/work/gig
with consistently that you think maybe don’t get enough publicity?

Yes there’re multiple of them, but I’ll take this one to our hometown
boys “Constrained”. Go check them out!

6. Can we expect anything new from you on the upcoming album Embrace
Your Demons?

Yeah, lots. The new album’s going to be a giant leap forward compared
to the earlier “Chaotic Type of Normality”. It contains big… no,
HUGE improvements in melodies, mostly because Antti is singing
seemingly more with his clean voice than ever before, and in sound
overall. Also, for first time you’re able to hear songs composed by
our bassist Juuso Timonen.

7. How would you say your writing style or sound has changed, if at
all, since the last album?

When we started recording the “Chaotic Type of Normality” back in 2008
we were 18-years-old boys. Some of us were commiting the national duty
of Finnish defence forces at the same time, and yet we were totally
lost with our own sound. So it really was a very different and more
puzzled project compared to “Embrace Your Demons” over three years
later. With the “Embrace Your Demons” we tried to find the most
original sound of No Sign of Life that’s possible to get. In the
mixing for example we decided not to edit and fix the tracks too much.
In purpose to keep it all as natural as possible. And we’re extremely
satisfied with the result. Teemu Liekkala did amazing job behind the
mixing table and Svante Forsbäck was once again a man in his place
with the mastering. The writing itself was also with “Embrace Your
Demons” a way more efficient and faster than what it was with “Chaotic
Type of Normality”.

8. Since your singles hit the charts has you fanbase changed or grown
and has it inspired you in anyway?

It was remarkable to see such a positive response from our fans with
the “Enemies of Choice” single. Since then our social media (Twitter,
Facebook) have had growing popularity so I guess it had some sort of
effect on those. Support is inspiring so yes we were very inspired by

9. Are there any unusual bands that influence you that people may not expect?

Yeah I guess my latest playlist would be a horror tale of some kind to
the worst “genre-freaks”. It’s including such names as Linkin Park,
Sean Paul, RHCP, Anathema, Skrillex, Rage Against the Machine and
While She Sleeps. We’re all enjoying the energy music delivers, so it
doesn’t really matter which genre it represents as long as it sounds
and feels great.

10. When you started out, did you see yourselves being where and who
you are now and where do you expect/want to be in 5 years time?

It’s been a long road for us already but somehow there’s always been a
trust within this group. The trust for the things to turn out great in
the end. As long as we keep working hard for it of course. Now it’s
paying off but we, like many others, cannot see in the future so let’s
drop the guessing. What we hope though is that after five years we’d
be still together and enjoying this as much as we do now.

Thank you for you questions! Hopefully the answers are in place!

Next, we were lucky enough to speak to the wonderful Sanctorum, who plan on having their new album out early next year. They have a lot coming up this year, the festival included, all on the run up to the new record which will no doubt be a power house of aggressive and riffery goodness!


Aaron Sly – Vocals, Guitar
Matt Alston – Drums
Alex Commons – Lead Guitar, Vocals

1. For the upcoming Red Road festival in Gravesend, how do you feel playing the same day as Malefice and has it been tense for you during practises/the run up?

It’s cool! We haven’t had the chance to play with them yet so looking forward to it…however it’s business as usual for us in the practice space..

2. You have a few dates for September, but not for after that, has there been a lot of under cover writing?

Yeh, we’ve kept thing quiet because we’ve been writing a new record! We actually start recording in 2 days…

3. Also, further you playing with some big names at Red Roar, do you have any plans to tour with any big names?

Our main focus at the moment is the new record, we put everything we have into each tracks so haven’t had a chance to think about tours yet, but I’m sure you’ll see us about soon!

6. Your last album was released in 2011, what can we expect from the Sanctorum discography in the next year or so?

The new record will be out early next year, so set date yet but we are aiming for around spring time…

7. How would you say your writing style or sound has changed, if at all, since the last album?

Well this new record is certainly sounding more aggressive. We’ve got a few more old skool twist to it and it’s ultimately the combination of the previous three, which we have evolved and taken to the next level.

9. When you started out, did you see yourselves being where and who you are now? And where do you expect/like to be in 5 years time?

No, we just started out as a bunch of school kids who wanted to play loud and have fun! Who knows what the next 5 years hold, but hopefully big things!

Thanks guys!

Finally, we were able to catch up with  Dark Theory

A Maidstone UK based band with a lot coming their way! We had the great pleasure of chatting with all the members and feel confident that this little Black/Thrash, Gothic/Doom , Industrial/Experimental metal inspired (as self proclaimed on Facebook) group will produce good things in the year to come!

Ryan Wigley – Bass, Lead Vocals
Olivia Kennett – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sam Field – Drums
Brett Linsdell – Keyboards

1. For the upcoming Red Road festival in Gravesend, how do you feel playing the same day as The Defiled and Silent Descent, has it been tense for you during practises/the run up?

Ryan: Not really, although we probably should be. It’s only our 2nd gig with Sam and first with Brett (in fact it’s Brett’s first ever live performance) and Silent Descent are also the biggest band we’ve ever played with so far, but we’re all such a bunch of goof balls it’s hard to be that nervous really. Shame The Defiled pulled out though

Liv:  Not really we have been pretty relaxed during practice I think. Especially given we threw our two newest members right in the deep end learning some absolutely crazy stuff, but naturally we’re gonna be quite nervous as the gig draws near- since this is our first gig with a full line up in over a year.

Brett: Really excited about it, practices have been fairly relaxed and chilled to the run of this gig, even though I am one of the newest members of the band and this is my first ever music gig so I am been thrown right in the deep end.

Sam: Not really, i Joined the band at the beginning of the summer, and it’s been a hard 6 weeks but worth it, we all get along well and never argue, they’re understanding so don’t mind when i mess up, as long as it’s not live!

2. We see that you have been spending a lot of time in the studio lately, has it been fun to get back in there or is it all a bit stressful?

Ryan: It’s been a little bit stressful trying to get everything spot on and mixed perfectly, but overall we’ve had a lot of fun in the studio.

You can tell from our studio diary here:

Liv: I’d say it’s been a bit of both really- a fine balance between pressure of nailing everything for the album and fun/ goofing around- all work and no play isn’t healthy

Brett: It’s has been fun putting together the debut album the times that you nail one of the songs and it sounds perfect is just an awesome feeling, but sometimes it can be annoying when the beat, key or note is not played, missed or off you notice so you have to redo that stage of the song or the whole song, but it is relaxed in the studio and is just a matter of trial and error we just keep redoing and mixing it until we get it right.

Sam: Well, i haven’t really been in the studio with Dark Theory before, but there has been stressful moments, but all in all it’s been ok

3. Also, further to you playing with some big names at Red Roar, do you have any plans to tour with any big names?

Ryan: No, not a hell of a lot of live stuff actually planned at the moment, university has gotten in the way of that slightly, but next year we’re hoping to do a mini tour of the country, probably just end up anywhere on the bill

Liv: not at the moment! we all go back to uni and school very shortly so naturally we’re not going to be playing as much.

Brett: Not in the near future because most of the band are back at Uni or school so we won’t be able to play as much as we would like to

Sam: I don’t know, i don’t do all the organising, i just like too see what happens and where life takes me

4. If not or if you had to choose any others what would your dream line up be?

Ryan: Hmm, my dream line up for a basic tour would have to be Slayer, Mayhem, Kreator, Triptykon and then us, but that really does sound like a dream lol. Maybe throw in someone like The Furious Horde or Wretched Soul as well, and Behemoth and My Dying Bride somewhere.

Liv: That’s quite a tough question for me xD- I’d love to play with every black metal band that’s ever influenced us- the main ones being Behemoth, Celtic Frost, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of filth, Slayer and Kreator and of course all our friends in local/ unsigned metal bands- that would make an ultimate weekend

Brett: That is a tough one because I have a wide range of metal bands that I would love to play with like Epica, Nightwish, Ensiferum, Slayer, Cradle of filth, Dimmu Borgir and Iced Earth, also all our friends in local/unsigned metal bands, that would make a pretty awesome gig or festival.

Sam: Dimmu Borgir, Rammstein, Cradle of Filth, Slipknot and Machinehead – in that order

5. Are there any local/smaller bands that you regularly talk/work/gig with consistently that you think maybe don’t get enough publicity?

Ryan: If anything I think we feel like we’re a step or two behind most of the bands we talk with a lot. I do think we all deserve more publicity though, so I’ll name drop a few of the bands we probably talk to the most. Foreboding Ether, Wretched Soul, The Furious Horde, Transcending The Flesh, Strings of Distorted Doom and Khthon, oh and more exposure for my solo project Lifting of the Veil would be cool

Liv: I don’t think I can name just one, but all of our friends in local and unsigned underground metal bands should get more publicity- they do a fantastic job

Brett: Cannot name just one, there are a lot of local and unsigned metal bands that should more publicity, because they are brilliant at what they do

Sam: my side project, Truth be Told

6. What can we expect from the new album and any ideas when you will be releasing?

Ryan: Just pure fucking darkness and chaos. The sound is based mainly in Blackened Thrash Metal, heavily influenced by the likes of Slayer, Celtic Frost, Kreator, Mayhem etc but we’ve got lots of Gothic-Industrial keyboards in there, operatic female vocals, dramatic narration, a bit of techno, a sprinkling of jazz, several Doom riffs and a bit of Behemoth style Blackened Death Metal in there. Oh and there’s even an acoustic song with growled vocals on it. It’ll be out in late January but we’re not telling you when yet lol ^_^

Liv: you can expect Chaos, chaos and chaos with a bit more chaos lol Expect the general sound of thrash but experimental -its got a bit of everything, from cyber goth to symphonic/ atmospheric and a touch af doom expected to be released at the end of January

Brett: Just prepare of the rain of darkness of goth, symphonic/ atmospheric and doom to be unleashed at the of January

Sam: Lets put it this was, my legs hurt, a lot, when I’ve finished playing songs for this bloomin album

7. How would you say your writing style or sound has changed, if at all, since the last album?

Ryan: Well this is our first album, but we’ve progressed a lot since our Bludgeon  EP came out. The genre on that one was all over the place. The first track was a mix of Drum n Bass and Black Metal, the second Symphonic Black Thrash, the third a mix of Techno and Industrial Black Metal and the last a mix of Techno, Black/Doom and Gothic Metal. We’re proud of all of those songs but we were clearly having trouble actually coming up with an individual sound. Listening back to the demo version of this album and the finished tracks that we’ve started to put together while we’re still highly avant-garde, it’s clear we now have our sound

Liv: I’d say its definitely grown and matured since our last EP (This upcoming album is our first) obviously with turbulent line up changes, there are some bits of songs we’ve re written, and obviously we’ve all grown and learnt more as musicians.

Brett: As I have just joined the band and this is my first band I have ever been in I guess I am just finding my feet when it comes to writing style, as the sound changing it has due to the band having a full line up now and longer stand band members having more experience.

Sam: Wasn’t there for the last one, but there is definitely a more controlled feel to this one

8. Will you be doing your own mastering and mixing or are you looking to anyone else to join you there?

Ryan: We’re doing it ourselves in collaboration with Jed the studio tech

Liv: Our studio tech is doing most of that for us, but we are learning in the process. I mixed the demos we recorded on pro tools- but never should I be allowed to do it for an album I’m terrible XD

Brett: Our studio tech is the one who does most of it for us and we are getting experience then we are tweaking the songs we have recorded.

Sam: We have the guy who owns the studio that mixes it for us

9. Are there any unusual bands that influence you that people may not expect?

Ryan: Yeah there’s loads. There’s a lot of bands that play some form of electronic music that have influenced a lot of Dark Theory stuff such as Pendulum, Aesthetic Perfection, early Psyclon Nine and even Nintendo music. Portishead and the song ‘Cold Murderous Music’ by Carpathian Forest introduced me to the idea of ‘dark jazz’ so you can hear the influence of that in the album. Uaral and the later work of Empyrium are also bands you probably wouldn’t expect us to listen to either. You’d think the idea of combining death growls with melancholic acoustic folk would be shit, but it’s really not. Then the total opposite side of this melodic and sorrowful music we’ve been incorporating there’s a band called Whitehouse. Nothing is ever going to be more extreme than that, it transcends metal and rock music completely. Listening to the song ‘Why you Never Became a Dancer’ by Whitehouse gave me the idea that you can actually use noise and feedback as music. Also Nirvana’s another one you probably wouldn’t expect. They haven’t really influenced our sound that much, but they’ve definitely influenced my live performances at least.

Liv: We are influenced by the likes of Drum n Bass and Jazz expect that to show in the album

Brett: I am in influenced by classical composers like Beethoven.

Sam: For me, i take quite a few of my drum beats from Bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Limp Bizkit, and i have a large influence from Buddy Rich

10. When you started out, did you see yourselves being where and who you are now and where do you expect/want to be in 5 years time?

Ryan: I didn’t think we’d be doing things like playing at a festival in Gravesend with Silent Descent while recording a debut album in a proper studio two and a half years ago. So in that sense we’re much further ahead than I thought we’d be! In 5 years I’d like to think we’d be at quite a high level, with proper tours, a record label and hopefully be making a reasonable living off of the band

Liv: I didn’t really look that far into it to be honest- I joined the band when I was a bored 17 year old trying and failing to find work xD But after joining and learning of all sorts of metal subgenres which sadly I didn’t know anything about beforehand let alone how to play them, I did definitely see the potential and so we began experimenting with all sorts of styles and genres. I’ve never really thought about it but Hopefully in 5 years time we’ll be playing in other countries around the world, maybe signed if we’re lucky I just tend to live in the moment

Brett: Well I have just started out and I did not see that I would be performing at a venue this size, I would like that we would be touring around the world, been signed to a good label and performing at some of the biggest metal festivals e.g. Bloodstock.

Sam: Well, it was quite a shock how big this band is when i joined, however in five years, i do think we’ll probably be doing a lot of gigs in kent and London still!

Well thanks so much for your time guys!! We’d like to give a special thanks to all the bands who took time out for these interviews!!