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Númenor is one of the many good surprises we had in 2013, as we have reviewed their debut album "Colossal Darkness" and now we have chance to have a chat with the vocalist of the band, Despot Marko Miranovic.
Hello Marko and welcome to Aristocrazia Webzine, how is life going?
Quite good these days; we are just preparing the material for the second upcoming full-length. Also, I am doing my usual stuff with Metal Sound Magazine plus I'm just finish my Master studies in the field of Political Science and Theory (and looking to continue with a PhD as well).
I usually like to start by having the band introduce themselves to the readers, what can you tell us about Númenor?
I founded Númenor during 2009 and found the members in 2010. So, everything was already established in 2010 with the same line up (except that Balint has joined us as composer in 2011 if I could recall it well). We have recorded our debut record ''Colossal Darkness'' in 2012 and released it in 2013 for Stygian Crypt Production. Númenor have incorporated various styles in the music but we could label our music as Dark-Fantasy Symphonic Metal. Also, various journalists are labeling Númenor as Epic Black Metal since we have some obvious influences coming from Bal-Sagoth Summoning and (old) Dimmu Borgir. But, also many journalists and listeners compare are with Wintersun, Ensiferum and the like.
From Tolkien to Tolkien, the band's former name was Esgaroth and then you changed it to Númenor, what is it that intrigues you in the world created by the British writer, and what teachings did you get from his works?
Actually I am inspired by fantasy literature, series, movies, D&D or video games in general. So, JJR Tolkien is one of the authors that had a great impact on me and my works. Since Tolkien is one of the best authors, his works (and the entire story of his life) had a great influence on my life and especially on the music that I create.
Your music is particularly melodic and it also has a symphonic disposition, what's the general process that leads to the creation of a new song, and how do adapt the lyrics to it?
Vladimir creates the music and I just write the lyrics when I get some inspiration afterwards. That's the entire story and the process/way of composing of music and writing of lyrics.
In terms of content, "Colossal Darkness" has strong literary influences; apart from the aforementioned Tolkien we can also find excerpts from the works of Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard and your talented fellow countryman Ivan Markovic. Have you experienced any particular difficulties in finding the best musical environment for representing their words?
No, actually I write the lyrics once the music is finished. So, the atmosphere of songs inspires me and I just pick out one of the topics from the vast universe of epic fantasy novels and tales…
Summoning seems to be one of your main inspirations, what do you think about their comeback with "Old Mornings Dawn"?
Really a great record; I didn't expect that they would create such a great and original record. Of course, they have always delivered quite good albums, but this time it seems that they have found a new dimension of sound. When it comes to Symphonic Black metal, ''Old Mornings Dawn'' is the best album in 2013, I have no doubt about it.
Apart from being a musician, you're also the chief editor of Metal-sound.net, a portal that similarly to Aristocrazia strives to support the musical scene we all love. Therefore, as both an artist and an editor, what would you say is the current state of metal music?
I really like the style of the 90s, the atmosphere and the music as well. From the records of Blind Guardian, Therion to some bands that have already perished like Theatre of Tragedy, The Gathering and alike. But I also like the present metal scene, since there are lots of bands with quality to offer (some are new, some old). I enjoy looking each day for new and fresh releases and doing interviews, writing reviews, maintaining Metal Sound webzine and attending various shows and festivals as well.
How did the cooperation with Stygian Crypt Productions begin? Are you satisfied with the work done by the Russian label?
We chose to release our debut album though Stygian Crypt after some consultations with some people and promoters who are already in the ''music industry''. I think that they are doing and that they have already done nice job when it comes to printing of CDs, distribution and promotion, so the entire cooperation is quite good.
What other bands from your country would you recommend us to listen to?
I am not so much into the local scene, but there are various bands here that perform various sorts of metal music. So, it depends which genre you like the most, but Serbia has already delivered some very interesting groups. The only problem that remains is that many of these bands have released only one full-length and afterwards they have just perished never to return again.
Your ideal Top 5 for albums books and films…
It's very hard to make any sort of ''top 5'' books or albums. But, when it comes to books I have some favorites like J.R.R Tolkien, Lovecraft or M. Moorcock (so, I am more into so-called classic literature). Also, when it comes to movies, I like more series then movies. For example, since my childhood I have always followed ''The X-Files'' and BBC's ''Murder Rooms: Mysteries Of The Real Sherlock Holmes'', which are also a good set of series. Today I am following some history and fantasy based series like ''Vikings'' or ''Game Of Thrones''. When it comes to movies I really adore Vincent Price's roles. And, when it comes to music, as I have already added I am still in 90s; still listening to many bands and recordings from this period when I was a child and teenager. This period of time was indeed specific in every aspect when it comes to metal music. Also, Númenor reflects the music of that period. It's like a journey to the past.
Have you got other interests that eventually leave a trace in your art, consequently influencing Númenor as well?
Well, regarding Númenor, I think that all the inspiration I get comes from the epic fantasy world. I think that everyday life really does not inspire me that much [smiling]. Sometimes I really adore solitude and walking through the woods (or just a walk but this also somehow belongs to the world of fantasy [smiling].
Let's get back to "Colossal Darkness": how has it been received by your listeners and the specialized press?
We are quite satisfied by the reaction from both sides: fans and media. We are receiving offers for interviews every day, links to reviews, even offers for live performances. Indeed, we are enjoying in this moment. Of course we are not feeling like rock stars, but there has been some attention on Númenor over the last months.
What is a Númenor live like? What elements make the difference to have a perfect night on stage?
Since we haven't yet perform live I cannot tell you much, but we will surely have our first show very soon and it will be hopefully available on the YouTube channel.
Do you already have shows scheduled in 2014? Where could we see you? Any stops here in Italy?
I am quite sure that we will not have a full tour in 2014, but I also think that we could have several shows over the year. Probably our first performances will be mainly on festival meetings, be it musical or fantasy based festivals.
Are there any news about the follow-up to your debut? Are you already working on it?
Yes, we are already working on our second album. The working title is ''Sword And Sorcery'' and it will be recorded in the first part of 2014, and hopefully released in the second part of the following year. Musically, it will be a sequel to our debut record.
And that's all, thank you for the time we could share and I invite you to leave a message to our readers…
I would like to thank all the people who have supported us in one way or another. Also, I would like to thank you for the interview and review. All the best until next time!