Announced in 2016, Sinsaenum is a long-brewing musical experiment which ventures into extreme metal's darkest territories. Armed with music composed since the late 1990s, Dragonforce bassist (and Sinsaenum guitarist) Frédéric Leclercq assembled the "supergroup". Joining forces with Leclercq on the studio act's last two efforts, an EP and a full-length, are vocalists Attila Csihar (Mayhem) and Sean Zatorsky (Daath), guitarist Stéphane Buriez (Loudblast), bass guitarist Heimoth (Seth), and drummer Joey Jordison (VIMIC, ex-Slipknot).
Leclercq discusses some key existential concepts that he's woven into the band's music, and made deliberate effort to accent on its newest release, "Echoes of the Tortured".
Bonjour, Frédéric. You mentioned some concepts you put into the music. Could we talk a little about some of the concepts you've woven into Sinsaenum's music?
Haunting, like the instrumental interludes.
HAUNTING... I like when music is haunting, scary, eerie... I don't believe in ghosts and in haunted houses, but I like the idea of something or someone floating around with no rest. I'd like to visualize my music floating around the listener.
Darkness is pervasive and ubiquitous.
DARKNESS... Is within us all. I chose to embrace it; I find it fascinating. I let my mind go sometimes and look deep inside, to see how dark I can become... I am a very social person, but I also have that very sad, nihilistic, angry part of me. That's what I try to turn into music. All this darkness. Darkness is also what I need to work - I like the night, the solitude, the silence... that's also an expression of darkness.
It's not rock 'n' roll without some tension!
TENSION... I don't really wanna do "easy" music with obvious or pleasant chord progressions... I like classical music like Bartok, and Webern. I like the tension in the music, when it's controlled. Not random notes put together and "hope for the best". It's all well thought and not random at all.
Some of the passages sound twisted and tortured.
TORTURED... The song "Echoes of the Tortured" comes from one of my favorite horror books. To extend it to the world, I think we all are, to some extent, tortured. We live troubled times and we all suffer. Each song of the album would be an echo - the voice of those who are being tortured.
Strength seems most obvious in "Army of Chaos", where your legion comes in to destroy. It's almost like a "band of brothers" rallying cry or anthem.
Yes, that was the idea, exactly, an anthem. Therefore the music had to be more simple, direct. The other songs are more complex, because that's something I personally like in music, but this song, "Army of Chaos", is indeed meant to be rallying. Straight to the point, fist in the air. A rebellious cry, for all those who are rejected, dark, different.
The instrumentals are great because they're short, but evocative and so moody. "Excommunicare" into "Inverted Cross" slays. The instrumentals are atmospheric - almost moreso then the longer tunes with full percussion and vocals.
Thank you very much. Yes, that was the idea. I wanted to connect the songs, so I just didn't place them randomly. They are in the right key, and sometimes use the same melody as the song that's about to come.
To branch out a little, why are sadness and depression portrayed so often in extreme metal with super-fast tempos? With the blastbeat tempos, it seems much more like a massive panic attack, or hostility, then a bout of depression.
I guess sadness and depression are negative energies, and one can turn this into anger and agression. These feelings are all part of the darkness we were talking about earlier. Sadness can be expressed with slow, melancholic music, but brutality and speed can be a form of release.
To close, was it "worth the wait", to hold your ideas close to your heart for so long, then finally let them go, and was it cathartic?
It was totally worth the wait. it was a catharsis because I've put a hell of a lot into this, but trust me, I still have enough in me. So it's great to release it, and now have a band, a way to unleash all this energy. I have plenty of darkness in me.
It's nothing like the country vibe we were anticipating.
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