Flammensturm: An Oncoming Firestorm of Black Metal from Austria

Hailing from the extreme music underground of Austria, the mighty Flammensturm is sure to assault the senses of many a Black Metal fan from all across the world.  The debut magnum opus entitled Die Feuer Sind Entfacht has just been unleashed through Bloodred Horizon Records, and it’s filled to the core with blackened hymns that are thrilling to behold.  Here is an interview we recently conduced with the band to find out more about this oncoming firestorm known as Flammensturm!!!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Flammensturm, and how long the band has been together.
Flammensturm was founded in 2006 and the current complete lineup does exist since the year of 2009 when our bassist Nordolf joined us. Since then we were working on our debut-album which has been released at the end of 2010 via Bloodred Horizon Records. Now we are currently working on new material and playing a lot of shows of course.  If you want to categorize our music, we would say that we play Pagan/Black Metal.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?
Flammensturm is from Carinthia, which is in the south of Austria at the border to Slowenia and Italy. The music scene is not small, but there aren´t many black metal bands in the area. Another problem here is, that there are a lot of concerts but often the same bands play again and again and again – so no one wants to see them anymore. Until now we have only played four times in Carinthia – all other gigs where in other areas of Austria or in foreign countries.  In the last month we played two shows in Carinthia, which were really amazing.

Where did you get the name Flammensturm and what does it mean?
The name “Flammensturm” came up when the band already existed for some
time. “Flammensturm” means “Storm of Fire” when we try to translate it into English and it stands for Beginning and Ending. We were always fascinated of fire, because on the one hand it gives you light, it´s warm and brings life and on the other hand it can be the most destructive force on earth! Fire does also stand for the birth of something new..

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Die Feuer Sind Entfacht?
No, “Die Feuer sind entfacht” is not a concept album, but each song of course has it´s story or message – they are just not related to each other. Every song stands for it´s own.

Where did you get the ideas for some of the lyrics? Please cite two songs in particular and what inspired the lyrics.
Our singer Wulf Degan gets the ideas for the lyrics out of his own life, his feelings and thoughts. For example is “Wotan“, the 9th track of the album about a warrior that gets home, finds his wife and children murdered and his home burned down. So he seeks the murderers to take revenge, finally sacrificing his life for revenge in the end of the song. Or another example: The song “Ostarrichi” is about the beautiful nature and the history of Austria, our fatherland.  So basically there is no precious way of how our singer gets the ideas for the lyrics – this just happens and we think this is what makes music art. It´s the same with riffs on the guitar too – we don´t actually say we want to write riffs now. We just play and ideas grow during playing the instrument.

What was the experience like opening for Nargaroth and did you get to meet Kanwulf?
Actually we didn´t really “open” for Nargaroth. It was a festival, that took two days and Nargaroth was about to play as headliner on the second day where we should have also played. But then on the first day in the evening, when we were already drunk, the guys from “Nomans Land”, which should have played as co-co-headliner on this first day, weren´t able to perform, because their instruments hadn´t arrived in time. The organisator of the festival asked us for help and we swapped places with “Nomans Land”. So we actually played on the first day at around ten o´clock in the evening and although it was very spontanious we can say that it was one of the best gigs we ever had so far, because the audience and the atmosphere was just amazing. A big thanks to the “Northern Lights Festival”-Crew and Team for this great festival and all the help!

You did another festival with Negura Bunget and Sear Bliss. How did that particular show go and did you get to hang out with any of the bands?
Well, of course it was an honour to share the stage with Negura Bunget and Sear Bliss, which are two excellent bands, we also like to listen to. The gig was very good and the whole organization of the festival was perfect – thanks to our label Bloodred Horizon Records, who organized this festival and did a really great job!  Due to the fact that Sear Bliss had to leave directly after the concert, we unfortunately didn´t have the chance to hang out with them. But on this evening we had an awesome time with the Norwegian guys from “Thurs”, drinking beer and partying together. We really enjoyed that!

What is a live Flammensturm show like for those of us who have yet to see you perform?
We think that our performance is really honest, without any adulteration. When watching a live performance of us, I think everybody can see that we really enjoy what we do and that we are completely into our music – it has simply become such a strong part of our lifes that when we are on stage there doesn´t exist any other thing than the power of our music itself, the audience and ourselves. That´s what is most important and if this three things symbiote with each other this is what gives you the creeps when you´re watching a band and when you´re not able to explain what flow of energy is going on.  So basically if I should choose three adjectives to describe our show, I would say: powerful, emotional and brute at the same time.

Have you had a chance to play here in the States or plan to do so in the future?
Unfortunately we haven´t had the chance to play in the U.S yet, but if there is ever going to be a possibility to do so, we won´t hesitate, take the plane and play some shows for the guys out there in the U.S.  We think it´s a pity that there are only a few bands from the U.S playing in Europe and vice versa, because there are many truly awesome bands in the U.S-scene we would love to see here too. Collaboration between labels, bands, magazines, organizators and booking agents from U.S and Europe should be closer and be tightened, so that the chance of playing gigs in the U.S would be better for European bands same as for U.S bands in Europe.

Are you involved with any other bands or musical projects outside of Flammensturm?
Flammensturm is and will always be our main project – that´s completely clear, but some of us do have other musical projects running beside, like for example our bassist, who has two other black metal projects where he´s playing guitar and doing the vocals or like me, playing drums and piano in several side-projects. Those projects are of course completely differing from the kind of music we do in Flammensturm.

Who did the outstanding cover art for Die Feuer Sind Entfacht and how much input did you have on it?
Well, when we were talking about the artwork in our rehearsal room, we came up with the idea of having a single picture for each song in the booklet.
This pictures should express the feelings and ideas behind the lyrics of each song. From this point on we always had a clear idea of what should be on the cover and on every side of the booklet.  The artwork of our album was done by Balász Jacsó from hungary, also known under the name “Nagash739” (you can have a closer look at his works at: http://nagash793.extra.hu).  We are really happy that we found him, because he has really got the talent to turn our exact ideas into pictures – we can only recommend him!

What is your favorite Austrian beer and are there any particular American beers you like at all?
Haha, well, when we talk about beer it´s really difficult in Austria because we have a lot of beer-breweries here. Nearly every region has it´s own brewery which means people do often drink beer from their region and so everyone of our band has his own favourites. But if we buy beer for our rehearsal-room we have to find a common denominator of course, so I would say that Austrian beers that everyone of us likes are: Hirter, Murauer and Stiegl.  We haven´t had the chance to try any American beers yet, but of course we can´t wait to do so, because we all love to drink beer – maybe you can send us some good proposals for good american beers haha?

What are the future plans for Flammensturm?
There are no precise future plans – we just want to continue the same way as we did until now, writing songs, recording them and of course playing as much live shows as possible, spreading our message all over the lands. Actually we do have a lot of live shows this year, like for example two gigs in carinthia in this month or some gigs in Upper-Austria, Salzburg and Germany. But the highlight for this year is going to be the gig in Norway at the Leidang Fest this year I think! We are really proud to get the chance to play in Norway as an Austrian band.

Do you have any messages for metal fans here in the States?
We would like to thank everyone out there in the States who is listening to our music and supporting us and remember to always stay true to your path as we do! Metal on!

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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