Select Page

An Empire of Metal with Silent Winter

An Empire of Metal with Silent Winter

An Empire of Metal with Silent Winter

In the grand and glorious tradition of Helloween and Gamma Ray arrives the almighty Silent Winter from the city of Velos in Central Greece. With their legacy dating back to the mid-90’s, the modern day Silent Winter is braced to enrapture an entire world with their stratospheric heavy metal reveries. Empire Of Sins is their latest manifesto, an epic of rapturous heavy metal anthems now available via Pride & Joy MusicHighwire Daze recently interviewed guitarist and composer Kiriakos Balanos to find out a whole lot more about Silent Winter and their exhilarating new album.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Silent Winter, and how long the band has been together.
Thank you very much for the invitation to say a few words about Silent Winter.  I’m the guitarist and composer Kiriakos Balanos. The band was created in 1995 by a group of friends who had common sounds in music, loved the European mainly melodic heavy metal and thus managed to create 2 demo tapes in 1995 and 1996.  From then on, the group participated in some concerts until its final split in 1998 and its reconnection with new members in 2018.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music/metal scene like there?
The band is based in Central Greece in a city called Volos. The metal scene here is not as strong as in the capital but there are good bands and good festivals that take place every year and there is a continuous growth year by year.

How did you wind up signing with Pride & Joy Music?
Through the cooperation we have with Angels PR and since we had sent demos to many companies, we had a preference mainly to a German company due to our style and the larger buying public on the genre we play. So after we put down all the proposals we chose the most advantageous but also the most future in cooperation. Pride & Joy has a good roster now and is slowly taking bigger steps. Our collaboration so far is impeccable, it has done a very good job in the distribution since the album is now available in the biggest stores in Europe like that of Nuclear Blast, and as far as the future plans are concerned there is nothing more like a discussion at the moment, I think when it arrives at that moment we will talk again and listen to every suggestion.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title Empire Of Sins?
Mankind has always been dependent on some source of power. Either that was a deity, a king, even today the people who rule us, creating laws and sins try to lock you in a seeming prison on their own terms.  Well what happened to the pandemic that prevails today. In a short period of time, personal freedoms ceased to exist, in something that of course you cannot check or certify if all of them are fabricated or true, so imagine going back to the era of the cover of ”Empire Of Sins”, how the world was influenced by some forms of power without even having the opportunity to seek or believe in something else.

Select two songs from Empire Of Sins and what inspired the lyrics.
‘’MIRROR’’ The song is about a man (I imagined a King, mostly because of the theme itself) talking to a mirror. It shows not only that there is more to a person than meets the eye, but also how even the most powerful of men can lack trust in themselves. In the end, after all the doubt and paranoia with the mirror, all the insecurity, the bridge gives the impression that the man’s life is coming to an end.

‘’WINGS OF DESTINY’’ I went with the mad king approach. The King is haunted by the screams and pleas of those he killed and saw being killed in the battlefield. He knows he lived his life without a care for life, and the voices remind him. He asks for release, for the wings of destiny to take him away to rest, to peace.

What made you decide to cover the Belinda Carlisle song Leave A Light On and has Belinda heard or commented on it?
I always wanted to make such a cover.  I was intrigued by the fact to take another genre and literally transform it.  The good old pop of the 80’s had made a lot of such diamonds that could become a very good cover.  In addition to my liking for Belinda (and who didn’t have it then) I thought that this song had the background to become a very good melodic power metal. I think that somehow we achieved it as much as possible.  No Belinda has not heard it yet because its very fresh, but I hope she leaves us a comment!

Who produced Empire Of Sins and what was it like working with them?
Mix and mastered made by Dion Christodoulatos at CFN Recordings Studios at Athens. Dion is known by his own band and a lot of productions he made for other bands.  Our collaboration was great and we hope work together again in the future.

What has it been like to write and record new music in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
The new album came earlier from what we planned but we wanted to be active to a non active period and we decide to go on with the recordings. Recordings took place here in Volos Town Central Greece under all the protections needed from summer 2020 and completed around October 2020. It is certainly not the best not to be able to present and enjoy a new release with the people who listen to you and follow you, but on the other hand you can see and somewhat more positively that people have more time right now to look and to listen to new bands from the moment that all the older ones have taken a break. So we try with everything possible, in an advertisement or a video or the creation of a new single to stay up to date until the end of all that we all live

What was the last live show you played before the pandemic and how did it go? Have you managed to play any shows during the pandemic?
Our last show was back to November 2019 some months before pandemic starts. 2020 was a difficult year, we cancelled many live performances and there was a pause at a point where the band was starting to pick up pace, and all that continues today , and we do not know how much yet, it is disastrous for all the bands out there that are trying to survive.

Have you ever played here in the States and if so, how did the experience go?
No we never played in the States we hope someday will make it possible.

If Silent Winter could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
If it was my decision and I would just like to play behind Helloween, a band that I loved and I hear from its first steps almost and I think we have a lot in common in our music.

What do you hope the rest of 2021 brings for Silent Winter and for the music community in general?
We hope like everyone else that all this will end soon and we can all be together again, we must leave all this behind as a bad memory and rebuild our lives .So the plans are of course the promotion of our new album which I wish it could be done live, but anyway we will do our best.

In final words of wisdom?
Live your life every day as if it were the last day.  We all saw that finally how quickly they can change what we planned without even having a choice. We are in all this together and we will get through this together.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see your band out here in Los Angeles one day. Empire Of Sins is amazing!
Thank you very much for the interview and for the support. We hope everything goes well to get out of this global impasse quickly and to be able to be together again listening to and playing our favorite music. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay metal.

Silent Winter is:
Mike Livas – vocals
Kiriakos Balanos – guitars
Vangelis Papadimitriou – guitars
Vangelis Tsekouras – bass
John Antonopoulos – drums

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Silent Winter on Facebook
Pride & Joy Music on Facebook

Skip to content