Oh mighty Twilight Force. What an impression you made on the power metal world with your new album ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic‘. We dive into the mysterious Twilight Kingdoms to sit down with resident wizard Blackwald and his Elven counterpart Lynd to give us a tour of the realms we’ve only touched the surface on…
I’ve said it before, but Twilight Force are one of the most exciting things to happen to power metal in a very long time. The last time I got such a thrill in the genre was the release of Rhapsody’s ‘Power of the Dragonflame‘…and that was 14 years ago. ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic‘ has a sound that is musically illustrious, and coupled with the tongue-in-cheek lore and visuals the band have so eloquently laid out on their sophomore effort, it’s hard to see this band not cracking the big time.
Twilight Force have loaded the power metal cannon with kindling explosives, and it’s that very reason we had to talk to the brains behind the band, wizard Blackwald, and elf Lynd, to get the grand vision of Twilight Force for now and forever.
Listen to the full unedited interview, or read the transcript below!
Or catch the band in all their splendour on a European tour with Sabaton and Accept in January.
Today I have with me Twilight Force! Guys thank you for speaking to The Metalist today, really appreciate it. Exciting times for power metal since you guys have come out with a brand new album ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic’, absolutely fantastic. I said it’s the best power metal album I’ve heard in 10 years!
Blackwald + Lynd: Oh! Thank you!
First of all, how is the tour [with Sonata Arctica] going?
L: Well really good! Tons of fun being on the bus with our Finnish brothers in Sonata Arctica, and the reception overall has been really good! I’ve really enjoyed my time so far.
B: It’s also very convenient to be just two bands on this tour. We were three on the last one which was fun, but now everything is just a little bit more smoother schedule-wise and space-wise.
L: It’s really great to play all the new songs as well!
I guess if you are only two bands you get to play a little bit longer sets as well?
B + L: Yea definitely!
So new label too! How did that come around?
L: Well one of the guys at Nuclear Blast came to see one of our shows first, then we spoke some with him after the show. We bonded really well and he really pushed for us at the label. He knew of us already before in the first album.
So he seemed to know of you guys for a while!
B: Yea, sneaking in from behind! [laughs]
As in you had no choice, you had to sign to Nuclear Blast!
L: It was inevitable!
Well your first album – fantastic – but ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic’, absolutely amazing.
B + L: Thank you.
So the sound on this album is so huge. When I try to explain it to people who are not metalheads I can’t really do it! Some people said this is like Disney Metal…
B: That’s an excellent reference!
Some people said it was like Disney on crack too…
B: [laughs] That’s fine too!
L: Maybe we will do a set called Twilight Force on Ice…give Snow White a new meaning!
[laughs] Can’t wait for that! How would you explain your sound? To me it sounds like all the best of power metal thrown into one…
L: Well when we released the first album, it was like ‘let’s make an over-the-top power metal album’. And we hoped that we managed to do that. With ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic’, we wanted to evolve ourselves a bit and bring something, perhaps new, to the table. We wanted to keep the essence of power metal – the melodies and the fast tempos, and the easy accessibility…something that kind of had that contemporary ‘Dawn of Victory’ sound.
B: The kind of music that we love to listen to ourselves apart from metal is…well we grew up with all those nice movie soundtracks from the 90’s, ‘Home Alone’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Indiana Jones’, all that kind of stuff. It felt like such a natural thing to combine those with metal.
All the traditional classical elements like the Vivaldi, Mozart orchestral parts we already felt had kind of been done. The baroque thing. So we wanted to bring something into the picture that we could connect a bit more to ourselves.
Did bands like Rhapsody and the classic power metal have an influence on the development of the Twilight Force sound?
B: In the beginning yea, the first album obviously because we wanted to kind of revive that sound that we ourselves grew up listening to and loved back then. So in that way they kind of laid the foundations for what we were becoming, but on this album we tried to take a step out of the circle…
Take a step out and create your own career defining sound?
B: Yea definitely.
Apart from that, Twilight Force sound like they are very rich in lore and backstory – there seems to be a lot of stuff outside the music that sparks interest! Can you give us a general idea of what the album’s theme is?
B: Well the theme is in short terms is it’s about the Twilight Kingdoms – we have 7 kingdoms with one member from each, and they try to converge to save the world from evil! That’s really the basic idea…but of course we will evolve on the stories and the histories and everything as we go along…we’ve just started to scratch the surface of what we want to do!
The first album was like loose stories surrounding a couple themes as we didn’t really know what we wanted to do ourselves, but with this album we tried to draw the outlines a little bit more clearly about what it is all about. So we’ll see what happens!
Maybe we’ll have a movie trilogy? Video game series?
Twilight Force on Ice?
B: [laughs] Exactly!
So it sounds like ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic’ is the start on the path to bigger and better stories that are all connected to each other?
B: Yea, there’s gonna be a pretty clear storyline.
L: The dragon trilogy. [laughs]
That’s awesome. So I just wanted to talk about your stage look – when I saw you a couple years ago you guys looked like characters out of a video game! Does your look have inspiration from video games like World of Warcraft?
L: Well it’s just fantasy really, us being fantasy nerds overall. It’s what inspired us. We wanted the look to kind of reflect the music that we play.
B: Well grew up with, as you said World of Warcraft, and of course the album title, ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic’, is a kind of tribute to the video game series Heroes of Might and Magic.
I didn’t even think about that…
B: [laughs] We get a lot of comments that say ‘what, are they ripping off the title?!’. No it’s just a tribute obviously!
Of course, an homage to the great games!
B: So it all connects together, and it just fells natural to have life to the characters that we portray.
Did you all get together and have a talk about how these characters were going to be? Like who adopts what persona?
B: A little bit, at least that’s kind of how it started out. We were like, ‘yea, this feels good and cool’…
L: Yea it’s kind of loosely based on the personal traits of each! [laughs]
B: Exactly, we can’t have our acrobatic elf wearing full body armour! He can’t jump around that way and do his ninja moves!
Fantastic. It sounds like you guys are pretty busy for the next year! After this tour you have another one with Sabaton coming up in January…
B: Yes really busy! I’m taking it one day at a time here.
It does seem like everything is moving very quickly – new label, new album, big tour coming up…
B: Yea, it’s going to be very interesting to see where the Sabaton tour leads us. We’re just enjoying this tour for now, and then we’ll go home and start planning for the next one. Everything is going to be bigger, and the whole production thing is going to be different…it leaves more room also for a lot of extra stuff…so a lot of work!
And you are playing the USA for the first time as well!
B: Yea at ProgPower festival, that’s a first too! We only played in the ‘vicinity’ of the USA. On the 70k boat…
That must have been amazing…
L: Apart from playing, that was one of the greatest things I have done in my life. I mean a huge ship full of happy people.
It’s been a pleasure talking to you guys, thank you so much!