With their second album “The Cycle Never Ends”, Portuguese true & epic Metal act, places theirself as one of the references in the metal genre. They are able to deliver strong riffs, awesome guitar solos and thundering rhythms in the best tradition of the classic epic bands. Their music have grown internationally and continues to do so. So, it’s a great moment to have some words with them.
Hello Nuno, you have just released your second album “The Cycle Never Ends”, how do you feel about it?
Hi Metalbrothers… First of all, thanks a lot for this opportunity to talk about Ravensire! Regarding “The Cycle Never Ends”, we’re very pleased about the way it came out! It sounds exactly like the way we wanted and that’s what it really matters, for us. Also, the work that Cruz del Sur Music has been doing promoting the album is great and will surely help our name spread throughout the underground.
Talking about your musical approach, are we gonna find any difference between your first album “We March Forward” and “The Cycle Never Ends”?
We haven’t changed anything regarding our musical approach since the beginning of the band. We still aim to make raw, passionate Heavy Metal not caring much for trends or perfection. We basically follow the foundation laid out by the masters of this genre and try to stamp our own identity on the music we create. If someone listens to one of our albums and enjoys it, he/she can pick up the other album and surely won’t be disappointed! The only small difference I might find is that the new album “The Cycle Never Ends” has more fast passages. But that’s just merely a detail.
How long have you been working in the new album and how was the composition process?
We started creating songs for “The Cycle Never Ends” right after “We March Forward” was released. This was probably in December 2013. The composition process was the usual for us: either Ze Rockhard or I came up with the guitar parts and then the whole band would jam to those parts and start arranging them into full songs. Our initial goal was to have the album released mid-2015 but, unfortunately, due to external reasons (health issues, professional issues, etc…) it took us a bit longer to complete the album than what we had anticipated.
If something can be said of Ravensire is that you make epic heavy metal with no prisoners
When we started Ravensire, one of the first things we all agreed was that our music had to be passionate and raw. That’s how we like Heavy Metal! As long as we have this drive with us, people can count on Ravensire’s music to be intense! Of course, everything can be improved and we strive to get better at what we do. But we also can’t lose sight of what we are and what’s our identity, so never expect us to start playing like guitar-heroes or singing like Rob Halford, no matter how much we like that stuff!
The riffs and solos in “The Cycle Never Ends” are really demolishing, that makes the album very addictive
Our songs always start from a very strong riff! That’s how I normally like to work, when composing. I always feel that in order to be interesting, a song needs to have a hook, a central point from where everything derives. And the better that riff (for our tastes, of course!), the better the song will be. When working like this, it’s not that hard to complete the song… The harder part is finding a riff that works its magic! It’s more or less the same for solos. They have to fit into the song and tell a story themselves. Otherwise, it’ll be simply a technical exercise that no matter how good it is, it doesn’t add anything to the song. When we finish a song, we have to think: “would we like this song if we were fans?” if the answer is yes, then everything’s ok.
I would also underline that, apart of the epic flavour that coats the whole album, we are going to find variations from song to song, some have a nwobhm taste, others have a darker atmosphere…
We try to have different feelings throughout the album, to avoid being repetitive and boring. Our influences have such a range that it’s possible to incoroporate several different ideas into our writing without compromising our general sound. You still listen to the songs and think “this is Ravensire”, although one song may have an acoustic passage, or a fast, thrashy, part.
Which is your favorite song in the album and which would fit better in a live show?
Right now, my favourite song is “Temple at the End of the World”… I think it’s an emotional song, with lots of variations and Rick’s voice, coupled with the lyrics, really makes the song shine very bright! Also, I also think we came up with our best solos there, that reflect perfectly the mood of the song.
There are quite a few songs on this album that can work really well on a live situation, from the anthemic parts on “Cromlech Revelations”, to the sheer power of “Crosshaven”, the melody of “Trapped in Dreams” and “Blood and Gold” or the fist-in-your-face “Solitary Vagrant”.
Spain and Portugal are good neighbours and culturally we share many things but we also have our particularities. In your opinion what are the main differences between the scene in Portugal and Spain?
First, there are way more metalheads in Spain than in Portugal! Also, there seems to be a bigger cohesion on the whole scene, with all the clubs and organizations you have over there! In Portugal everything is a bit scattered and the Heavy Metal gigs rarely have over 100 people attending. Still, nowadays we see a small improvement so maybe in a few years things will be much better…
Do you have a tour schedule confirmed already? Will Spain see the invasion of Ravensire?
It’s very difficult for us to do a proper tour, with all our professional and family obligations. But we’re normally available to play live on selected dates wherever we’re wanted! So, Spanish promoters, get in touch and we’ll surely work something out!
Right now, we’re confirmed on the No Compromise Festival in La Louvière, Belgium next October. Now that the album is out, we’ll surely be confirming more dates in the next months.
What are your main influences as a band?
Basically every Heavy Metal band that delivers its music with intensity and raw energy. From the masters of old like Iron Maiden, Manowar, Omen and Running Wild, for example, to the underground heroes Slough Feg, Brocas Helm, Holy Terror, Doomsword, Wrathblade, etc. Everything that touches our souls will have an impact on our songs!
Recently Cirith Ungol anounced that they are back to the activity with a show in an american fest, Metal is living his best moment for so many years…?
Yes and no… On one side, there are more and more festivals with traditional Heavy Metal acts and most of those festivals have big audiences. But there are two things which I’m not too happy about: the first is that it still looks like a geriatric convention. Most of the metalheads are way over 35 years old, and there aren’t that many young kids getting into Heavy Metal. The other thing which I’m not too happy is that most of the fans prefer to support old reunited bands that disappeared long ago and didn’t gave a fuck for Metal while it wasn’t popular, instead of helping new exciting bands that are still appearing. And I don’t say this because I’m on a new band… I’ve been saying this well before Ravensire was born… If you’re old enough, you’ll probably remember that in the 80’s no one was giving a shit to 70’s bands! Everybody was living in the present! And in order to have a metal scene growing stronger, that’s how it should be. Ok, we can hail our heroes from the past, but support the people who are still keeping the flame alive!
What are your plans for the future?
Right now we’re focused on promoting the new album. We’re also integrating our new guitar player Mário (following Zé RockHard’s departure for personal reasons) and hopefully in a couple of months we’ll start playing live gigs regularly. Also, in the meantime, we’ll start writing new songs as there are a few ideas floating around already!
Thank you very much for your time and see you in the stage!
Thank you for this interview and hope to meet you soon!