Being the old fart that I am I wanted to create a very crude and simplistic online issue in the vein of the old ‘zines I loved when I first got into Black Metal.
Being the old fart that I am I managed to write everything up only to have it crash on me without a saved copy.
Being the old fart that I am I decided to use the media I know to get the message across, I hope the band can forgive me for this mere blog appearance.
Being the old fart that I am I have seen many bands come and go in the Icelandic Black Metal scene. Some have disappeared altogether while other have changed their style, some even so drastically that you would never imagine they were born in the basement, playing lo-fi Black. Sinmara is one of the bands that have undergone quite a bit of change since they began, then called Chao. So, of course the first thing I wanted to ask, when I got in touch with Þórir, one of Sinmara’s guitarists, was why they changed the name and if the change in the band’s line-up played a big part in that decision.
We are a relatively young band and have been in a steady progression since we released the “Spiritus Sankti” EP under our former name Chao. We changed monikers as we believed we had outgrown the name Chao and simply because the pronunciation of the word bugged us. The change in line-up is not at all the cause for our change of name, but rather a part of the same progression.
Okay, is Sinmara a continuation of Chao or a new beginning (and in which way)?
‘Aphotic Womb’, our upcoming debut as Sinmara, has been in the making since before the release of ‘Spiritus Sankti’, and the album’s diversity is a result of the band’s continued progression. Thus the first side of the album consists of older songs, some of which were released in demo versions under the Chao moniker, while the second side is more exemplary of the musical path that we strive to tread. Therefore you could say this is a transitional album, the step from what we were to what we want to achieve.
Why did you look to norse mythology in your search for a band name, and what meaning lies behind your name? Does it come with a change in lyrical themes and topics?
Sinmara is not a religious band, although we do find influence in the occult and various mythologies. It felt natural to look to norse mythology as it is a part of our heritage, and we felt that the ambiguous definition of the word was a potent description of our musical diversity. Sinmara can be either a terrible and destructive force, or the keeper of great mysteries. The lyrical themes on ‘Aphotic Womb’ cover everything from Greek underworld myths to tales of psychological martyrdom.
Many have pigeon-holed the band into the ‘Orthodox Black Metal sub-genre, which might not be surprising as Chao had a hefty dose of those good old orthodox vibes. Does Sinmara belong there? What are the bands primary influences?
Personally I feel the term “Orthodox Black Metal” only applies to the classic NoEvDia bands from the turn of the century. It was their slogan, and a part of their discourse and ideology. This particular movement was undeniably a strong influence on Chao and still holds a place in our hearts, although we have widened our horizons a lot since then. Our influences are many and varied, everywhere from Sorhin to Mike Oldfield.
‘Aphotic Womb’ will be released soon, in conjunction with the bands performance at Beyond the Gates Festival in Bergen, Norway. Is this your release gig, or will you do one of those abroad later?
It’s not a release gig per se, but there will be an official listening party / release bash at the concert venue the day of our show, 28. of august to be exact. It’s not out of the question to do an official release gig this autumn, but it would however probably be held in Iceland.