I had the privilege to not only review Sviatibor's latest album, but also to talk with the man behind the project and interview him. Typically, Temple of Darkness conducts basic email interviews but for Sviatibor, we tried something a bit different. We had a live chat interview, giving it a very personable and face-to-face feel!
Hello, thank you for letting me interview you about your project, Sviatibor. Where does the name Sviatibor come from? What inspired you to choose that name for your project?
Hello Samyaza, thank you for your interest in Sviatibor!
Actually the name Sviatibor is originally from the Slavic God of the forest. I chose this name because I wanted a name that refers to the main themes of my project: the European culture, heritage and nature. Forests are like my sanctuary, there is no better place to make one with nature and the spirits of your land and ancestors (with the exception of mountains and ocean's quiet beaches of course)
Of course! Obviously nature and European culture is very important to you and your music. Are there an other inspirations you've had, musical or otherwise?
Of course, as everybody knows it, I've been very influenced by Burzum's work especially in the beginning of Sviatibor. Now, Sviatibor has its own sound! I'm very influenced by original soundtracks too and it's very present in my music. People tell me that they feel like listening to the soundtrack of a movie when they listen to my albums! My music is also influenced by Rodnoverie chants, the interlude "A Perun" is based on a chant in honor of the god Perun.
I can definitely hear all those influences within your music, that's for sure! So you started Sviatibor back in 2013 and already have an impressive discography behind you. Tell me how you keep your material unique and creative while releasing 3 albums in one year?
Mmh, I don't really know actually, I just need to create again and again and try new things! Every time I'm recording an album, new and different ideas come to my mind, then I'm like "Well, this is how the next album is going to sound..." and I start to play for days with this new spirit in my music, just playing, not writing and all the riffs that have remained in my mind are the riffs I put into the songs. I just love to try new things!
Wow, that's a very unique way to write your albums. It seems like its been working for you though! Your latest album just came out a few days ago. How has the response been so far? Have you had much feedback from your fans?
Yes! I had a lot of very positive feedback, people like it! Especially from the webzines that reviewed the album. I'm delighted, I put a lot of work in this album, much more than the others.
It definitely sounds like your sound has greatly improved over your three albums and you are constantly growing! Tell me about the recording process for this record?
I recorded everything at home with my modest equipment and some software for mixing and the drums were simply programmed on Toontrack's EZ Drummer. I just bought a very good microphone for the vocals because I wanted them to sound very good! It took about 1.5 months to record the entire album.
Did you have all the material written before you went in to record or did a lot of the final touches come to you as you recorded?
Mmh, it depends on the songs. Most of the songs were exactly like I recorded them and some were not. I remember that "Regret D'Un Ancient Temps" instrumental part was pretty different during the whispered vocals, there was also a rhythmic acoustic guitar with the electric one. Also, the piano in "Noyade Dans Smorodina" was supposed to be an acoustic guitar at the beginning, but it was not sounding as powerful as the piano did!
Wow, so at the beginning this album was sounding quite different. Now, for a little fun! If you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life and absolutely nothing else, which albums would they be and why?
What a hard question! I'd say One Direction's...No just kidding.
I think I'd choose "Sol Austan, Mani Vestan" by Burzum for my calm and perfectly happy moments. Gojira's "The Way of All Flesh," when I need to scream within me and feel all the power of nature in my heart, especially the title track. And..."Vo Slavu Veliki," by Arkona, when I need to connect with my land and ancestors only by listening to music.
Oh very good choices, especially the One Direction one! Are there any local bands or any underground bands that you think people who listen to your music would enjoy?
Yes! I'm a big fan of "Of Solitude and Solemn," its a one man band from the U.K, just fantastic. I also recommend the Syrian band "Eulen," their album "Mother Tree" is a masterpiece. I'm a big fan of the project "Dead Hills," I love his latest album "Ouroboric," and also a new project by a friend of mine (the owner of Primal Relics Records) Ashbringer! He will release a demo soon.
Awesome, I'll definitely be checking them out! Do you ever plan on bringing Sviatibor to a stage? Have you thought much about live performances?
Of course I already thought about that! For the moment I don't want to bring Sviatibor on stage because it's not music written for this. If I must do a live performance, it would be very different from a metal show. I would organize something in the woods or a cave with only a keyboard and people would lay there and fall asleep with the music because that's how I want people to listen to Sviatibor.
That is quite a unique idea, one which I think would be extremely rewarding for you and for the people participating! Finally, what is in store for the future of Sviatibor?
Many things! First, I'm working on a band project with a great friend of mine, we will release a demo soon. It will be much more technical than Sviatibor, with orchestrations and all these things! Next, I will work on two splits (I can't tell the artists right now but I will announce it when the time comes) and then onto a new album (which I already started to compose)
Well i for one cannot wait to hear what you have in store for your next material! Thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with me. Your work with Sviatibor is extremely impressive and I am glad I got the chance to hear it!
Thank you very much for your interest and your amazing support and for the interview! I wish you good luck for the next.