Southend’s Forged In Black released another four tracks of powerful, traditional heavy metal at the end of April and ZT got the lowdown about their new EP from the band firsthand.
Originally working under the moniker of Merciless Fail up until 2013, when they changed their name to Forged In Black, it has been three years since the British band put out any fresh music. They’re back with their latest EP ‘Fear Reflecting Fear’, full of dirty metal riffs, operatic vocals and power/traditional heavy metal undertones.
Plus, despite being unsigned and working out of the south of England, they got the legendary Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Anvil, Exodus) on production duties for this EP. Vocalist Chris Stoz Storozynski told ZT all about the new EP, working with Chris and their future ambitions.
ZT: How was the writing and recording process for ‘Fear Reflecting Fear’?
Chris Stoz Storozynski (vocals): The writing process for the EP started a couple of years ago. We spent a lot of time shaping these songs, making sure we all had an input and refining them until we were all happy. The recording process was incredible. Chris Tsangarides was an absolute joy to work with; a true professional who made us feel extremely comfortable throughout the process. His attitude and ideas were fantastic. It was a privilege to work with such a legendary producer.
How did you get Chris Tsangarides involved on production duties?
We approached Chris as we knew a band that had worked with him previously and we loved the sound of their recording. Combining this with his incredible reputation, we knew we had to approach him. So we sent Chris the video for our previous release, ‘The Exodus’ and he was really happy to work with us.
What influenced your sound on this record?
Our main goal in terms of sound was making sure that there was a clear progression from our previous releases. We’ve tried to keep all the elements that comprise our sound (operatic vocals, guitar harmonies, breakdowns) but we’ve tried to add a progressive tinge to some of the tracks. This is especially true of the title track and ‘Shadows Still Remain’ which have a variety of feel and time changes.
And the lyrics/song themes?
We’ve tried to cover a range of themes in the lyrics for the new EP, such as war and personal torment. We’ve also done a bit of our own storytelling by delving into a fantasy based concept for ‘Renegades of the Last Rites.’
It has been 3 years since your last release, why did you decide to go for an EP rather than an album?
We decided to go for an EP as we’re hoping that we can feasibly produce more releases by taking this approach. We’d like to get to a stage when we’re regularly releasing music. Putting out EPs will certainly help with this.
You’ve released ‘Fear Reflecting Fear’ independently, did this present many challenges?
Releasing independently is certainly a challenge but we’ve all been working together to ensure that the promotion is as strong as it can be. We’ve had some great help from: the guys at Imperative PR; some close friends and local businesses who have helped with printing and merch. It’s been a great collaborative effort.
What would you say is more important for you as a band, to play more/bigger gigs and festivals or to get signed by a label?
At this moment we feel that playing more gigs and festivals will be the most important aspect for us as a band. Playing bigger gigs will help to improve our fan base and in turn we hope this will make us more appealing to a label. We’re aiming for both but want to start with improving our gigging reach.
You’re based in Southend. Is there much of a metal scene there or do you find yourselves spending more time in London and other cities?
Southend has a great music scene but metal doesn’t thrive there as much as we hope it would. There are a couple of particular excellent venues such as Chinnerys that champion rock and metal, but it’s not as prevalent as it could be. We spend a lot of time in London and Kent which have always been very good to us, but we’re always looking to play new areas.
Do you feel you have as many opportunities as a new metal band that is based in cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester etc.?
Whilst those areas have really vast metal scenes that it’d be nice to be a part of, we think it’s down to us to make our own opportunities. We’re pushing the EP as much as we can and we hope that this will open up new avenues.
What do you hope to achieve with the band?
The long term goal would be to get signed but immediately we’re just hoping to get noticed in new areas.
And finally, what are your future plans for Forged In Black?
In the immediate future, we hope to record some more songs with Chris and combine them with the tracks on ‘Fear Reflecting Fear’ to create a new album. Aside from this, we are looking to extend our reach across the continent and hopefully play in new areas.