Symphonic Metal bands are still springing up like mushrooms. Although this genre has now passed its zenith.
Those were my opening words for the review of Hel’s Throne’s debut album “Ravens Flight” (2021). The band hails from the small town of Jessen in Saxony-Anhalt. Founded in 2018, Hel’s Throne have dedicated themselves to Nordic mythology in terms of content. Initially self-distributed, the album was re-released just a few months later by Italian label WormHoleDeath Records. The band could fill a gap that had been torn open by stylistic changes or the breaking up of former Symphonic Metal heavyweights. Reason enough for me to check it out.
MHF: Hi, I’m Rainer and I write for Metalheads Forever Magazine. Thank you very much for letting me do this interview with you. How are you doing?
Hel’s Throne: Hi Rainer, first we would like to thank you for the review of our new album. We were very happy about your written words. We are all doing well so far, everyone is healthy and well. After the release in summer, we would have liked to present the new album live much more often, but the current situation just didn’t allow it. Nevertheless, we used the time to write new songs.
MHF: Hel’s Throne have only existed for a few years. Please introduce yourself briefly.
Hel’s Throne: As you already mentioned in the introduction, we have been around since 2018. We are a female-fronted metal band with the musical orientation Symphonic Metal. Initially, we focused on covering songs from our genre, but we soon realised that we wanted to write our own songs.
MHF: How did you get together? Did you have experience in other bands before founding Hel’s Throne?
Hel’s Throne: Willy, Jürgen and Zicke had already been on the road together for several years and one day their paths crossed with Bekka and Schulle’s band and they played several shows together until the idea came up to start a joint project. And so, HEL’S THRONE was founded. After the recording sessions for the album Ravens Flight with Lars Rettkowitz (Freedom Call), we were so impressed by our guest singer Litzer that we decided to go the further way together with him.
MHF: In your band name you use the Nordic translation for “hell”. In mythology, Hel is the female sovereign of the underworld of the same name (also Helheim). How did you find out about Nordic mythology?
Hel’s Throne: Nordic mythology and especially the Nordic world of gods is a hobby of our drummer Zicke. At some point he told us that he wanted to make this the central theme of the band. And so it happened. There are wonderful lyrics from the Nordic stories and these can be integrated well into our music. The goddess “HEL” almost always comes off too negatively in her portrayal, in all films, most books she is consistently evil and cruel. But according to old traditions she embodies both, heaven and hell. And we also wanted to set the record straight with our music. (laughing)
MHF: You released your debut in 2021. What stories from Helheim do you tell in your five self-written songs?
Hel’s Throne: Basically, all our songs deal with the stories that happen with and around HEL. HEL is the goddess of the underworld, and she decides which way the souls of the dead go. There are not only the negative sides, but also the positive ones, which we point out in our lyrics. This common thread runs through all our tracks, and this will also be the case with the new songs.
MHF: The sixth track on the album is a cover. “Faded” by Alan Walker (vocals Iselin Solheim). Why did you choose this electro-pop song? And how does it fit in with your own compositions?
Hel’s Throne: The idea to cover this song in our own way came from Bekka. The original is one of the most clicked songs on various platforms and quite deservedly so. Dynamic, catchy, melancholic, … actually perfect for Symphonic Metal. The story from the song can also tell the tale of two souls searching for each other in the world we leave behind.
MHF: Speaking of self-composed music. Who writes the songs at the band?
Hel’s Throne: We don’t have a mastermind; we write the lyrics and songs in many different ways. So far, every band member has contributed ideas for various songs, and we think that’s exactly why our songs are so individual and different.
MHF: How did the pandemic influence your studio recordings?
Hel’s Throne: To be honest, the pandemic gave us more time to record our first studio album, as neither touring nor gigging was possible. Unfortunately, this was the only advantage during that time.
MHF: You initially released “Ravens Flight” by yourselves. How did WormHoleDeath become aware of you? What does this record deal mean for you?
Hel’s Throne: That’s right. After the release a fan recommended us to contact WormHoleDeath. That’s what we did and it worked. Now we hope to gain a bit of notoriety through the deal, so that we can play at one or two festivals.
MHF: Are you satisfied with the album? How were the reactions from fans and press?
Hel’s Throne: We are very happy with our album. Lars Rettkowitz played a big part in that. Working with him in his Emperial Sound Studio was very exciting and creative. We think the final result is really something to be proud of. The reactions so far have been consistently positive. It has often been mentioned that our songs are very different and highly varied. Other reviews of the album have said that we can’t be pigeonholed and can’t be compared to better-known bands. It was our goal to achieve exactly that.
MHF: Like many other bands, you started as a cover band. Which bands inspired you or still inspire you today?
Hel’s Throne: The genre heavyweights Nightwish, Delain, Epica or Amaranthe had and still have a lot of influence. But of course, we try to go our own way.
MHF: What will happen with Hel’s Throne in the future? Is another album planned? How will there be concert tours when the situation returns to normal?
Hel’s Throne: In any case, like all musicians and bands, we would like to get back on stage. We hope so much that this will be possible again soon. At the moment we are working on new songs and of course we don’t want to exclude producing another album. It remains exciting.
MHF: Thank you again for this interview. Would you like to say something to the fans in conclusion?
Hel’s Throne: With pleasure. We wish everyone out there a good start into the new year. Stay healthy and maybe we’ll see you in front of the stage again as soon as possible.
Hel’s Throne are
Bekka – Vocals
Litzer – Vocals
Schulle – Guitars
Zicke – Drums
Willy – Bass
Jürgen – Keyboards