The Vision Bleak –The Deathship Sails On

Thursday, 28th November 2013

Heavy and boastfully thematic, Germany’s The Vision Bleak have held serve as one of European Goth metal’s more strident bands. Since their underrated 2004 The Deathship Has a New Captain debut, the pair of Konstanz (vocals, drums, keyboards) and Schwadorf (vocals, guitars, bass) have managed to carve their own little niche in the ever-huffed and dramatic Goth metal scene. Their sound – a polished, plush blend of driving guitars and diverse vocal pleas – has coagulated into something even more fierce with their last two albums, 2010’s Set Sail to Misery, and their latest, Witching Hour, a conceptual piece about…witches and witchcraft. Go figure. Either way, the duo has made good on their efforts to be a singular Goth/cinematic entity, something Schwadorf was happy to discuss when he responded to our electronic queries…

Dead Rhetoric: You stated that Witching Hour harkens back to your early days. What made you want to “go back” in that regard?

Schwadorf: It’s quite simple – we just wanted to follow our gut feeling and get back to the fresh, rockish vibe of the debut without overthinking everything too much. No second thoughts…

Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel that you got a little too metal-sounding on Set Sail to Misery?

Schwadorf: Do you think so? I actually think the new record is both more catchy and more metal than the previous one. Set Sail was definitely our most atmospheric record in terms of production, also. This time we wanted less of a cluttered, atmo sound but more of a energetic pounding sound!

Dead Rhetoric: The two of you are involved in several other projects. Where does The Vision Bleak rank in terms of priority these days?

Schwadorf: The Vision Bleak has always top priority whenever we work on the project. As simple as that.

Dead Rhetoric: The cooperation and partnership between the two of you…in what ways has it grown over the years? Or, in what ways has it stayed the same?

Schwadorf: We are working together since such a long time. Actually it’s a little like a marriage. Everybody knows the strengths and the weakness of the other one and we can work around that.

Dead Rhetoric: You did a run of summer dates before the album’s release. How did they go?

Schwadorf: Just came back from the European tour with Saturnus and Dordeduh. Everything went flawless. Great shows, great audience and the new songs in the setlist have been superbly received by the fans! Couldn’t be happier…

Dead Rhetoric: Do you like the approach of doing shows before the album comes out? Perhaps it’s a good way to test-drive the songs, eh?

Schwadorf: We actually played the new songs for the first time on the Euro tour. But like mentioned above they worked flawless and integrated really well into our setlist. We played songs from all our albums – that’s quite cool and makes a very diverse setlist.

Dead Rhetoric: You added some new wrinkles into your sound like flutes and vocal alterations. What made you go this route?

Schwadorf: The concept of the album actually. These elements just came natural. We didn’t plan it but when we worked n the songs we realized that these elements would fit in perfectly to uphold the atmospherics of the songs.

Dead Rhetoric: Along those lines, you’ve placed a lot of importance on having your own sound throughout the years. Do you plan on to continue to expand in this fashion?

Schwadorf: No plans yet. We always do what feels right to us. But, the new album is just released so you might ask me the question again in about half a year when I am starting gathering new ideas.

Dead Rhetoric: You employed a storyline about witches and witchcraft for the album. What made you want to dive into such tales?

Schwadorf: The idea for the witch theme has been slumbering for quite some time in my head. I’ve always wanted to make a song that has the atmospherics of that classic fairy tale picture I had in my head – a witch – a forest – full moon. Well, at first it was just a plan to make one song about this but then I quickly realized that a concept about witches would offer a lot of diversity and would fit perfectly into the The Vision Bleak universe. So we settled on the concept and I started research for fitting themes.

Dead Rhetoric: I know you were supposed to a do a full-scale show with an orchestra, but it never materialized. Do you think Witching Hour would be the right platform for such a show?

Schwadorf: We did shows like this already in the past! This time it didn’t materialize because of very strange circumstances. It wouldn’t fit as good to the new material either I think, and if we ever should do something like it again, we will make sure that the budget we get offered is accordingly.

Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2013, going into 2014?

Schwadorf: 2013 is over for The Vision Bleak. We released the album and did the tour. For spring 2014 however, we are planning a new tour in spring to celebrate 10 years of our debut album The Deathship Has a New Captain and will play the complete album and new songs and assorted classics from the other albums.

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