“Treating us to Blackened Hymns from both familiar and foreign realms. “The Evil of Man” is best described as a hybrid between alluring melodic and symphonic riffs underpinned by thrash metal. Vocals deliver the spirit and elements of obsidian death whilst the lyrics call upon fantastical lands such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones to their very own realm of darkness”.
Raivendark – Guitar and Vocals
Hargoth – Bass and Vocals
Morgath – Keyboards and Vocals
Neravar – Drums
Luna – Guitar
Darklore are a Brisbane based Metal Quintet who will be r3eleasing their debut full length album on 29th January. Reading this bands bio got me very intrigued to chat to the band. I caught up with Raivendark, Hargoth and Morgath so that they could fill me in on everything Darklore.
First off tell me all about Darklore.
Raivendark: Well Darklore started off more on the casual side. I started forming the band in late 2013, just ultimately finding a group of guys that worked well together. Where there were no personality clashes and we all had similar musical influences. Basically getting together with some friends and playing some music with the intention to hit the live stage one day. Things started picking up a bit more from there.
Playing on the live stage obviously became a reality for you. Have you played interstate or only in Queensland?
Raivendark: We’ve gone down to Canberra for one of the annual events they have down there called Questfest. That is quite an impressive show, it’s a lot of fun. Probably on of my favourite shows I have ever played. What do you guys think?
Morgath: I definitely think it was one of my favourite shows to play
Hargoth: Man especially when we had all the orcs and stuff on stage, that was pretty sick.
Morgath: It was good fun. Before The White Hand we had a bunch of people dressed as orcs come up on stage and swing swords and daggers at all of us.
Hargoth: There is footage of it up on YouTube.
You guys have a debut album coming out on the 29th January?
Raivendark: That is correct. The Evil of Man, 72 minutes in length to be precise. We are very excited about the release because we had this scheduled to come out last April but Covid had just started happening right before then.
The Evil of Man, is that a concept album? I was reading that your music is based around fantasy worlds like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
Morgath: It’s a collection of songs based on pretty much anything in that fantasy element. Each song ha a different flair or vibe to it.
So what is The White Hand about?
Hargoth: About the Uruk-hai in the Lord of the Rings assaulting Helm’s Deep. The second LoTR movie.
I’ve watched the movies but not really gotten into it.
Raivendark: You’re breaking our hearts right now!!!
Sorry…. So you guys obviously take your inspiration from a lot of those fantasy type movies and books?
Raivendark: Yeah pretty much everything that we grew up with is basically what Darklore is based around.
What about band wise?
Raivendark: Oh where do we start! For me the biggest influence writing wise for Darklore would have to be Iron Maiden. I got into them when I was about 13 back in the old days of Audio Galaxy. It was like finding magic for the first time. I really absorbed a lot of the epic chord progression and that sort of stuff that they use. Even structure wise I look back to them, I tend to write a lot of long songs and that really stems back to Iron Maiden. What about you Harley and Ben?
Hargoth: So obviously Raivendark is my older brother, I know I look nothing like him because I am handsome! And he’s not…. My music taste got passed down to me form him. He’s 9 years older than me so it got passed down through burnt cd’s when I was growing up. Our music taste is pretty much the same. Iron Maiden, Immortal, Ancient, atmospheric black metal stuff.
Morgath: For me I listen to a lot of melodic death metal or symphonic death metal. So bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Shade Empire. Shade Empire is probably my biggest influence. Especially with the whole progression elements they have as a band. Very, very heavy and lots of different vocal styles. Musically they are all over the shop, from having lots of keyboards, to symphonic strings and then going through to just brutal guitar work.
I guess you guys will be looking to touring the album too.
Raivendark: Absolutely. Once the world returns to a state of normality we are definitely looking at doing some sort of a national tour. Hopefully after that we would like to head somewhere international as well.
How come it had taken from 2013 to now to release an album?
Raivendark: Yeah it’s been quite a big journey. Like I said, in the beginning Darklore was very much a casual project so we never really set these sorts of goals. It probably wasn’t until somewhere in 2015 that we actually did out first live performance. It’s really hard when you start gigging live, you start getting lots of gig offers so when you do get together your focus tends to be practising for those upcoming gigs. That makes it very hard to work on any new songs that we want to trickle through to make up a full album per se. Next time we probably should learn to turn a few gigs down and nail through those new songs and get everything ready a little bit quicker. That’s probably half of it in the beginning, being a casual band. We just really got out thrill from all the live shows. I’m quite happy the way that things have turned out. I don’t think you can really rush good art so if it does take a few years longer to get a release out I’m pretty happy if it turns out to be a quality release. I listen to a couple of bands where they only have 4 or 5 albums over the span of 20 years, but those albums are quality rare gems that some people probably have never even heard of or know about. You see a lot of bands that get pressured by their labels or wherever the pressure comes from and they are sort of losing the feeling. Losing what it’s all about, I don’t want that to be Darklore’s story. I want to make sure that everything we do comes out as quality before quantity. How do you guys feel about that?
Morgath: I think that’s pretty well summarised it.
Hargoth: Yeah that’s pretty much it. It’s definitely better to wait a bit longer for a good album where any song you listen to is decent rather that something pumped out in a year that had 2 decent songs on it.
I collect vinyl so I can relate to that. I like to be able to sit and listen to a whole album.
What bands have you shared the stage with?
Raivendark: Geeze quite a lot. In terms of local bands there are probably too many to name! We have played on some pretty big festivals that have had 20-30 bands. Some of the ones that we have really good synergy with are Valhalore, we’ve played a fair few shows with those guys. They are epic if you haven’t heard of them or seen them. Seraphic is another one we have played shows with. There have been so many bands that we have played with and they are all fantastic and unique. In terms of international acts we have been lucky enough to play with Trollfest who are a folky band from Norway. Omnium Gatherum, they were incredible. And also Kalmah.
Morgath: Yeah Kalmah was good they were a melodic death group.
Hargoth: They were from Finland.
What’s next for you guys. Release this album and get some traction on it?
Raivendark: That’s definitely the short term goal. The long term goal is global domination of course. You know who doesn’t want to dominate the whole world? What about you guys? Do you want to add something to this?
Hargoth: After the album launch I guess focusing on the newer songs that we have so we can prepare for album number 2. Then no stopping until we hit Wacken!!
Morgath: That pretty well sums up my goals too.
World domination by becoming the opening act for Wacken.
Morgath: Yeah! Hey, a gig at Wacken is a gig at Wacken!
Hey if you can put that on your resume, even if your in the small print then that’s a damn good thing.
Hargoth: I just want to go there to watch the rest of the gig.
That’s it. If you get on that bottom list then you can party for the rest of the festival.
Apart from pushing back the release of your album have you guys been affected by Covid?
Morgath: Yeah my work took a hit, so I just had to focus on video game streaming and writing a lot more music. But other than that it’s been pretty groovy for me. I work with bands primarily as a lighting technician, so I get to go travelling a lot.
Anything else the world needs to know about Darklore?
Morgath: We do have a very unique live performance side of it seeing as we all wear armour on stage. I don’t know any other local bands, or even Australia wide bands that are wearing full sets of armour on stage for their entire set.
That would be…warm!
Morgath: I’m able to take my shirt off afterwards and literally wring out the sweat.
Where did that idea come from?
Ben: I think we were playing a gig called Wizards Fire and someone dared me to wear a wizards costume. I bought a random cheap wizards costume and wore that and then Brendan went and got armour a few weeks later and sparked the whole armour style.
Hargoth: We were in some dodgy second hand pass me down stuff in the beginning. Eventually we all just got armour. It’s fucking awesome.
Is it hard to play in armour?
I got a resounding yes for that question…
Raivendark: In the beginning it is because you have to break the armour in like leather. I was cutting myself when I first started wearing it because there were a lot of sharp jagged bits on the armour. Years later its ok. Yes it does get hot and you probably do sweat a little bit more. During the first song on the set the adrenaline just takes hold of you and you don’t really notice it. You can just go hard for the whole 40 minutes or so that we play. Personally I would love an hour and a half!
Morgath: I pretty much die after every show personally!
Dream line up?
Morgath: Shade Empire would be one of the bands for me. I would always want to play with them. That would be my choice to throw on the line-up.
Hargoth: Immortal or Iron Maiden
If your going to aim you may as well aim big!
Raivendark: Pretty much what Harley said. Iron Maiden to headline, Immortal in the middle and Darklore at the bottom.
You guys would have a pretty big following wouldn’t you?
Raivendark: Yeah it’s definitely starting to ramp up. We have all been amazed just how much support we are getting at our live shows. It’s been spectacular.
Hargoth: Even when we did the show in Canberra we had fans from up here fly down for it to support us. I don’t know many other bands that haven’t released a cd where the fans would be willing to fly all the way to Canberra to watch you perform a 30 minute set.
I fly interstate to watch bands.
Hargoth: The metal community is so small here that we rely on the legends like yourself to follow and support us.
Morgath: The metal scene is small, but it is strong. I wish there was more of a scene in Australia overall because we have been to gigs where there is just no one there. Big massive international bands coming over and there’s not a soul there.
Anything else we should know?
Morgath: I’ll let Hargoth tell you about our LARP groups.
Hargoth: Oh yeah we are LARPers. We use our kit and stage armour and our own law that we have created in the songs. We base our LARP group all around that.
So tell me all about this LARPing.
Morgath: Live Action Role Play. It’s where people dress up in armour and carry swords and will take the persona of someone else and role play as well as combat with each other. It’s kind of like Dungeons & Dragons but we do full combat, we are actually swinging swords at each other. Not real swords.
Is this on stage?
Morgath: We have done it on stage, but this is off stage. We go to events and we have our own group where people follow us as well. I used to run the Dark Horde which is what we call out fans and LARPers. Warsong is a venue that we used to attend, we would spend a lot of time there just role playing and swinging swords and axes. Having events, spending a week at a time camped with 800 other people, camping outdoors and living a full medieval life. Harley has sort of taken over the leading of the LARP groups, so I’ll let him take over the conversation.
Hargoth: Warsong was our old LARP group and we did that for probably 3- 3.5 years. Eventually that group closed. Then my missus found this other LARP group that is about an hours drive north of us that does it on Saturdays called Adrocia Chronicles, so we went up there one weekend to check it out. The owners are super cool people so now I drive up there every second weekend and we have taken our old war band Dark Horde up there. It is all based around the bands law and stuff like that. The song “The Evil of Man” that the album is named after, the story is basically is about portals opening up and causing hordes of demons to invade our lands. We based out group around the events of that song as to why we are in this new land Adrocia. All of our law and our group is based around the song. The group all dress up and have our emblem printed on their clothing.
That’s really cool. So the band has their own community I guess you could call it.
Hargoth: Yeah our own guild I guess you could say. So we are there swinging swords. We use our stage armour, and the other guys dress up the same as us.
Do you battle other Guilds?
Harley: Yes we do. Adrocia Chronicles isn’t as big as some of the other ones, but it still has about 4 different other groups involved. Every weekend there is different game modes that you fight against to gain resources and stuff to build on like a map. It’s a map that has hexagons on it and you gain land on the map.
So its like a real life Dungeon and Dragons?
Hargoth: Yeah basically.
Morgath: There are quite a few different LARP groups out there. Due to the distance I haven’t been able to attend the Adrocia Chronicles, I have swapped over to a different one call Sword Craft which operates in NSW and Victoria as well. Prior to Covid they held 2 events each year with 8 days of camping just outside of Melbourne. They would average about 1000 people attending. There is a man built castle and we would use catapults.
Oh wow. That sounds like something my housemate and I need to check out! Do you do jousting as well?
Morgath: Not in any of the groups we attend.
Hargoth: No that is more for proper re-enactment type stuff. We are just nerds hitting each other with foam sticks. That’s a bit to hardcore for us.
Well I have learnt a few new things this interview!!! LARPing is something that sounds like a hell of a lot of fun and Darklore are a band that you definitely need to go and watch live.