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INTERVIEW: In Twilight’s Embrace

After releasing one of the breakout albums of 2015, ‘The Grim Muse,’  In Twilight’s Embrace are back once more with a new EP entitled ‘Trembling.’  Containing 3 more songs to break your neck to, this new release feels like just one more chapter for a band on the rise.  We caught up with Cyprian Łakomy to talk influences, Poland, and the new material.

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Transcending Obscurity (FlightOfIcarus): There’s some really great metal bands coming more and more out of Poland. What’s the status of the metal scene there nowadays?

In Twilight’s Embrace (Cyprian Łakomy): For the last 4 or 5 years it’s been on the constant rise, I think. The metal community has always been strong here, but this is the first time we actually witness the creative outburst on such a large scale. Bands get more and more worldwide recognition and Poland as such is becoming some kind of a quality trademark. People from abroad no longer reduce our scene to three major names, i.e. Behemoth, Decapitated and Vader. Quite on the contrary – they discover there is so much more to our extreme music. Just take a look at bands like Mgła, Furia, Thaw or Outre. They have built a worldwide awareness, they play festivals across Europe or even the United States. And note that this is still a small fragment of what the Polish scene is about.

TO: Have you run into any complications with the administration similar to that of Behemoth?

ITE: No, never.

TO: Are there any other bands from the region you would point our viewers to?

ITE: There is loads of them actually, but let me just list a few and leave the other names to individual research. The aforementioned Mgła and Furia are probably the most distinctive black metal bands our scene has spawned. On one hand, they are strongly rooted in the genre’s ethos and tradition, on the other – they mastered the craft of their own, one of a kind. When it comes to quality death metal, we are friends with The Dead Goats, who play it Swedish-style with a strong punk/crust presence, which a lot of similar bands seem to lack. Their second full-length is due in a month or two. Ulcer are on a similar page. Their new album is out at the end of May. Lately, I’ve been quite impressed by the new record of the band called Sunnata. It’s called ‘Zorya’ and these guys managed to mix trippy sludge with the old Alice in Chains spirit. I would definitely recommend this to everybody who is tired of all the Electric Wizard rip offs with lame lyrics about witches, bongs, riff and leaf worship.

TO: ‘The Grim Muse’ really exploded with overwhelmingly positive reviews from the major metal outlets. Were you expecting this kind of response?

ITE: Maybe “expecting” is not the most fortunate word here, but it was obvious for us to put out a record which will attract tangibly more attention than our previous two. We weren’t sure, though, how people would react. Also from our label’s viewpoint, signing us was a step towards the great unknown and a huge question mark. All of us were pretty surprised with the outcome and the reception of ‘The Grim Muse’.

TO: Tell us about Arachnophobia Records. How have they been instrumental in your recent releases?

ITE: So far, joining the Arachnophobia Records roster has been one of the best things that happened to In Twilight’s Embrace. Never before has anybody taken care of us and put so much effort into releasing our stuff as Krzysztof, the label’s owner, does. He’s literally stoked about what we do artistically and one can feel it when talking with him. Also, he has this no-compromise approach towards doing things, which means that everything has to be done exactly the way it’s been decided. This is something which means a great deal to us as a band.

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TO: When were the songs for the new EP written and recorded? Why such a short time to release this since the LP?

ITE: ‘Trembling’ is a complimentary release to ‘The Grim Muse’. The songs were tracked during the album sessions, however from the very start I wanted them to end up on such a special material. So we recorded them between winter 2014 and spring 2015, then left for several months, just to get back to them now in 2016 in order to provide them with a proper mix and mastering. To me, now, when people have spent some time listening to ‘The Grim Muse’, it’s a good timing to give them the opportunity to look at the creative process behind the album from a slightly different angle.

TO: There’s a cover on this release from the band Armia. How did that come to be?

ITE: I’ve been a fan of Armia since my early teens, when I first got to know their landmark ‘Legenda’ album. If you ask me, this is probably the best and most original recording in the history of Polish heavy music. Although these guys have been strongly influenced by Christian values, there is a considerably dense, overcast and simply evil feeling to their early records. For some reason, I situate ‘Legenda’ and ‘Triodante’, the next Armia album, on a similar wavelength to such blasphemous and Satanic metal classics as ‘666’ and ‘Oddech wymarłych światów’ by the infamous Kat. Over the years, I’ve been wondering, how did this come to be that no metal band has covered ‘Opowieść zimowa’, which is perhaps the most famous song on “Legenda”. It was simply unbelievable. So one day I brought the idea to the rehearsal room, all the guys liked it and we immediately started playing it.

TO: Speaking of other bands, who would you consider to be your main influences?

ITE: I think bands like At the Gates, Dissection, Sentenced, Slayer, Maiden, Entombed and early In Flames have played an important role in shaping our identity. Right now, as our musical tastes evolve, the influences are much more spread. I’ve always been a fan of Kat, the Polish speed/black/thrash icon, as well as all eras of Bathory. Right now, I’m jamming the new Nails record which is fucking awesome. I got it before the release date, since I, too, am a journalist and write about heavy music. Over the past months, the last Tribulation and Destroyer 666 records have been spinning frequently on my player. Then, there is my all-time music hero – Iggy Pop. So you can see it’s all pretty diverse!

TO: What do you want to tell the fans about these 3 songs?

ITE: They show an additional side to the creative process behind ‘The Grim Muse’. In a way, they have a more rocky feeling than the songs on the LP, but still possess the cold and bleak aura which is key to what we do. The cover of Armia manifests these qualities even stronger. There is also a difference in the lyrics department – I haven’t been writing about social issues for a while, yet for reasons unknown I ended up with writing the words as a big ‘fuck you’ to the reality ruled by motivational speakers, personal coaches on the one hand and nationalist populism on the other.

TO: Anything else in the works that we should know about?

ITE: The EP as well as the vinyl version of ‘The Grim Muse’ come out on 25th May, a tour in the other half of the year is in the works.

TO: One last thing before I wrap up. There is a great moment that really stuck with me from ‘The Grim Muse”: the spitting intro to “A Wolf I Remain.” What was the inspiration for that?

ITE: Mankind, this spineless whore.

You can order ‘Trembling’ and other material from In Twilight’s Embrace right HERE.

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