French death metallers Eternal recently released their debut MCD Satanic Templars of the Dark Age through the Canadian label Sinister Sounds. French death metal has often had a reputation of being both boring and uninspired, but none of these tags fit on Eternal's music. So it was with a good portion of interest that I contacted the guitarist Vince in order to learn a little more about this relatively new and upcoming band.

Vince interviewed by PSL

Satanic Templars of the Dark Age is your newest release but it was actually recorded back in late 2003. How come it took so long to get it out?
Actually, we finished the recording at the beginning of 2004 as the vocals were recorded in January. We did the mastering at the L'autre Studio in Paris a bit later and we had to change a few things... So the record was ready in February. At this time, we didn't have a recording contract with any Labels, so we had to search for one. This took 5 or 6 months and we had some interesting answers, we finally chose the young label Sinister Sounds from Canada and we were their first band signed. They wanted both the band and the label to be well known! After that, the time to agree about the contract and to manufacture the CD brings us today!

Have you recorded anything besides the EP?
Eternal is a quite young band as it was formed in 2001. But we all had some experience prior to Eternal. Matth was the bass player and backing vocalist on the first Crystalium demo and their first album too. Thib and Xav recorded a 4-song CD with Hysteria in 2001 and they are going to release an album soon. Xav recorded 2 albums with Himinbjorg too. Personally, I had some experience in some bands before as a guitarist and as a sound technician. Satanic Templars of the Dark Age is our first release together under the name of Eternal.

Would it be entirely wrong if I said that you are somewhat inspired by a band like Diabolic?
Personally, I don't know very much about Diabolic! Thib writes some music too and I think it's perhaps one of his influences. I think we are influenced by some of the "new" brutal death metal bands like Krisiun of course, but we are also very interested in the old school sound and intensity. Perhaps we are searching for a mixture between the old and the new school. But we don't think about that very much. We want to play fast, brutal, and basic music! It's the same thing with the lyrics that Matth writes, he is very influenced by former barbarian and pagan cultures, and also Satanism of course! That explains the title of the CD!

The production sound a bit flat and black metal-like, was this something that you intentionally had tried to achieve?
The production was by Ludovic Tournier. He's an excellent producer and sound engineer. He's produced a lot of black metal bands like Crystalium, Himinbjorg and Nehemah. Perhaps that is one of the reasons. But we also wanted a dark and basic sound, as is our music. This is a kind of concept for us: brutal, direct, and basic... inspired by Satan.

How would you in your own words categorize your music?
Brutal death metal of course. But I don't like to categorize Eternal. We want to play something very extreme, dark, and brutal.

How did you end up signing with Sinister Sounds?
As I told you before, after the recording sessions, we were searching for a label. We sent the CD to some labels, most of them were French. We had some positive answers and I know that Osmose Productions were interested. Unfortunately, after weeks of talks, we realized it was not possible yet. Soon after that, we had an e-mail from Larry Lava the boss of Sinister Sounds who had heard some good things about us from the guy of Gurkhas. The label was not official yet but we began to talk about that with Larry and we realised that he was very fond of our music and that he wanted us to be known. If all goes well, we'll perhaps release an album with him...

Since the EP was written awhile ago I assume that you have some new material ready by now?
Yes of course... we have some brand new material and we are determined to record a full-length album soon. The new stuff is much more intense and brutal than the MCD. Prepare yourself for annihilation!

The French death metal scene seems poor with regards to more known death metal bands, at least from where I am so I'm curious to hear what you think of your national scene?
That's true, the French death metal scene is not very well known... But there are some good bands that are coming up like Arkhon Infaustus or Kronos for example. The point is that the French public doesn't always support the bands. It's surely easier for a foreign band to become famous than for a French one in this scene here! But it forces us to try to be better. There is a lot of "funny" death metal/grind bands here too if you know what I mean. But I'm not interested in that, I prefer Satanic and dark death metal.

I know all of you have been other bands prior to forming Eternal, but are any of you currently involved in other bands besides Eternal?
Yes. Thib and Xav are the bass player and the drummer respectively for the death metal band Hysteria and they're going to release their first full length album soon. Xav Plays drums in the black metal band Himinbjorg too and I'm the live sound engineer of Himinbjorg also. I'm the guitarist of a band called Se Irim, we are recording an album, it's extreme death metal too and I also produced it. So we're all very busy, no time to be bored!

Do you have any live activities scheduled for the coming months?
We're searching for some, besides preparing the album. We played with Vader in Lyon in 2004 and that was great, we wish to play some other gigs like that.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
We urge all Satanists to listen to Satanic Templars of the Dark Age and enjoy it, see our website: eternal666.free.fr [News, Pictures, Biography, Reviews...]. If you want to buy it, you can contact us by email: eternal666@free.fr or contact Sinister Sounds: www.sinistersounds.ca. It'll probably be released in your country. Prepare yourself for a very brutal act!



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