Eastern Front

British Black Metallers EASTERN FRONT are a rising, ebon force on the tide of Black Metal seething within the UK metal scene. Their latest record, "Descent Into Genocide", released under the famed Candlelight Records, is fresh on their minds and one of our writers Aaron "Five Magics" Price had a chat with them about the new release, the inspiration from World War history, the role of atmospherics in an otherwise savage genre, and the pros and cons of music on the internet.
By Aaron "Five Magics" Price
January 2, 2015
Holocaust (Eastern Front) interview

Hello Holocaust, your time is appreciated for this interview. What have you been up to?

Greetings Metal Temple! I have actually just finished writing music for another Eastern Front song but I won't go into that now seeing as we have recently released our new album and are in the process of promoting that as much as possible.

Eastern Front's second album "Decent Into Genocide" has just recently been released, now that the album has dropped how do you feel about it?

I feel extremely happy that this album has finally been unleashed to the world. It's taken a lot of patience from everyone involved given the circumstances we had to go through but it has all been totally worth it. We are very proud of the album and feel very humbled by all the excellent feedback and reviews we have been given so far.

For its release our bassist created a limited edition box set version and this sold out in under a week, this was  quite a shock to us (but a very good one) considering we had only promoted it ourselves via a couple of posts on social media. We then donated 10% of the profits made from the box set to the charity, Help for Heroes.

On Remembrance Day this year we also released the album on double vinyl via Mordgrimm Records and will be donating £1 from every sale to The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. These are also limited edition (100 Red & 100 Grey) but we have a few left if anyone reading this would like to get a copy.

This album comes almost 4 full years after the first album "Blood On Snow," why has there been such a large gap?

Given the fact "Blood On Snow" came out in September 2010 in the U.K & Europe and in January 2011 in the USA our original plan was to release a second album early 2013 after touring the first album, which we did throughout 2011 and 2012. However, we had to go through some changes and had a drummer leave us just five days before he was booked to record his parts in October 2012; among other reasons he felt he couldn't play as well as we desired and didn't want to continue being a drummer so we respected that regardless of the position it left us in.

I think most people will agree that within Extreme Metal the drums are the hardest part to conquer and finding a drummer in itself can be a hard task. We are from a small town in the U.K called Ipswich and there's not many musicians around that have a passion for Extreme Metal, which is why we have had members from other parts of the U.K in the past too. Seeing as we already had two other drummers in the band previously I wanted us to go forward with the mind set of us getting the best drummer possible, within our radar. We all knew who this would be so promptly asked Blitz to join! Blitz agreed to join full-time as soon as he had finished some tour work in Europe and South America (he is an excellent drum-tech and stage manager for some established bands).

Unfortunately some of the dates he was away clashed with the co-headline show we had booked with our German comrades, Endstille, at the start of 2013. Not wanting to cancel the show we searched for a session drummer and were very lucky to have our friend James Last fill in for Blitz. This of course takes time up in the rehearsal rooms in order to get things nailed properly so we were extra busy sorting this all out in time for the show. We're very thankful he done this for us as it kept the momentum of the band going regardless of the changes and having to hold fire on the recording front.
James now plays full-time in the Psychedelic Rock Band, Purson, who are doing very well!

Once Blitz returned to the U.K we began re-working the songs with his added artillery and flare, quickly realizing how the changes and delays within the band had been a blessing in disguise.

We continued to play live throughout 2013 to show off the reinforced line-up and ended up with a headline tour of the U.K, sponsored by Terrorizer Magazine and getting asked to support Carpathian Forest at their one off London show in December 2013. We then entered HVR Studios in Ipswich to record "Descent Into Genocide" with producer Danny B.

How do you guys write music with such an intense atmosphere? Also, do you find it difficult to write guitar parts to match the atmosphere?

We all love atmospheric music and always aim to create an atmosphere within our music to match our subject matter.

The atmosphere within our music originates from the guitars as I will typically write some music with a certain feeling (usually aggressive and/or depressive…occasionally triumphant) then we will decide which lyrical ideas/subjects match the atmosphere best and build the song from there. It's a very natural process for us now as most of the time when I play my guitar parts to the others they instantly know what subject will match and more often than not will already have rough lyrics written to play around with in rehearsals.

We then experiment with the drums, bass and vocals and treat Nagant's vocals as another instrument that can increase the atmosphere of the song tenfold.

What made you guys come together and decide you wanted to write about themes of war in the first place?

The history and stories of WWII are fascinating, horrific and more often than not, forgotten. We know we can't change that but we'd like to hope that by writing about these subjects our fans will delve deeper into its history and therefore those terrible times shall not all be forgotten. Eastern Front is also our way of honoring those who fought for our freedom.

This album also features one less member than your first album, do you feel that made the instrumentals any less powerful?

Not at all, in fact this album actually has a lot more layers of instruments on than our first and the songs in general are a lot more powerful. For the first album I simply recorded one layer of rhythm (panned hard left) one layer of melody/rhythm (panned hard right) and then one layer of lead down the middle. We were on a strict time limit due to recording the bulk of the debut album at Sonic Train Studios in Sweden and unfortunately the drums took a day more than anticipated, meaning we had less time to record all the guitar parts and experiment with tones before we had to fly home.

However, this time around we were able to spend more time on the guitar and bass layers/tones as we recorded it locally at HVR Studios in Ipswich with producer Danny B who has worked with the likes of Pentagram, Lock Up and Annhilated. I first worked with Danny B in 2006 when I recorded an E.P with my old band at his old studio and it's amazing how far he has come since then. We also recorded our cover of Bathory with him in 2012 but this was more of a demo recording done in a day than a properly produced album.

Having more time and the fact we got endorsed by EVH amps just before we started recording "Descent Into Genocide" definitely helped create the sound we wanted.

What are your guys' tour plans now?

There is a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment but these are the live appearances confirmed thus far:

23/01/15 – Radius – Peterborough (Headline show)

13/02/15 – Rat Infestation Festival – Bristol (Headline Show)

14/02/15 – The Garage – London (Main support to Tsjuder)

26/04/15 – Eradication Festival – Cardiff (w/ Hecate Enthroned, Desecration, Skinned etc)

18/09/15 – Warhorns Festival – Selby (w/ Skyclad, Finsterforst , Solstice, Saor etc)

What kind of preshow rituals do you have?

Our preshow ritual in a sense is turning the stage into our warzone. We have our own uniforms, lights, smoke and props in order to create an atmosphere more fitting to our subject matter.

Do you guys hope to add a bigger stage show as you go? Whether that means adding screens or stage props?

Yes, in fact we already have a number of different banners and props. We choose which ones to use based on the size of the stage and we are always thinking of more ideas to add to what we have.

In the future, who do you hope to be able to play or tour with?

That's a tough one! So far we have played with a lot of our favorite bands but we would love to play with Endstille again seeing as their vocalist is a guest on our latest album. Marduk and Negator would also be great bands to tour with. And just for my own personal satisfaction, if Hate Forest ever decided to reform and play live again I would love to do that…although I would be happy just getting to see their live onslaught.

When do you hope to get to different countries? Do you think it'll be for your tour with this album?

So far we have played in 10 different countries but we definitely want to continue to play as many places as possible now the new album is out.

Do you have any secret plans coming up you'd be willing to share with us now?

Yes! We haven't officially announced this yet but we literally just finished recording a new music video that will be released in a few months' time.

What do you think of the current situation of the music industry? Do you think that internet downloading is a positive or negative influence of the next steps of newcomer bands?

Both! Overall the current situation of the music industry is terrible in comparison to just over 10 years ago. It's sickening that people will happily pay up to £20 for a take away that lasts 20 minutes and does nothing in the grand scale of things but they won't pay for an album that lasts a lifetime, supports the artist and could essentially have a big impact on their lives and maybe even educate them. All because they can just "google it" and get a free download. This is quite an extreme comparison I know but you can buy/legally download new albums for as little as £5 nowadays yet actually buying an album seems alien to a lot of people.

I remember searching for our album a few days before it was even released to find three websites hosting it for free download, one of them showed how many downloads it had, and to put it into blunt terms let's just say that's over £15,000 we won't be making. I guess it is slightly positive in the fact that those people wanted to download our music and I know some of them went on to physically buy the album or merchandise from us but if no one downloaded from those sites, no one would feel the need to host them.

That being said streaming your music online and/or officially releasing a free download of a track or demo to promote the band is a positive and easy way to gain interest and build a fan base. I would like to hope with the likes of Spotify, Bandcamp and Soundcloud, sites that simply host free downloads will fade out. Music has always been my escapism and therapy against the general world so I will always choose to buy a physical product and support those who create the art.

Holocaust, thank you for your time, I truly hope the best for you guys for the new release. Any last words for the readers?

Thank you for the interview and support!

For those of you who aren't familiar with us you can check us out on the following sites:


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