Uzzy Unchained

Megaton Sword

Thriving upon the epic proportions of Metal, the Swiss traditionalists, which could have been a brainchild of Manowar, challenged again with a new record. This time around, and with their sophomore album, "Might & Power". It might sound ordinary, yet listening to it, is a bound experience of diversity versus tradition. Steinmetal had a good talk with the band's vocalist, Uzzy Unchained about the new run with the album.
May 31, 2023
Megaton Sword's Uzzy Unchained: "For me music is freedom
Hello Uzzy, it is amazingly great to have you again for a talk in regards to the latest happenings on the Megaton Sword camp, how have you been doing, it has been a while?

Thanks, the pleasure is all mine. We spent quite some time writing and recording Might & Power and played whatever shows fit in between.

You have been on quite the journey, starting with "Niralet", gathering your force with "Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire" and now with a new offering that is bound to shatter bones, "Might & Power". How does it feel after almost a milestone of five years?

It still feels awesome. To hang around with the band, talk a lot of none sense and still come up with a few songs from time to time. The journey was great and I hope it will go on for a long time.

Your debut full-length album, "Blood Hails Steel - Steel Hails Fire", was out while the pandemic was at one of its primal stages, with the entire world under its mercy. The inability to go live to support the album must have had effects on the Megaton Sword camp. Were there any doubts about the band's continuity back then?

No, there was never any doubt. Of course it was frustrating to not be able to play live and celebrate our gore splattered hymns. But we make music because we need to. As long as we are able to play, we will.

Were you able to support the previous album, even for a tad bit, or was it a rather lost cause to even try back in the day?

We played several shows during that difficult time. It was awesome to do that. I strongly believe that you need to finish an album in order to reflect on the process, learn and do it better the next time.

Onwards to the near future, you started working on what would become your sophomore album, "Might & Power". What gave you the motivation, philosophically speaking, and inspiration for the themes featured on the album?

It just felt right, it was a lot of work and even more fun. Regarding the themes, I guess most of it is related to my understanding of what it takes to evoke a feeling of epicenes.

Talking about the title, "Might & Power", I believe that there is a lot more to it than it being a common ground for an Epic / True Metal driven record. In your view, what do you make of this title? How does it express what the entire album represents?

I must say that I don't like to explain stuff like that because people should rather think for themselves, I don't have answers for you. That being said, might and power permeate fantasy stories but they also seem to permeate our daily lives.

How does the fantasy related themes on the album come alive in our reality in your point of view? Can you relate to these themes as game changers for our current state of affairs or rather tools of escapism that are meant to have us break away from the shackles of real life?

I realize that a lot of what we experience somehow translates into the works we conduct but I don't want to analyse this process. For me music is freedom, and if there was magic it would be music. I believe that many people are in dire need of freedom and power to defend themselves from being suppressed. But then power corrupts and already it gets a lot more complex.

Continuing about the themes, in your view, how do such themes as valor, conquest, tragedy and such, are still relevant in our day and age, in particular in Heavy Metal music?

Among other things, these are the spices of epicenes, so they will always be relevant in epic heavy metal. A lot of people like epic stories, probably always have and probably always will.

Paolo Girardi created for you, of what I gathered to be, a kind of a leech clasping itself to signs of a powerful heritage, as if trying to suck away its influence, and it can be said - might and power. What do you make of this artwork? How do you find yourself identified with what is going on in the picture?

To try to tap into the vein of established power is one way to go and establish legitimacy as a ruler. I do not identify myself with this scene it's just part of a story I wrote.

One of the great expressions of your music that I liked on the dossier was that you understand the mystery of steel. I wonder what that mystery is, is this the way of how to make a proper Epic Metal record or is it something a lot more spiritual than that?

I don't know exactly what you reference. Is this something we said? In the movie, the mystery of steel is what Conan sets out to find. It's a good movie for sure.

Above and beyond the epic proportions of your Heavy Metal, "Might & Power" has a lot to offer other than being an offering of the echoes and sounds of the 80s. You allowed yourself to become more than being true but rather to try to innovate within the spectrum of music that you hold dear. Is the musicality of the record a progress in your state of mind?

No, truism is the only way. We just started to ingest and true-ify other genres. In the end it will all become true.

One of the major aspects of "Might & Power" is the fact that you broke traditions, and from what I heard, it benefited Megaton Sword as a band that is more than meets the ear. How do you find the diversity of the songwriting on the record? How were you able to explore further than previously?

Once we were trapped in a loop of trueness and were ignorant of other sources of inspiration. Now we understand that trueness can be found in diversity.

After being a quartet for some time, you became a quintet after the release of your debut album. The joining of Seth Angel I presume that made a difference for the band and of course the coming of "Might & Power". What can you tell about Seth Angel's contribution to the band's efforts on the record?

He is an awesome guitarist and a great person. We are very happy to have him with us. And I think his guitar solos and sound add greatly to the band.

Another great element on the album is your vocals, which I believe that this time around elevated yourself to levels of singing that weren't that heard earlier on. This kind of self-pushing made you stellar on every song on the album, and upgraded the impact of the songs. In your view, what kicked started you to conjure up this powerful strength to unleash yourself as mighty as possible on the record?

Thanks for the kind words! On all our records I gave it all and spent the time between to evolve my skills. It was clear to me from the start that there would be a process ahead of me as a singer. I enjoy this and want to go as far as possible.

"Iron Plains" actually reminded me of songs from your previous albums, yet it rattled my bones with the blast beats that were unexpected and the atmospheric nature of some of the riffs that are rather common for Extreme Metal driven types. Not something that you would expect from an Epic Metal band. What can you tell about the musical vision of this song?

Simon composed the instrumental part. In general, we do not restrict our music a lot. It only has to stay recognizable as epic heavy metal. Simon just does what he feels is epic. And I do the same when writing the vocal lines. Regarding the vision, I can only speak for the lyrics and vocal melodies I wrote. For me, this song had a driving melancholy and it somehow evoked a cinematic setting. Thus, I wrote a story that has a dreamlike, surreal quality and can be sung using some strong pictures.

The opening song, "The Raving Light of Day", is an iron fist right in the face, with an utmost decisive drama, it took only a few moments for it to penetrate my mind, not leaving any further doubts that things are about to become iconic. How do you find this track? How does it serve its purpose as the opening number for the album?

We wanted an intensive opening track and anger is a strong emotion so we performed this song with a lot of aggression. It felt good to rampage a bit.

Armed to continue your journey, how does 2023 look for Megaton Sword? Where do you expect to perform this year?

We have quite a few shows that we will play in Germany and Central Europe. We will even play our very first tour of ten days in Central Europe. Next year we hope to make it to other parts of Europe and maybe one day soon to other parts of the world.

Uzzy, thank you very much for taking the time for this talk, I was really glad to have you and with hopes that the next album will also land on my lap, for us to chat later again. All the best,

Thanks to you, for your support, and thank you for spending time with our music!

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