Claim The Throne have had a busy few months, they’ve recently released, and toured their new album ‘Forged In Flame‘ as well as re-released 2009’s ‘Aletales‘ and 2010’s ‘Triumph And Beyond‘ releases on the one disc. They’ve also lined up a big Xmas party at Amplifier Bar in Perth on Friday 20th December with Silent Knight, Red Descending and Suffer In Rot. Back onto the new album, it is out through Prime Cuts / Rocket and you can get your hands on it [Here]. The band recently took the time to answer our On The Record questions. Expand this post to take a read of their answers.
Tell us about the release title.
The concept for FORGED IN FLAME is based upon the world destroying its occupants and rebuilding, only to find that a new race is born in the death of others, with blood on their hands, forged in flame.. Or perhaps it was stolen from a Burger King billboard, either way, it sounded cool.
Tell us about the artwork..
The killer artwork was done by Chris Hancock who also designed our previous album ‘Triumph And Beyond’. It displays a warrior emerging to life from a tree, holding an axe and ready to dominate the world.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
Currently only standard packaging, we may look at other editions further down the track. It can be ordered in a package with a shirt, magnet, sticker, patch and canvas bag from our merch store at claimthethrone.com
Who will it be released through, and when?
Released in Australia last month through Prime Cuts Music and Rocket Distribution. Working hard on approaching international labels and distro.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded at home this time around, something we have never done before. Our drummer Ash took the production duties and did an awesome job. It was great for us to have the extra flexibility and time to deliver a high quality album without worrying about costs ticking over.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Our drummer Ash has been gathering a heap of recording gear and has become very switched on with the whole production process so it was awesome to have him at the helm. As for mixing and mastering, we went with Al Smith from Bergerk! Studios. We have worked with Al on the previous two Claim The Throne releases and he always does a great job.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
We wanted this album to be faster and heavier, whilst keeping the folk elements but not sounding like pirates. After a few songs were written we had a pretty clear idea of the sound we were achieving so it was just a matter of putting it all together and turning it into an album.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
We’re all fans of the heavier/faster folk metal stylings of bands like Wintersun, Kalmah, Ensiferum, Suidakra, Mirrorthrone, but we also all listen to different stuff like Death, Black, Doom etc and I think all of those influences shine through on the album.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
We wanted to at least match the production of ‘Triumph And Beyond’, insofar that we were happy with that recording and thought that it was a reasonable goal. During tracking there weren’t any particular references, just aiming to get the parts captured as cleanly and as natural sounding as possible, and then really developed the sound of the record during mixing.
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
We didn’t take any set amount of time off for the album this time and did everything around our normal schedules. The whole thing from tracking through to final master was from the start of March through to mid-July. Let’s say about 6 weeks solid work split up throughout that time.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Most of the tracking and editing was done in our house. We redirected our studio budget into upgrading the recording setup and getting a few key pieces of gear. Ash tracked the drums at a studio over 4 days, then spent quite a while on guitars. Ash wasn’t entirely happy with the drum tracking so he hired a bunch of mics, a rehearsal room, packed his preamps and computer and re-tracked them in about 10 hours (ouch). We did the majority of the vocals and then bass, leads/solos, and keys after that.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
The last couple of recordings were tracked, mixed and mastered at Bergerk! Studios with Al Smith. This time around there were a number of unfinished songs, and songs presented to the other band members right toward the end of the writing period. We thought it would be best if we tracked the album ourselves to give us the flexibility to make changes to and develop the songs as we were going along. We still mixed and mastered with Al so we were confident it would turn out well.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
We did have a few ideas for guests but just didn’t get around to it.. So it’s only us, and Floyd the dog breathing and walking around with his toenails on the floorboards as we were tracking.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
We ran the keyboards through a software program with live string and piano samples. Those sounds were a huge improvement on the stock synth sounds. We used a nylon string guitar for a small section, and some percussion too. The album is very stripped back in the sense that it is for the most part comprised of the instruments we use live. With so much to get down this time we thought we’d keep the process simple and add extras at the end if we had time.
Any memorable studio moments?
Early on we had a great few days of tracking and rewarded ourselves by shooting 2 bottles of tequila between us in about 15 minutes. Very silly. We’d already been drinking during the day and we ended up listening to old Cradle Of Filth records, miming the vocals with pairs of pliers for about 2 hours instead of tracking. We had a bunch of technical hitches throughout, the worst was probably our tuner that was accidently knocked out of calibration and half of the guitar tracks we’re ever so slightly out of tune! We ended up getting it sorted but there was a stressful couple of days sorting that one out!
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We did think about that option, but decided to keep them all, meaning that the album is just about 70 minutes long! We do have plans to rerecord some older stuff and perhaps even a few covers in the near future.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
Really enjoying playing A GRAND DESTRUCTION and INCURSION so far.. But looking forward to welcoming DARKENED SEAS COLLIDE and ESSENCE OF A SCORCHED REALM into the live set soon!
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
In comparison to the previous releases, it’s slick, pro and epic! Music-wise it is heavier and faster but still with plenty of catchiness and folk-influenced. Much improved musicianship and a massive step up overall.
Anything else you want to say or about the release?
Really excited for people to hear the new album, we’ll be touring Australia heavily over the next year so if you see our name on a bill please come and hang out! You can get the album now from claimthethrone.com or in your local JB HiFi. Overseas stuff to come soon! Thanks for the interview and cheers for reading.
CLAIM THE THRONE – Forged In Flame
Grab a copy on CD [Here].