Black Metal, Interviews, Metal, News

No Sun Rises – Harmisod (Interview)

Bands: No Sun Rises
Release: Harmisod
Genre: Black Metal, Post-Black Metal
Country: Germany (Dortmund)
Release Date:15th of September, 2023
Released viaAlerta Antifascista Records,
Golden Coffin Records
Fiadh Productions
Cover Artwork:Nimmermehr Artworks

When having prepared the article about last year’s Culthe Fest 2023, there were several bands I came across that I did not know at that point. I tried to follow the further proceedings of these bands as far as possible, but there was one band that followed with the release of a new album shortly thereafter. We’re talking about No Sun Rises and their latest album Harmisod. This album fully grasped my attention, as can also be seen in my review, and this was also why we thought it might be quite interesting to find out a little more about No Sun Rises, their coming together as a band, current line-up changes and the release of their latest album.

Interview with No Sun Rises

Hello No Sun Rises and welcome at Transcended Music Blog! I’m really glad to ask some questions. Maybe It’s best to dive in easily and just ask who No Sun Rises is. Where did you come from – how did you start – and is it possible that we might know some of your members from other projects?

Hi! Thanks for having us, much appreciated! So, we are a gathering of five individuals with different backgrounds coming from different parts of Germany. The origins of the band lie in Münster, in the year of 2015. In the beginning No Sun Rises started as a Crust band, eventually adding more and more (Post)Black Metal and Folk elements until the present style was reached. Well, all of us are or were active in other projects so yes, maybe. Karl (bass) runs a tape label called Golden Coffin Records and has his own Dungeon Synth project which is anonymous.

Henrik (guitar) is part of the Wave band Wreckage Dance. Felix (drums) is having an Instrumental/Blackened Post Metal project called Zerfall. Florre (vocals) and Timo (guitar) are currently not active in other projects but they used to play in several bands, like Deathperation or Irrlicht for example.

Your latest album Harmisod has now been out for a few months. How did you experience the resonance and are you still satisfied with the outcome?

Oh yes, very satisfied! The overall resonance of the record was just great! We couldn´t be happier about all the nice words we received by old and new listeners alike. So we feel really grateful when reading such a lovely review like yours for example! And we also feel kind of relieved, because after all the uncertanties the band had to face when several members left the band we were really curious about the outcome. Also because of  the the pretty strong change of sound and style resulting of the new members plus the idea of where we all wanted to head with new No Sun Rises. But again, everything worked out great and we as a band feel better than ever!

When talking to Felix, he already mentioned that your line-up as well as the location of the band drastically changed between your previous release and Harmisod. What changed for you guys and how did it affect you and your songwriting / recording?

That´s correct! Like previously mentioned we had to face a really difficult situation. Three members left the band and a pandemic haunted the world. The only remaining founding member was Timo who also moved away from Münster. So there was just Karl left in Münster. After months of  uncertainty whether the band will continue they eventually managed to rebuild the band when Henrik, Felix and Florre joined. But since we are all spread over different cities we had to search for a new rehearsal space which we eventually found in Göttingen. So there were quite some changes in many forms. And some of them were needed and crucial for the future of the band. With the new line-up a lot of motivation, creativity and new approaches were brought to the table. One major change for sure would be the way of songwriting. Henrik and Felix were fully involved into writing the new songs right from the start. Usually Henrik and Timo start with some riff ideas that they work on together, record them and send to the others. Afterwards Felix starts to experiment with different drumming ideas at home and brings them with him to the rehearsal room. After trying different versions and jamming to them they start to build the skeleton of the song. Then Karl joins the process and shares his opinions, which is often super helpful since he has some kind of an unbiased view on the whole thing. After adding his basslines we finally start to shape the song til its final form. During all that time Florre is working on his lyrics and how he is goint to bring them to life. He often experiments with the others while jamming, trying different versions of vocals.

Generally speaking, understanding the name of your band is not that difficult, since we just get that “No Sun Rises”. However, what is the message between this phrase of “No Sun Rises”?

The name has like two meanings for us. One would be more general and is meant to represent the kind of despair one feels when looking at the global situation and all its consequences. The other is more profound and relates to the question of when the point is reached for an individual at which “the sun no longer rises”.

When heading towards your bandcamp page, it is immediately made clear that you follow quite a straightforward political stance as a band. What does that exactly mean to No Sun Rises when you state that you are an antifascist band?

As previously mentioned, we had quite some changes but one thing about No Sun Rises will always remain and that is our identification as a political, anti-fascist band. And as long as there are times in which NSBM, sympathies to that scene and a sheer confusing gray area exist, for us it feels more than essential to stand up against all that stupidity and ignorance.

When trying to get a grasp of the overall impression of No Sun Rises, I feel that there is one aspect that is most striking on all of your releases. Apart from different ongoing musical concepts, especially the imagery that is associated with nature and forests is quite prominent. Is there a certain background that links this imagery with the music of No Sun Rises?

You´re right, nature and its aesthetics definitely play a huge role in our biography. Since we are all very interested in economic issues such as nature conservation, animal rights, climate change, etc., using such imagery just feels.. natural, haha.

Another reason would be that Timo is mainly responsible for many of our artworks and merch designs and that he is totally into that style of art.

No Sun Rises – Dominium Terrae

Apart from this imagery, the interest for music in the spheres of Folk also seems to be a recurring element of No Sun Rises. This became most evident when listening into the two tracks of Dominium Terrae, which is a release entirely filled with bluegrass instrumentation. Are you musically rooted in these styles that you intertwine with your music or did you primarily consider this to be a good concept for No Sun Rises?

Also in that regard, Timo is the driving force behind the implementation of folk into our music. He has always been very much into Folk and because he is a founding member the use of such elements have always been there in some form. But of course it also fits the overall concept we want to create and our love for experimenting with different stylistic elements. We don´t want to limit ourselves for the sake of trveness, haha.

When taking a look at your latest release Harmisod, the first and most striking element in my opinion is the cover of the album. We see a white-eyed woman, standing in the wind, encompassing a mountain landscape within her silhouette. Is this woman a specific person to be portrayed or are we able to perceive a specific concept behind this imagery?

One main inspiration for that artwork was the film “Hagazussa – Der Hexenfluch” which is highly recommended if you haven´t seen it yet. Harmisod is an ancient German word for such things like defamation and we wanted to reflect that meaning within the artwork.

So it portraits a woman that is being accused as a witch, banished and finally killed by the people of her village. Her silhouette now floats over the landscape and haunts the valley and all its residents. This image and the remaining footprints in the snow symbolize the dark memories and secrets of human history that will always find a way into the light some day.

There were many different reasons why we choose that particular metaphor but it certainly contains a lot of topics that occupy us on a daily basis in what form soever.

No Sun Rises – Harmisod

Although the Black Metal tone of the guitars already progressed when looking at Dominium Terrae, the riffing on Harmisod is (at least in the beginning) full-blooded Black Metal. Did you intentionally progress towards a more straightforward musical framing of Black Metal or did it “just happen” while writing the album?

It was a combination of both. On one hand the new members brought a lot of the new sound to the band. On the other hand the old members were also aiming for a new, darker and more Black Metal-ish direction.

I listened to your album several times before writing the review and I have to admit that one sequence striked me the most numerous times. Especially the calm passage on “NebellebeN” that builds the foundation for Herrmann Hesse’s poem “Im Nebel” had a huge impact on me. Although the connection between song title and poem title is rather obvious, what was the original idea to implement this poem into this track?

To be honest, we first wrote the whole song and also the lyrics were nearly finished before we started to search for something suitable. But already while writing that clean part we knew we wanted to have a sample of some kind of poem complementing it.

So when Florre came up with the song´s title and after giving us an overall impression of its lyrics we started our search. But it didn´t take long and immediately after bringing “Im Nebel” to the table everyone knew it would complement the song, its atmosphere and the lyrical theme just perfectly.

When listening closer to the progression of the guitar sound on Harmisod, it becomes evident that it progresses from a harsher 90s Black Metal tone in the beginning towards a dreamier Blackgaze tone at the end of the album. Is this solely a sonical progression or does it also convey a narrative framing of the album?

This was sort of a combination of intention and natural progress. We knew from the start that we want to implement more of the traditional Black Metal guitar tone without neglecting the more dreamy and atmospheric parts known from Post Black and Blackgaze. So we started with a clear idea of what we want to have included on the record and the rest evolved with time.

You released Harmisod on tape via Golden Coffin (EU) and Fiadh Productions (US) and it will be released on vinyl via Alerta Antifascista Records. How did you get in connection with these labels?

As previously mentioned Golden Coffin is Karl´s personal label that he is running together with a friend of him. So the reason for that choice is obvious.

With Alerta Antifascista we have been cooperating for years now and we feel really grateful to be part of that great label!

Fiadh Productions messaged us some time after releasing the record and asked if we were interessted in having a tape release of Harmisod via her label in the US. Fiadh Productions is female run by a lovely person that shares many of our ethics so we immediately loved the idea and were in.

Just recently, you headed off to play three shows in Romania together with Gvla. This was quite an interesting tour regarding all of the three stops. How did this tour come together and what was it that drew you to Romania? What were your expectations regarding these shows?

The trip to Romania was such a great experience we will always remember! The story how the tour came together was quite funny. Felix is formerly from Bamberg where he is still having his studio project with a friend of him. And his bandmate used to have another band from which he briefly knew their singer who is nowadays studying in Bucharest. But not only is he studying there he also is part of a collective that promotes shows in Bucharest on a regular base. One day he reached out to Felix and told him that they would love to do their first Black Metal show and if we were interested to be part of it. So after several contacts with other cities and promoters were made one thing came to another. We met so many new faces and awesome people during that time! We made tons of new experiences, learned about Romanian culture and just had a bunch of funny days! So thanks to every person that was included in that special adventure!

Currently, it feels as if the upcoming physical releases of Harmisod as well as the announced shows that you are going to play will probably fill 2024 for you as a band. However, when taking one step back looking at the bigger picture, what are your future plans for No Sun Rises?

You´re right. So far we already played a couple of shows in Germany and the mini-tour through Romania. In May we will be part of the awesome Klaue Fest in Braunschweig. During summertime we want to fully focus on writing new music as well as further developing ourselves as a band and individually. We want to enter the studio to record our forthcoming LP next year but first we will hit the road again in October with part 2 of our Harmisod Tour through several European countries. More information tba 🙂

Thank you so much for taking your time answering these questions. As usual, the last words of this interview belong to you.

Thanks for having us and for showing interest in what we are doing! We feel really grateful for your effort!

And of course thanks to anyone supporting us! It really means the world to us! <3


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