Speed metal, thrash, progressive, black and power metal collide on the latest release from Spanish act Vhaldemar, titled Against All Kings. Sea of Tranquility Staff Writer Mark Antony Rossi recently caught up with vocalist Carlos Escudero to discuss this dramatic new release, the past, present, and future of the band, and the music scene in Spain.
SoT: I have been fortunate to review the EP and Against All Kings. I noticed a certain trend of anti-king, maybe anti-bad authority flowing through the material. Are you simply spreading the theme throughout the records or is there a big concept album coming?
Carlos Escudero: We only believe in Heavy Metal, it´s the weapon we use in our current lives. We decided to use once again the old Vhäldemar in the cover artwork. It´s a fighter warrior.
SoT: Like most worthy metal bands Vhaldemar has a connection to the past works of great bands before you such as Helloween or Motorhead. Is there something inherently unique about the Spanish metal scene that also sets apart the band from others?
Carlos Escudero: We have always learned from the big bands in the Heavy Metal history without frontiers , obviously Old Helloween/Gamma Ray, Manowar… are bands with a relevant inspiration for us.
SoT: The world has changed since the 1980's metal explosion. We have digital recording, record companies that release online, facebook groups connecting with bands. What does the band do to stay in touch with its audience?
Carlos Escudero: We are Old school but obviously we pay special attention to all ways to promote our Music, things have changed a lot since the beginning of the band, We use our website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify.
SoT: As my past metal heroes grew older and retire or expire from the scene permanently what has Vhaldemar gave thought to concerning their musical legacy?
Carlos Escudero: The big bands/artists are inmortal, their legacy will be forever…we try to keep the essence of Heavy Metal in our Music fortunately things are going very well right now and our fans are growing.
SoT: Share with us your personal metal influences that you believe shaped your musical tastes or may play a major role now in your band's vision.
Carlos Escudero: Manowar, Yngwie Malmsteen , Maiden… have given us enough good stuff to inspire us the rest of our lives.
SoT: Not all great bands from international destinations choose English as the language to communicate their lyrical wisdom. Being from Spain was it a conscious, commercial or some other choice that lead you to record in a language other than Spanish?
Carlos Escudero: It was a natural decision ´cos our influences were/are international bands, it wasn't a commercial decision, we will play for the first time outside our country this year after 18 years.
SoT: In my opinion what makes Vhaldemar a band to watch in the years ahead is that you have a strong vocalist, a powerful band and a knack for wanting to tell stories. This is a combination that leads to more and more creative releases that keep the audience coming back for more. Tell us a little about what motivates you to dream up these edgy tales of power.
Carlos Escudero: When Pedro (guitar) writes a new song that Music gives me the power and feelings to write the lyrics The Heavy Metal Music is power, feeling, rage, energy, passion…I think the audience knows that we offer something real.
Mark Antony Rossi
(Click here to read our review of Against All Kings)