Spreading the Faith, Spreading the Word
CoC chats with Shammash of Mythological Cold Towers
by: Adrian Bromley
Ah, the power of the Internet. The power of e-mail. It is a wonderful world we live in, much better in my mind since the invention of the Internet. Don't get me wrong, I used to love writing letters and mailing them to my parents and relatives all over the globe, but those days are long gone. The power of the Internet allows me to reach them in matter of seconds, hours or possibly a day -- opposed to a week or more via snail mail. Even more amazing in my books is the amount of friends and acquaintances I have met since Gino and I started up Chronicles of Chaos many moons ago (geesh! Almost six years!). Countless bands, fans and labels have come and gone, but the real power of metal music is alive and well. Music binds us all in some way or another and indeed there is a true brotherhood in the world of metal music. A few issues back [CoC #49], I came in contact with a Brazilian outfit calling themselves Mythological Cold Towers, an epic-sounding band that was full of creative energy and masterful songwriting. A real definite crowd pleaser if there ever was one, a band capable of providing the listener with powerful metal numbers that shined with varied sounds and intricate song structures on their sophomore effort _Remoti Meridiani Hymni -- Towards the Magnificent Realm of the Sun_ for Somber Music. I was interested in talking to the band, to expose them to the masses that read Chronicles of Chaos, so the e-mail went out to the band. Guitarist Shammash was kind enough to respond back promptly by e-mail. Here is how it all went down...

CoC: Tell me about the ideas and inspiration for the work of _Remoti Meridiani Hymni_. What ideas fueled the work for this set of material? Are you happy with the end result?

Shammash: Our initial proposal was born from the need that all we have to look for our roots and where we came from. To try and track down and understand the past that was left behind over time. Some of these roots are as inexplicable as the ancient Inca Empire. Then we took the histories and mythological legends, the ones wrapped up in mystery and desolation, and we [the band is rounded out by vocalist Samej, keyboardist Flagellum, guitarist Nechron, bassist Leonard and drummer Hamon -- Adrian] came up with the idea for a conceptual album dedicated to pre-Colombian America and the people that influenced this culture.

CoC: While not in abundance, but quit obvious, the band has managed to bring a lot of your culture into the work of MCT. Do you think this works in your favour? Why do these elements play such an important part in your music? Do they?

S: Those elements are as important to our music as oxygen is to us. We were one of the first bands in Brazil to do this type of conceptual work, and at this time the South American people are the basis of our work.

CoC: I am wondering if you guys were influenced by any other artist. I don't hear much influence (in terms of style and sound), but it is quite obvious you are adept at creating long epic pieces. What bands/musicians inspire you?

S: Many bands go out and try to play music a certain way and try to have an original sound. Our sound comes from a whole bunch of influences: heavy metal, classic music, ethnic music, pagan music, epic soundtracks, progressive, etc...

CoC: Why do think people should listen to MCT? What more do you have to offer than countless other bands?

S: I think our music is full of some great lyrical concepts and ideas. I think these songs interest people and provide them with curiosity about the culture and the sacred places found within South America. We tried to show people around the world the feeling of value of all the races of the world. That means showing support for those that came before us, like the Egyptians, Mayans, Celts, Incas, Greeks and many more that left traces of their roads of wisdom to allow us to stay alive and understand why we are here.

CoC: How hard is it to get noticed in Brazil? What is the scene like there?

S: Here in Brazil the scene is very strong and we have many quality bands playing various styles of music. Some good bands include: Miasthenia, Crux Caelifera, Serpent Rise, Morcrof, Dragonheart, Silent Cry, Evilwar, As the Shadows Fall, etc.. And even though we are all very different in the music we play, all of these bands support other bands when it comes to playing shows together, etc.. The scene is very strong and everyone works together to help each other out.

CoC: The band seems geared at working hard at spreading the word of MCT. Do you get a lot of press and exposure?

S: Claudio at Somber Music has been doing a great job at spreading the word about MTC. We have been getting many positive reviews back about the new album. I think it comes as a surprise to us to see that a band coming from a country that doesn't export too many bands having a lot of good response. It is great to know people like our work.

CoC: What is in store for MCT in the future? Will the sound change? What do you have in the works -- new material ?

S: We have been pushing the new album _Remoti Meridiani Hymni_ for a while now, and it was just recently that we were able to stop and actually start working on new music for the band. We have already started on some ideas, but their sounds and styles still lack any real definition. What I can say is that our music will be pretty much the same for the next record, though we may highlight some of the better points of our music and try to evolve the sound a bit further.

CoC: Do you think metal music is getting boring? What bands do you like?

S: I believe that the metal scene is going through an evolution period where everything that was done before is coming back into the music scene. I see bands increasing other elements of their sound and style, and from that they are enriching metal music, and that's good. Personally, I have grown tired of hearing bands playing the same style of music over and over again and not bring anything important or different to the heavy music scene. I like creative bands that look to renew and develop their sound with each release. As for the many bands I like, here is the list. I like: Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Bathory, Dead Can Dance, My Dying Bride, In The Woods..., Primordial, Absu, Celtic Frost, Voivod, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Manowar, Borknagar, Hades Almighty, Elend, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas, The Soil Bleeds Black, Ulver, Empyrium, Arcturus and so many more.

CoC: Seeing that music fans in Central and South America are quite rabid about your music, how long have you been a fan of the metal music scene? Why?

S: You are right, Adrian. Here in Brazil, the boys are very rabid, perhaps that is why we have generated extreme bands like Sarcofago, Sepultura and Mistifier. As fans of metal music, we know what we want to hear and we support the bands. Those of us in MCT have been a part of the music scene for a long time, almost 20 years! Since my childhood, I have always hated popular and futile types of music like samba. I found that through metal music I could transmit my feelings and it has allowed me to look for new horizons and find my identity. Metal is my way of life!

Contact: mailto:mythological-cold-towers@mailbr.com.br Contact: Somber Music, P.O. Box 2089, Osasco/SP 06114-990, Brazil mailto:somber@albnet.com.br

(article submitted 13/3/2001)

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