Our ARMADA album was released on April 3rd 2006 and even though you hear the expression “times flies” a lot, I must admit that realizing that it’s already 10 years since we released this album makes me both happy and scared at the same time!
I’m happy that this album stood the test of time and we still hear from fans that this album really made an impact on their lives, their musical taste and on the metal scene worldwide. People from other bands that we look up to often talk about this album as an inspiring piece of music.
On the other hand, it makes me a bit scared that time flies by so fast and sometimes you feel that you haven’t really moved an inch before you really start to think about all the single moments that you’ve experienced throughout those years! Which of course is plenty!
But let’s bring nostalgia to the table and let me share with you some of the things you might not know about this album and the process of producing it.
- When we were supposed to record the pre-production, Vyl came to the recording sessions so hung over that we only managed to record Winged Watcher and Many are We because he was totally unable to blast or play the double kickdrum. And even those songs didn’t sound very good. We said “oh, well. Let’s get everything else done in the recording sessions”.
- The process of recording the album took 8 months (yes, that’s 8 MONTHS!) longer than expected. This was mainly due to the fact that the band didn’t perform up to par and we were struggling to get the instruments recorded. We were, however, getting along with the owners of the studio which resulted in a lot of partying during our real studio time, which again resulted in the fact that we had to use whatever free time they had between other recording sessions because we had used up all our money.
- The studio went bankrupt just after we had finished our recording. We hope, and believe, that it wasn’t “only” our fault! 😉
- The title ARMADA was taken from the movie “The Chronicles of Riddick” and you can hear a sample from this in the title track where the commander says “Get my armada off the ground”. This movie as well as the movie Alexander were big inspirations for the album.
- The ARMADA title was decided on very early in the process and I had a vision of how the title track should sound. But when I was writing songs I always felt that “this is a cool song, but it’s not ARMADA!”. I remember thinking this for Crown of the kings, The Wealth of Darkness and The Black Uncharted. Until one special night at around 11pm, I took one chord and I felt goosebumps all over my body…..because in that moment, I knew that THIS was it. It was happening now! The best song I’ve ever written was about to manifest itself on my guitar! I then spent 8 hours writing the song. Without recording any of it. I just made the entire song in one go, with all the passes and details right there and then. And I remember calling my brother at 7am after I was finished, saying “I’ve done it! ARMADA is written!! And it’s fucking insane!!!”. Haha. I have never been more excited about a song and I remember this as something special because I’ve never written an entire song with all passes and details like that in one long session before or after. It was truly something unique and I also think that this song is something truly unique!
- Even though the band was struggling in the studio, some of the extra time used was because we did not have a singer when we entered the studio. It wasn’t until after we had recorded everything that we started looking for a singer. I had a vision about how I wanted it to sound, but when we started testing singers, I really had my doubts that this album would be any good. When we found Thebon, we decided to go with him, but during the recording process, we were struggling a lot. We were testing many different styles and at some point I remember talking with Rune (the producer) and I said that I wanted to release the album as an instrumental because I felt that the vocals were fucking up the atmosphere and not adding to it. I’m glad that we continued to work with Thebon and I also remember when he nailed the first verse on Crown of the Kings. In that moment I felt a huge relief and I now felt confident that we were actually going to get this album done!
- Because the studio sessions were really difficult and that we used a lot more time than expected, it was impossible to plan anything in regards to a release and video etc. Because of this we ended up doing a video to Into the Fire, which was not the song I wanted to do a video for, but it was the only song that we managed to finish the vocals on in time. We also hadn’t decided on a concept or title for the song so it was truly rushed and I remember we finished some of the lyrics actually after the video was recorded. The dude doing the video however, ran away with the money so the video was never even finished. Even so, the video was leaked to the internet and it looks damn ridiculous and should’ve never been released! The song I wanted to do a video for was actually Winged Watcher, but like I said….we didn’t have this one finished when the video sessions took place. Didn’t matter in the end though, since there basically was no video that got finished.
- When the album was going to be released, Tabu Recordings changed their label manager 3 times in the process of the release. We were struggling like crazy to keep any momentum of the marketing and distribution. We had this great album and we had great response, but none of the record stores had the album the first couple of weeks of release. It wasn’t until later that we managed to start pushing some copies. And remember, this was before Spotify! 😉
- The actual BPM on Vengeance Rising is 185, but at the fastest part we’re playing 16th notes in triplets. Which means that the actual kickdrum and guitar is running at 185 x 6. Which is an actual BPM of 1110! No wonder we were struggling with the recordings. :p
- When touring for the album, I played two shows a night as we supported Satyricon and I was their live guitarist at the time. I did my show with Keep Of Kalessin, ran back stage and put corpsepaint on, changed my shirt and got back on stage with Satyricon. I played 64 shows in 34 days!
So there you go! 10 things you might not know about the times around Armada.
I’d love to bring this whole era back on stage and I have some great plans on how to do that, but we’ll see what we can do about it in the next few months.
thanks to everyone who’s been supportive of Keep Of Kalessin throughout the years!
all the best,
Obsidian YOU ARE THE BEST !! KEEP GOING !!
I don’t know man… To me Kolossus is even greater. Your style is unique and I love it.
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Loved Armada; it & kolossus are the 2 greatest albums you’ve ever created KoK.
I, unfortunately, can’t say that about your current material (Epistemology e.g.) 🙂 😦
This was actually a really interesting read.
I still remember that while listening the intro of title track of Armada for the first time my thoughts were exactly the same as yours: “This is insane!”.
Only a few years and its 20 years from Agnen. Similar article about it would be an interesting read. Or do we wait till 2019 for the “big publishing day” :)!