Country of origin: Germany
Location: Mellrichstadt, Bavaria
Formed in: 1997 Genre: Black Metal
Lyrical themes: Society, Flaws of Humanity
Current label: Apostasy Records
Years active: 1997-present
Sebastian Schneider: Drums (1997-present)
Benjamin Borucki: Vocals, Guitar (1997-present)
THE INTERVIEW (Benjamin Borucki (Guitars/Vocals)
1. Talk a little about the new album, Monument In Black. This is your technical sophomore record, though you have had many small releases since 1998. What was the recording process like for this album? It was just the two of you, so how does that work in the studio?
Since I live pretty far away from the studio Sebastian recorded his drums alone. We did the click-tracks before and I recorded some guitars for his orientation. After the drums were finished I again travelled to the studio and startet recording my parts. So most of the time it was either just Sebastian or just me in the studio. Of course for the mixing we sat there together but for the recordings I prefer to be on my own so I can fully concentrate.
2. The gist of your lyrics are less about occult terms, unlike other black metal bands and more about an overall hatred of mankind, or current societal norms. The first track, "Abhorrence Vs. Scum" is not just effective, but it is very articulate in terms of vocabulary, showing the world that metal music is some of the most intelligent music on the face of this planet. Who are the "scum" that you're referring to in this track? What are certain things in society that have made you cringe as of late?
Actually the lyrics of this song are written by Azathoth (Ex-Dark Fortress / Eudaimony) so he would be more competent to answer this question. But in my eyes what he means with 'scum' is all the people that live their life following leaders. Leaders might be persons but also might be religions, commercials that give you the feeling to need stuff you actually don't need or society proclaiming a certain way of life that is accepted while other ways of life are somehow 'strange'. Simply everything that holds you from living a life as you imagine it for yourself.
Every day you can find lots of news that show how stupid, ignorant and selfish people are all over this planet. One of the things lately would be the sick bastard that massacred children in the US and the reactions of parts of the US society towards this.
3. You can obviously parallel similarities to bands like Dark Fortress, Secrets Of The Moon, Thorns, and Satyricon in your music. But I'm sure there will be people out there who'll cast your album aside saying that you're just another "Satyricon clone." What about your music could you say, separates you from that false generalization?
Of course there are some parallels to other bands. Only very few bands do something completely new – I am very well aware of that. But I think everyone listening to Sonic Reign and the bands above will be able to hear totally different atmospheres in each of them. To be honest I had not thought that this comparison with Satyricon would be placed again in so many reviews and interviews since I don't think that 'monument in black' has much in common with their latest works.
4. What kind of instruments did you guys play on the album? What bands first inspired you to take up music?
There's just the classic metal combination of instruments: drums, bass, guitars and of course vocals. When we started Sonic Reign we were really into Emperor and Satyricon. So there we have again Satyricon hehehe. Sebastian mostly uses a Mapex drumset, Paiste cymbals and the Iron Cobra from Tama. I use a Fame Baphomet bass guitar with a Sansamp preamp and an ESP Eclipse CTM guitar with a Marshall Slash amp.
5. What are some bands that you're currently into? Are there any locals from your country that you think we should check out?
I currently listen a lot to Lonely Kamel, Graveyard, Camel and Enslaved.
A band you should check out besides the ones above would be Stellar Master Elite. They do very cool music for fans of Thorns, Satyricon etc. I did some guestvocals for their latest album and they recorded in our studio. And also Eudaimony featuring Azathoth. Very atmospheric stuff.
6. What are some of your personal favorite metal releases? Records that you would consider wholly inspirational to the band at large?
Another answer featuring a certain band from norway... Satyricon – Rebel, Emperor – Anthems. Personal favorits would include Guns n Roses – Appetit for destrucion, all Megadeth records, Dio, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, old Metallica and so on. I guess this is pretty much the same list for most of all metal fans.
7. Will you be taking this music on the road? If so, who would you like to share the stage with?
No, we plan no live shows and this is most likely never to happen.
8. Let's go back to the lyrics. The album is entitled Monument In Black. Does that refer to the statement of the album itself? That it's some sort of dark monument to your namesake, or is there a deeper meaning?
It's both. It summarizes the album's atmosphere – at least in our perception, but there's also another meaning with which the lyrics of the title track deal. Monument in black is the unknown that comes beyond life. That's why we have the skull in the artwork of the album.
9. "A Doctrine Unreachable" refers to the failure of modern religion upon man. Could you talk more about that?
These lyrics don't deal with religion too much actually. I just used some terms in it that suggest this assumption. The lyrics deal once again with a way of life that is forced on us. Of course this includes religions. Uniformity as something that needs to be avoided. This is an aspect that is in many of our lyrics since the beginning of this band. A personal revolution. Finding a remedy for a society of many lies.
10. "Daily Nightmare Injected" is another interesting song, which states "No more narcotic dementia." Essentially, it's a song about breaking free of the chains. But who is that gives us those chains? Who are those stuck in the delusion?
Again it is chains like religion, leaders, commercials/consumption, society and we are all in the danger to be tied in these chaines.
11. Finally, the name of the band is called Sonic Reign. What does the name mean, and how does it represent the band? Who came up with the name?
We chose the name since we wanted to combine old-school elements with modern elements just like the style of music we wanted to play. "Sonic" has a modern sound, while "reign" sounds more old-school. It's that simple.
Thanks for making a strong album that speaks truth in a world where lies are usually scattered about. Sonic Reign's new album, Monolith In Black is definitely not a Satyricon copycat and definitely worth checking out for fans of modern era black metal. Yet the spirits of the purveyors of the art still emanate throughout this impressive recording.
Thanks for your support and the interesting questions.
All the best,
Ben // SR