From the ice and snow of Finland comes the appropriately named, Coldbound; a project lead by Pauli Souka. Fused with elements of black and death metal, Coldbound throws in plenty of shards of originality from little nuances to outright composition structure. The Gale is the new full-length album. Perhaps one of the more humble artists in the genre, his message is simple… keep on living.
Pauli was kind enough to spend some time answering a few of our questions.
Please show some respect and visit his Bandcamp and Facebook links at the bottom.
Can you give the readers a bit of a history or background on Coldbound?…like where the name came from and how long the project has been in existence?
Hello William and thank you so much for this opportunity.
Coldbound, established itself as a band – entity somewhere back in very late 2012, early 2013. I am the one behind each composition in the band with the only exception “The Gale” , where Andras Miklosvari of Earthgrave did some keyboard arrangements.
First 3 albums of the band (I-Constellation Of Dawn , II – I Døden finnes all makt, Rites Under Moonlight) have been more or less black metal releases. v”The Gale ” is the very first melodic death metal release of the band and is worth to mention that so far it has been the biggest release (marketing wise) of the band.
Your first EP, “Banner of Stormy Welking” is a vastly different style than what you have evolved to with the new album, “The Gale.” Then “Coldbound I” and “Coldbound II” are very much raw/black/doom in their vibes. What do you attribute to your evolution?
I think it is mostly due to the fact that I am fascinated by music in general. No matter the genre. Back then with my limited resources, I could achieve on catching melodies that resemble more to the early 90’s Swedish death metal scene or 90’s Norwegian black metal scene. Nowadays this option (aka. recording on a quality potato/ Grieghallen studio of the poor) is rather hard in my opinion, with all these softwares and what not that make our life easier.
By the years, I experimented a lot on building sounds and mixing. “The Gale” is an example of it, still not 100% solid sound wise, but in my opinion it has its own identity. The sequel of “The Gale” which I am working on right now has even more mature sound and much more well balanced melodies. This is going to be the very first Coldbound record that will be recorded and mixed on analogue external effects instead of digital.
Who all is involved with Coldbound and are they involved in any side-projects?
As mentioned above, mostly I am doing pretty much everything. On “The Gale” I had the important help of Andras Miklosvari (Earthgrave) on the keyboard arrangements for some songs and Paulina Medepona on creating the amazing artwork and also singing on the track “The Eminent Light”.
What artists in and out of your native Finland inspired you and continue to do so?
Hands down, Insomnium. I remember before they release their album “Shadows Of A Dying Sun”, they were updating through their label some mini-series with the recording process. I was so fascinated by the fact that they could do demos from their rooms and so on , so I decided to pretty much start doing the same, starting with a really cheap sound card from M-Audio. The devotion and passion that their music reflected to my soul, kept me going on and keeping on doing what I am doing up to date.
Yes, the music of Insomnium has inspired Coldbound more than any other band or artist and I will not deny the fact that you can listen some similarities.
The new album, “The Gale” definitely has more of a crisp but still raw sound. How has your studio equipment evolved to get this better quality?
As mentioned before, by the years, the ear and skills become more mature. So the sound of this album was part of this evolving.
I didn’t changed much the technique of recording as with the previous 3 releases. All signals were captured and processed through VST’s with the only difference that I recorded, mixed and mastered for first time with a Cubase software.
Right now my own studio is equipped mostly by analogue external effects such as compressors, EQ’s, Reverb-Delay units as well as really powerful sound card with built in pre-amps. Besides that, all string instruments are going to be recorded with an AxeFx. Of course the studio-workspace is also equipped with some great quality condenser microphones and somehow good isolation for recording vocals or any acoustic instruments.
Is “The Gale” a concept album or based on any themes? Do you generally make all of your albums with a central theme running through them?
So far, all the releases had a reason and a purpose in order to be released and I think pretty much is the aftermath of an idea-concept that was dwelling inside my head for some time. I yet remember that one of the most intense ideas for a concept was the one for “Rites Under Moonlight” . I was recording this album during the full moon times of winter and had to take a break after March and wait until November again to finalize the last details. It sounds a bit absurd but that was actually what happened.
In the albums I,II there are no lyrics available for the public as I preferred to keep them personal. Yet the music wasn’t that special neither the compositions (in my opinion at least) but at least I tried to use a “disguise” in order to make them almost un-audible.
On “The Gale” the concept is simple and straight to the meaning, I gathered the strength to put down the sum of the previews 4 years of struggling and create a theme around it that will last forever (literally). The meaning in the very end, that I want to pass to the listener is “Living Is An Act Of Courage” .
On the limited version of the digipak, one panel only writes the quotation above. I didn’t came up with this pick up line, I am so sure that I read it somewhere but can’t remember who wrote it and what was the context , but this describes this album perfectly well.
A track like “Endurance Through Infinity” shows that you find a way to even include the sound of an analog keyboard line. How has electronic music been a part of your interests or creative process?…especially since your music is predominantly death/black metal.
Correct, there is actually a Moog inspired library that I have on my iMac that helped me to get these frequencies. First of all I am so happy that you noticed it. I really like the constant panning from the left to the right ear. The whole mania with the analogues came from a show I did with Andras back in October of 2017 , in Helsinki with the band Winterthroned , opening for Korpiklaani. Andras owns a really expensive Moog and he took it on stage. The sound that came out from it was something that I can’t describe.
As well as Andras is one of the most skilled pianists or even composers that I have ever met. His skills are insane (even if he will disagree with my statement it doesn’t matter ) . So yeah, that was the main reason to introduce analogues on “The Gale “. I am blaming Andras for that.
Is it more important for you to create a visceral reaction or impact from the music or to leave a mark by the lyrics you write?
I think that the answer is somewhere in the middle, you know, nowadays there is so much music around. Take a look on metal-archives and especially the column with the new added bands. There is so much music and so many ideas out there. More than ever. Somehow is important to leave a taste also from the music itself. Now there are some people who think that lyrics aren’t that important, what matters is the musical part of the song and also the opposite, that lyrics are the heart of the song.
For me, the hardest part was to actually do the lyrics. This delayed the process of the album for many months believe it or not. When music was done in almost 1 and half month, lyrics took almost a year. Not because I was working a lot with them, but the reason was that I couldn’t come up easily with suitable text.
In this album, “The Gale” the lyrics play an important role, but on the sequel, as it seems from the demos so far, the gravity falls on the music instead. More atmosphere-more feelings. Lyrics will come and finalize the package.
Focusing on the emotional dynamic, how do you think your albums differ from one another? In other words, how do they differ in terms of the emotions that inspired them at each time?
This album differs from all my previous releases, because this album actually represents who I am better than any other release that I have composed. In general terms, I can’t really answer. Probably when you take it into the melodic death metal spectrum, probably it differs somehow, probably it doesn’t. That’s absolutely dependent on the ears of the individual.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2018 and into 2019?
This year so far has been focused on promoting “The Gale”. Later this year and also beginning of 2019 I will probably be more into the sequel of “The Gale” .
As well there has been a small talk with a promoter concerning taking Coldbound for a very first and exclusive (and maybe last) time on stage in Helsinki. But so far nothing is confirmed therefore I wouldn’t like to share more information. Maybe in the end nothing is going to happen so enough with my big dreams-big talk ha-ha.
Many, many years in the future, a very distant relative locates a box in the attic of an old home. In that box they locate a CD of Coldbound. What would you like this person to know of your legacy simply by listening to your music that you left?
Hmm, the message is clear, Living is an act of courage! Living should be the only thing to inspire us keeping on moving forward. Nevertheless, obstacles will be there forever, even after many years or even in a parallel universe . The important value is to keep on living.
I have been on the verge of ending it all, I have faced poverty , I have been homeless , I have been unemployed and eating from my own garbage can, I haven’t had friends around me for some time (they were there , I was just blinded by depression and couldn’t see them anywhere) . And what’s the lesson that I have learned? That living is an act of courage. So it should be for all of us :-).
Thanks for your time. Anything else you’d like to say to the readers about Coldbound? These last words are yours.
Thank you William and deep from my heart thank all of you who with one way or another have supported my effort with Coldbound through the last years and especially after the relays of “The Gale”. Trying to do everything alone in this big market field is like walking barefoot on spikes. But thanks to all of you, I feel more than alone. I feel fulfilled and surrounded by people who actually can think, appreciate, admire and love.
Thank you so much! Check my music on Youtube,Spotify,iTunes etc.etc. and if you wanna show some extra love, visit the Bandcamp or Big Cartel (for some discount) stores of Coldbound and get your copy of “The Gale” as well as a bunch of other brand new merchandise , all designed and sold by yours truly.
Thank you so much once again!
Keep on living! /m/
The Gale is available on CD and digital download.
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