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Introductory band interview.

Interview with Shadow Suite.
1. Who are you and how did the band get started?

Shadow Suite was formed in Saint Petersburg in 2016. The band consists of: Roman Rasskazov, the founder (keyboards, vocals), Evgeniy Chernov (rhythm-, lead-, acoustic guitars), Irina Dubrova (vocals, keyboards, folk instruments) and Valeriy Vinogorskiy (drums). All four of them had met a year before at a performance project, The Choice, an original choreographic show featuring a plot about vampires, Irish dances, and an eclectic musical background played by a group of guest musicians. When rehearsing before the show they discovered their shared fascination with the music of the doom metal genre. By that point creative ideas within this genre had been nurtured by Roman for several years, so there arose a suggestion to try playing together as a band.

Since every musician of Shadow Suite has a vast performing experience in various non-metal genres (folk, classical, Orthodox - old Russian and Georgian - and Catholic chants, renaissance and baroque music, jazz fusion), in order to ensure smooth conversion of all these various skills into one musical style Roman put forward the idea to organize a tribute concert dedicated to the works of favorite doom metal bands of the prime age of this genre. Working together on favorite songs was really good for improving the band's creative cohesion and elaborating our distinct stylistic features.

2. Why did you choose Doom, and how would you describe your style?

In our opinion, of all metal music subgenres, it is exactly doom that is capable of most deeply and veraciously and with greatest flexibility expressing human emotional experiences in their broadest scope. Within the same doom metal track music may vary from aggressive to delicate and from transparent to saturated, providing a vast space for creative invention. That allows vibrantly illustrating the under-the-surface processes of characters' being, in which light and darkness are blended so paradoxically. By applying diverse stylistic techniques that we obtain through our own research far beyond the boundaries of metal music specifically, early music (medieval, renaissance, baroque), church concords, various folklore traditions we want to draw our own picture of human interaction with the micro- and macrocosm with music. Every musician in the band contributes something special from one's background that falls within a common creatively unbounded framework set for this project.

3. What would you consider to be the high point of your career so far?

The band's current greatest achievement is nailing the earlier mentioned tribute concert held on November 17, 2016.

The core of our first ever organized concert was the 32 minute long epic track 'Somnium Obmutum' by Estatic Fear, which had never been performed live by anyone. Since the track involves many instruments, reproducing its sound in a full arrangement required expanding the band's line-up significantly (up to 9 musicians) and lead to the problem of finding an appropriate venue. The band rented the concert hall of the Opera Concert Club for its own money, carried out a small advertising campaign (the concert's video teaser), organized audio and video recording of the show.

Shadow Suite's extended line-up involved musicians from several Saint Petersburg's bands and projects: Semyon Klimenko and Semyon Gross (from Ocean of Sin, melodic death metal) rhythm and bass-guitar respectively, classical guitarist Vasiliy Khramov, renaissance lutenist Konstantin Shchenikov-Arkharov (Barocco Concertato); the flute parts were performed by Elena Belkina (Old Horned Sheep folk band). The full list of Shadow Suite members' projects can be found on Facebook.

An honest and high-quality performance of covers of Estatic Fear, Dark Sanctuary, Empyrium and Katatonia evoked a very positive response in the hearts of the band's first listeners. The full-fledged post-production of the web-release with "Somnium Obmutum" video (reviewed here) that was completed in late May 2017. The video started spreading free over the Web collecting favorable feedback, consolidating Shadow Suite's success and adding an international dimension to it.

4. Which three bands most influenced you?

Roman: "Out of the multitude of bands which significantly influenced me I need to pick at least four, it wouldn't be fair otherwise. These are Anathema, Ulver, Estatic Fear and Dargaard. Speaking about these bands, I mean their complete discographies, including all shades of creativity expressed in their releases."

5. What are your plans for the near future?

Presently, we are working on our own material and planning new live gigs at which Shadow Suite's original songs and special arrangements of atmospheric and melancholic pieces of European baroque will be performed, along with more covers of chosen doom metal songs which are either never performed on stage anymore or were released by bands that no longer exist.

6. If there is anything you would like to add, the last words are yours.

Perhaps at this point there is still not much more to tell about Shadow Suite. We will heartily appreciate your support of our project currently making its very first steps, and any help with promoting it. If you enjoy our humble efforts in music please spread our video below and mp3 download links; along with the exclusive extended biography of the legendary Estatic Fear among your fellow (sympho)doomsters in your country and globally over the Internet.

Visit the Shadow Suite bandpage.

Interviewed on 2017-06-25 by doom-metal.com.
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