Rising From The Ashes: An Interview with Silent Winter’s Kiriakos Balanos

Find out how, nearly a quarter of a century since they formed, Silent Winter returned stronger than ever, and are set to dominate the metal scene with their upcoming album.

Making the bold decision to reform over two decades since their disbandment, Silent Winter are back with a vengeance, more determined than ever to conquer the metal scene. 

Following the release of their critically acclaimed album, The Circles of Hell, last year the band have already captured the attention of metal fans globally, building anticipation for their upcoming release.

Now, with their next album lurking just around the corner, guitarist, Kiriakos Balanos, spoke with Beneath The Surface about the band’s influences, their brave decision to reform and much more.

Proving that it is never too late to pursue your wildest dreams and that the ‘Golden Age’ of metal is far from over, this is a must-read for those feeling downtrodden by 2020- so scroll down to check out the full interview!

1.  For those who yet to come across Silent Winter, how would you describe the band in your own words?

“First of all I would to thank you for the invitation to this chat!”

“I wouldn’t like to put a certain label to our music, but I would describe Silent Winter as a melodic power metal band, with many influences from both the European and the American power metal scene. However, Silent Winter is just a heavy metal band in the end, a band which emphasizes on power and the melodies. After all, music has no boundaries.”

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2.  After first forming all the way back in 1995, you made the bold move to completely reinvent Silent Winter in 2018- what inspired you to do make this decision? 

“Yes, it’s true that I started Silent Winter back in 1995 in Volos, Greece, we split up two years later and I brought the band back to life in 2018.” 

“Silent Winter was forced to stop back then, due to the band members obligations away from Volos (studies, army, day jobs etc). We had to go on separate ways, I went to Athens and stayed there for twenty years, nevertheless, I never stopped practicing and writing new music, I just didn’t get it to the next level. [Then,] a few years ago, back in Volos, a desire to make some remixes of old songs burned inside me. I began with “Far Away”, where I cooperated with Mike Livas (vocals) and on the way I met again our first drummer, John Antonopoulos, so, with the addition of the other new members, we decided to make a new beginning!”

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3.  The Circles Of Hell, your first album upon reforming, came out last year… who were the main artists that inspired the sound of this album?

“There are so many groups that have inspired us musical wise. I would refer to Helloween, Edguy, Gamma Ray and Stratovarius, but also Judas Priest, Nightwish, Kamelot, Iced Earth, Savatage , Crimson Glory and many others.”

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4.  With that release, what was the predominant message that you were wanting to send to listeners?

“We came back after almost twenty five years, we released an EP and a full-length album in a year, and it feels great! As you can understand, our message is that it is never too late to realise your dreams… You just have to believe it!”

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5.  Now, with the new album just around the corner, what has changed this time around? Can we expect a new sound from Silent Winter?

“I don’t think that there will be a great change, a new sound of the band. I generally want to write good and melodic music that I enjoy myself – and if I like it, I share it with the world.”

“In the new album, like in The Circles of Hell, you will hear all genres of power metal; like US power, European power and even traditional heavy metal. It’s a mix that will satisfy every fan. We have the appetite and willingness to give the world music of good quality.”

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6.  Will your upcoming release be inspired by the events of 2020? For example, will it withhold an underlying message related to current events?

“Of course, what happened in the world in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic, the mandatory quarantine and lockdown etc., has affected every individual, therefore all musicians, in a positive and a negative way. We had to cancel many live shows due to the pandemic, every live activity is suspended, nothing is regulated anymore, everything is a matter of discussion.”

“But, on the other hand, during the lockdown, everybody had plenty of time for himself/herself, plenty of time to practise, to rehearse, to compose. My message is not underlying, its immediate and direct – live and enjoy every day like it is the last one. Do not hesitate, take risks, try to realise your dreams!”

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7.  In the time since The Circles of Hell, what artists have you discovered who could potentially influence your upcoming album?

“I am a heavy/power metal fan, who likes to listen to new releases from both old and newcomer bands. […] There are so many talented newcomer metal bands, which need our attention and would like so much to be promoted by the record companies. There isn’t only Helloween and Stratovarius! Every one of us should support the local and the global scene, and keep the flame alive!”

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8. If you had to sum up the upcoming release in 5 words or less, how would you describe it?

“Bombastic, pompous, epic, anthemic, melodic!”

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The Circles of Hell is out now and available on all major streaming platforms.

To read our review of the album, click here!

Silent Winter are due to release their next album in 2021, to keep up to date with the band, check out the links below!

https://www.facebook.com/silentwinter.gr/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZMCB35JshJHANqlQ2-0bnQ

https://silentwinter.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/silentwinterofficial/

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