Armored Dawn

Armored Dawn have returned with their sophomore album “Barbarians in Black”, which is not only a great power metal album, but also a step forward for the band in very part. Grande Rock got in touch with keyboardist Rafael Agostino and talked about the band, the new album & the press among other interesting things…
Armored Dawn band pic

Hi Rafael and welcome to Grande Rock. Congrats on your sophomore release “Barbarians in Black”. It has been added to our “Gems” category!
R: Thank you all from Grande Rock for the space and opportunity. We’re glad you’re enjoyed our new album!
Well, what were the changes on your songwriting and production part since the release of your debut?
R: The productions were very different. Our debut album, “Power of Warrior”, produced by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Jorn, TNT), was recorded in a few takes only. It was an “old school” production. “Barbarians in Black” had the production made by the American Kato Khandwalla (The Pretty Reckless, Papa Roach) and the Brazilian producer living in the US, Bruno Agra (We Are Harlot). They have much experience in the North American musical scene, so they were able to let our work heavier and more modern, but still keeping our roots.
What are the new elements that you introduce with “Barbarians in Black”?
R: The biggest difference was the vocal parts. We worked hard on duo parts and harmonies, besides inserting heavier riffs with influences from thrash metal, brought by our drummer, Rodrigo Oliveira.
What does the album title “Barbarians in Black” declare? Which are the barbarians in black?
R: “Barbarians in Black” doesn’t refer only to us from Armored Dawn, but to all the legion of Metal fans around the world, who wears black and faces battles every day, and wins each victory due to hard work and dedication.
Do give us a hint for each track…
R: “Beware of the Dragon”: It’s one of our favorite tracks. It summarizes very well the style of the band, links epic melodies and thrash riffs.
“Bloodstone”: It’s fast and has a very strong chorus.
“Men of Odin”: One of the most epic tracks in this album, and also one of our favorites.
“Chance to Live Again”: Maybe this is the song which is more influenced by prog metal.
“Unbreakable”: The most modern one.
“Eyes Behind the Crow”: In this track, we brought some 80’s influences and rhythmical riffs.
“Sail Away”: The ballad. It was inspired in the greatest songs of the 80’s.
“Gods of Metal”: One of the heaviest songs in the album.
“Survivor”: It is clearly influenced by hard rock and the lyrics are very inspiring.
“Barbarians in Black”: The title song is more modern, with greatest riffs.
This time you worked with Bruno W. Agra (Revolution Renaissance) & Kato Khandwalafoir the production and with Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann (Orden Ogan, Rhapsody Of Fire etc.) for the mixing & mastering. How was the experience? Did the final outcome gratify you?
R: We are very gratified with the results. Kato and Bruno were fundamental components in the production. They helped us with the lyrics and also in the direction. Seeb was an indication from AFM Records. When we heard his band “Orden Ogan”, we got very amazed. And it wasn’t different when we heard “BiB” fully for the first time. We are very happy with this album.
Do you plan to release any other concept or lyric video anytime soon and if yes for which one of the tracks?
R: We’re producing more two videoclips in this year, but we haven’t decided for which tracks yet, we’re still thinking about it.
By the way, how were the live shows? Are you preparing for the next live shows/festivals?
R: We’ve just made a tour with the legendary Saxon and Diamond Head, and it was outstanding to share the stage with bands from NWOBHM. The repercussion was great! Now we have some more shows in Brazil and Peru, and until the end of the year we intend to go to Europe again.
You’re coming from Brazil, a country which is more known for its extreme metal scene. Was it easy to find your way among the extreme metal bands in your country and then worldwide?
R: Brazil is a huge country and so is the diversity of the bands and their styles. We felt that the audience needed a power metal band with low vocals. I think this is our difference from the bands that already exist. We may please both extreme metal and power metal fans.
You may be a new band, only 4 years around, but you have already got much recognition from both the fans and the media. Did you expect such a thing to happen so fast and how do you feel about it?
R: Actually we got very surprised! We’ve made a good promotion with our first album, but we haven’t reached the same recognition that we have with “Barbarians in Black”. I believe the fact that our music is more mature now allowed many doors opened. Another important fact is our label, AFM Records, which provided us many good things. All these results we’re achieving are the fruit of tireless work.
What are your expectations from “Barbarians in Black” and what do you wish to achieve with Armored Dawn over the next years?
R: Our expectations are high! Audience and press have liked a lot our new album. We want to play as much as possible until the first half of next year, when we intend to go into studio to start the compositions and recordings of our next album. We already have some dates to play in festivals in Latin America, but we really want to play in big festivals in Europe too.
Time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Armored Dawn initially?
R: The idea came up due to the fact that we are always ready not only to play, but also to face daily battles, and we really liked the resonance of the name at the first time we heard it.
Are “social media” a “compulsory part” of music biz these days or bands, artists & labels can do without them as well?
R: I don’t think it’s compulsory, but social media do get audience and artists closer, and they are also good to improve marketing strategies. If we think about 15, 20 years ago, when these tools didn’t exist, the best way to disclosure a work was making tours. So, nowadays, only working on social media it’s not enough. You can’t work only on it and forget the rest of the things you also have to do to get your work recognized.
Which music kind can’t you bear to listen to at all?
R: In Brazil, there are many kinds of music that a metal fan would hate to listen to. It’s difficult to say only one (lol).
What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
R: As cool and easy as it is, digital music kind of disturb the physical sales. Nevertheless, I think it’s something that is changing. We’re having good sales in our shows.
If you found a genie in a bottle and you only had 3 wishes what would they be?
R: Eliminate the world’s poverty and diseases, and I’d like to see Heavy Metal shows every day!
Top 3 action movies of any era?
R: “Gladiator”, “Braveheart”, “Blidness”. I also really like “The Blues Brothers” and “Wayne’s World”.
Is there a particular book you can’t recommend enough?
R: There’s not a particular one, but I like fiction books disguised in real facts.
Which are the top 3 Power Metal albums of all time according to you?
R: Helloween – “Keeper of the Seven Keys I”, King Diamond – “The Eye”, Stratovarius – “Episode”.
Fill in the phrase… “Power Metal wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
R: Helloween. But, in general, nothing would have happened if it weren’t for Black Sabbath.
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
R: Lita Ford.
Which do you consider to be the best female & male vocalist in metal history?
R: Ronnie James Dio and Doro Pesch.
If you had the opportunity to invite any famous person, living or dead, over for supper whom would you choose and why?
R: I’d choose Mozart, only to introduce Heavy Metal to him (lol)!
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
R: I’d go back to 1978 at Hammersmith Odeon, to see Black Sabbath on the tour of “Never Say Die”.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
R: One more time, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, the best album in the history of Heavy Metal in my opinion.
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
R: “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath.
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife/life partner is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
R: I would sell all her clothes and shoes to buy my collection again (lol)!
That’s all for now Rafael! Thank you very much for talking to Grande Rock. Wish you the best for the future. Thx for the music too… take care!
R: Thank you Thanos and Grande Rock! See you all on the road! Stay Heavy!