COLDBOUND – Winter Is Coming

By Carl Begai

Launched in 2012 by Finnish multi-instrumentalist Pauli Souka, Coldbound is a symphonic / progressive doom metal project that has taken on new life with the addition of former Theatre of Tragedy vocalist Liv Kristine Espenæs and former Ensiferum keyboardist Meiju Enho to the creative team. Coldbound has released a new single, “Slumber Of Decay”, offering a taste of what’s to come on the forthcoming full length album. Following is a brief interview outlining Coldbound’s vision as they gear up to finish and release the record.

Carl Begai: Coldbound was launched as a project solely under your control. What do Liv and Meiju bring to the creative process that you couldn’t achieve on his own?

Pauli Souka: “That’s a very interesting question. For this album recordings I’ve had the priviledge and honour to work with almost 43 people; 43 wonderful musicians and fantastic personalities. Some of these people had a huge impact on the way I see music. Two of them were definitely Liv Kristine and Meiju. The main reason I brought them into this is that I knew I could trust the project in their hands 100%. The results I received left me speechless, as the sounds they created were unique and definitely beyond any expectations I had. To be able to co-exist in the same project with these two fantastic ladies is a huge honour. They’re both unique and exceptional in their fields.”

Carl Begai: I know that in Liv’s case, the whole Leaves’ Eyes fiasco from 2016 made the music business unappealing to her for a while. And I know that Meiju left Ensiferum to focus on other things. So, what convinced them that Coldbound was worth returning for?

Meiju Enho: “I really liked the megalomanic touch of the project a lot, combined with a progressive approach to make music. But what really caught my heart was the ambition to create a genuine and authentic flow of music together, as a tribe and a family without the traps of the ego.”

Liv Kristine: “The feeling of being at home with both musical compositions and my band members. This raises creativity immensely. Moreover, there is this fine, compassionate connection and communication between Meiju, Pauli and me. It’s a very healing process for me.”

Carl Begai: Liv told me “Slumber Of Decay” reminded her of early Theatre of Tragedy when she first heard it. How much of an influence did Theatre of Tragedy have on Coldbound before Liv got involved, if any?

Pauli Souka: “Theatre of Tragedy has always been a passive influence. Of course, it has shapped my personal musical direction as the band was my soundtrack of my adolescence. The biggest deal was to introduce a newer sound, as most of the scales and notes have been played and over-composed already. A Theatre of Tragedy kind of sound worked as a firm foundation to build on. Then we incorporated elements such as big walls of orchestration and analogue sounds. To try and replicate a sound that was crafted so well by Theatre of Tragedy, that would be an insult to the history of their music and the band itself. Even if Liv Kristine is in Coldbound now, this doesn’t mean we’re going for a Theatre of Tragedy 2.0 version of the band. On the contrary, we’re making our very own sound. But we never forget to mention the music that inspires us.”

Carl Begai: At this point, how is the music / composing divided between the three of you? What can fans of all three musicians expect to hear on the full length album?

Pauli Souka: “It’s important to state that the album was already in the composing stages before Liv Kristine and Meiju joined the big picture. The songs were already recorded and there was lots of communication with the guest and session musicians at that point, back in October 2020. Nevertheless, we don’t want to disappoint our audience, and I’m sure they’re expecting much more from Liv Kristine on the new album. For this reason we’re changing our approach a bit as we speak aaand re-constructing the existing songs, leaving more space for Liv Kristine and Meiju. The fans should expect a unique production with big walls of orchestration, analogue sequences and magical melodies and vocals. It sounds quite ambitious, but these are the first thoughts that come to mind when I think about the new album.”

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