German power metallers Victorius have had quite the evolution between 2010’s Unleash the Titans to their latest effort, Space Ninjas From Hell, which was released on January 17th via Napalm Records (order here). The group has developed their bold sound and have somehow joined the space ninja army. There’s a big story behind the record as the press release described:
“The long forgotten space ninjas: one evil ninja clan, called the Sunbladers, joined forces with the dragon god Ling Long to enslave the world! And at the very last moment, when the sunbladers were about to attack with the power of the dragon god, some super-sensei-Wu-Shu-wizard-master appeared, stopped the ninjas, cursed and banned them from earth forever… What an asshole-wizard! One thought the danger was banned. And in fact, mankind lived on for many centuries in peace, not knowing the ninjas survived. In space! For the past ages they hid in their secret headquarters, the Cosmic Space Commando Base, on the dark side of the sun regaining their power! Fueled by hatred, stronger and more evil than ever before, with improved weapons and ninja-skills, they joined forces with the dragon god again! The sunbladers are back! Sworn to attack they will enslave mankind again! Well, at least they will try! Now planet earth faces the greatest danger since….no idea! But damn, mankind is fucked now!”
We caught up with the band to discuss more about the album and overall mixed views on understanding their overall style.
Your debut album, Unleash the Titans was released exactly ten years ago. How have you guys progressed since?
Of course we have a lot more experience in everything now. No matter if it is as a person, musician or business man. I think the most important thing is that we´ve found our own style, even though people will probably always compare us to bigger, similar bands. But in the end we do what works for us and what not. I guess you can hear it in the new songs. Everything is simply way better: The songs, the performance, the production.
How would you compare the new album Space Ninjas From Hell to your debut?
Well, as said before it is simply just better. We were 17 year old teens when we wrote the first album. The production costs were about 500 euros I guess, haha. So things were a bit different back then so to say. I even would not call it an album. For me it’s just a “better demo”. Just listen and compare the vocals. You will hear a major improvement of David´s skills. Same goes for all the other instruments.
What was the recording process like for Space Ninjas From Hell?
Actually it was the same as always. Like the previous 4 records (3 albums & 1 EP) we recorded everything at the Imperial Sound Studios near Köthen, Germany. Again with our producer Lars Rettkowitz. He has a great home studio with all possibilities to record a proper metal album. In general he’s the main man behind our sound. I have to mention that the album was mastered by Henrik Udd this time. A Swedish sound engineer and producer. We were looking for a real fat sound lately and Henrik was the perfect choice.
How has the reception been so far?
So far so good. Fans and critics really like the album so far. Of course there are always a few critics that think our music sucks, but we can live with these negative comments. It’s always funny to see how people who are really into our music and the concept dig the album, and then you have the ones who actually hate power metal, young bands and funny concepts. From these “critics’ ‘ you get just bad reviews and ratings. But during the years we learned how to handle these things.
Can you talk more about the concept for “Space Ninjas?”
The story is about an evil ninja clan, called the sunbladers, who lived thousands of years ago. They had plans to enslave the world, but got banned from earth by a powerful wizard. No one knew that the ninjas survived in space at the dark side of the sun. And now, thousands of years later, they are back and on their way to planet earth again to take revenge!
Do you have any touring plans later this year you can reveal to us?
After a bunch of release shows we will go on a European tour in April together with Serenity. Then a few summer festivals and hopefully another tour in autumn/winter.
Is there anything else you want to say or add to your fans?
First of all thanks for the interview. Check out our new album if you like fast and catchy power metal. If not, check it out anyway because it’s simply the best music album ever recorded, haha! Join the ninja clan, mighty shinobi!