Back in 2020, the death and doom metal scenes were taken by storm when Danish quartet Konvent dropped their crushing Puritan Masochism debut. Fast forward two years and the band have returned with their bar-raising new opus, Call Down The Sun, via Napalm Records. An album inspired by themes of self-destruction and trauma, V13 sat down with the group to discuss the record and how they hope their dark, deathly sound offers hope and positivity to its listeners.

Thanks for your time; how is life treating you these days?

Sara Helena: “Thank you so much for wanting to do an interview with us. We really appreciate that! Life is really, really busy at this point. We have a lot going on with the upcoming album release and upcoming tour. We get a lot of inquiries about interviews these days and somehow this always surprises me. We’ve done interviews with people from all over the world and it really feels amazing to know that people are interested and knows about Konvent from all over the world.”

The new album, Call Down The Sun, came out on March 11th. What are your plans for the rest of 2022 following the release?

Sara: “A lot of gigs have been cancelled here in Denmark for a long time. But since so many have been vaccinated here, the government has been opening the country some weeks ago, with no restrictions. We are doing a big European Tour with 1914 and Livløs in April/May. On this album tour, we are playing in several countries: Germany, Poland, Belgium, UK, Netherlands, France etc. We are so excited about this since it’s our first time playing in some of the countries. We are also playing a lot of cool festival shows in the summer, so we couldn’t be happier about that. We also got Metal Méan Festival in Belgium, Full Force in Germany and Mystic Festival in Poland – and more to come which haven’t been published yet.

“We are currently planning the autumn and it also looks like it will be very busy for Konvent! We feel really grateful for all the opportunities we get – and especially after not being able to play for almost two years because of the pandemic, it really feels amazing to know that we will be on the stage very soon again!”

Theme-wise the album deals with extinguishing repetitive or self-destructive cycles. Have these themes been inspired by particular events in your lives?

Rikke Emilie List: “Yes, our lyrics are mainly about the darker parts of life like trauma, grief, manipulation etc. On Call Down the Sun, the lyrics are mainly about the eternal hunt for happiness and the repetition of destructive patterns. Some of the songs on the album are actually connected stories, which was a challenge I wanted to set for myself when writing this time. Other than that, everybody in the band has contributed ideas for the lyrical universe, but I think that our main focus lies within the music and the composition of our songs.

“Before starting the writing process, we like to work out some sort of red thread without it becoming a concept album. Sara suggested writing about the eternal hunt for happiness that we see a lot in society, which we were all on board with. At that time, I was personally in a place where I had realized I was repeating some self-destructive patterns that I didn’t know how to break out of and had a lot of things on my mind that I wanted to put down into songs. That combination gave us a lot of material to start off on.”

Artwork for ‘Call Down The Sun’ by Konvent

People’s lives changed dramatically, especially during lockdown. How did you manage your own mental well-being during that time?

Rikke: “We actually considered ourselves very lucky after the release of Puritan Masochism, as we managed to go on our release tour and play at all the venues right before the lockdown. However, the time after has been incredibly frustrating to us. It has been two years of looking forward to and preparing for shows that were cancelled at the last minute. These disappointments have been accompanied by an overall fear of our families getting Covid and constantly stressing over backup plans in case any of us got infected right before a show. We did get to play a few shows last year, the last one being at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, and even though there was a reduced amount of tickets and people had to stand on designated spots on the floor, we could still feel the energy from the audience and it was such a great experience!”

“I was personally in a place where I had realized I was repeating some self-destructive patterns that I didn’t know how to break out of and had a lot of things on my mind that I wanted to put down into songs.”

Sara: “We also talked a lot about how lucky we are to have this music and each other in our lives. It has really given us the strength and motivation to get through the dark times.”

You’ve talked about listeners being able to connect with the themes on the record, what do you hope they take away from listening to Call Down The Sun?

“Getting certain things off your chest is always a great starting point. It might not sound like it, but we hope that other people find peace in our music. Maybe something resonates with them, whether it be lyrics or a certain atmosphere or melody. Whatever other people can use our music for, is a gift for us. A lot of the themes on the record are some that we have all been struggling with at some points in our own lives, and hopefully, the theme will resonate with some of the listeners who may feel seen or understood.”

What did you get out of putting those thoughts and feelings down on record?

Rikke: “I think that the riffs and the compositions are the most important elements in Konvent. However, I have always enjoyed writing and I have very high expectations for the lyrics when writing for Konvent. I like to examine what languages and metaphors can do for a song, and even if some of our lyrics stem from a very personal experience for either of us, I like to aim at it being relevant for as many people listening to the song as possible. That said, our lyrics mainly revolve around bad experiences we have had or negative tendencies in society. We believe that those themes connect everybody as we have all experienced trauma or disagree with how various authorities run things.”

For someone going through the kind of issues discussed on the record, what advice would you give them?

“Hmmm… maybe try to focus on what actually makes you happy. Sometimes you need to take a step back and ask yourself whether you are motivated to do things because of fear or happiness.”

Onto the single “Grains,” which is the first track to contain Danish lyrics. What was the thought behind doing that and why do you think that particular track was right for you to do that?

Rikke: “It is sung partially in English and Danish. When it comes to my high-pitched vocals, I am very inspired by Ole Luk from Afsky who only sings in Danish. So, when I was writing the chorus for ‘Grains,’ I kept hearing Ole’s vocals and it just made sense to me to write in Danish and the lyrics came to me very fast. It might not be the last time we will mix English and Danish but it all depends on the next songs we write.”

In relation to the album title, we’ve talked about extinguishing self-destructive cycles, if you could extinguish any trait of the human personality or any element of human life in general what would you choose and why?

“The whole album really revolves around going in circles and being tired of that self-destructive pattern that you’re wanting to get out of. So the title is a sort of metaphor for calling down the wrath of the sun upon something in your life, that you’re fed up with. We feel like the sun is a really strong force that both gives life and can take it away, and you can aim for something really high and never get there and then at some point decide to stop aiming, but just call down the sun to yourself instead.”

Now that life is returning to some kind of normality, what do you hope that as a race we’ve learned from the last two years?

“To take better care of ourselves and each other.”

“Getting certain things off your chest is always a great starting point. It might not sound like it, but we hope that other people find peace in our music.”

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself and the world over the last two years?

“Most important is to do things that make you happy. Stop living by what everyone else thinks you should and take your life in your own hands.”

Your last album came out in 2020 to critical acclaim. What would you say Call Down The Sun offers to a heavy music fan in 2022?

Sara: “I think we have just become better musicians since the release of Puritan Masochism and one of the most important things we agreed on before writing Call Down the Sun was that we were going to challenge ourselves and not just make a copy album.”

Rikke: “I had very high expectations for myself for this record! My biggest vocal idol is Travis Ryan from Cattle Decapitation and I tried really hard to sound like him in the more melodic parts of our songs, haha! Obviously, I am very far from his range and I have found out that that is fine, and in the process, I have discovered new aspects of my own vocal that I am excited to develop more in the future.”

Thanks again for your time and good luck with Call Down The Sun. Over to you to wrap this up…

“Thank you so much!”

Author

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.