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1. „Quintessence“ is your debut, which certainly adorns the canadian underground. Ambient fading into black metal is without doubt very impressive, when sensitively used. Sound surprised me a lot from the very beginning – where did you record it and how did it go?

„Quintessence“ is certainly an ambient record, I mean that everything is based on the atmosphere and the mood of the music. I started to record the album by the end of summer 2006 and finished around october at Colorless Studio (which is owned by the guys of Niflheim). Everything went good during the process, I took my time to add some more keyboard parts and make sure it sounds as I wanted the album to sound. The only thing that I am not satisfied is with the drums on track 3, L’Abîme, there are a couple of errors and I should have re-recorded it but it seems like I did not noticed anything. Except these things I am quite satisfied with „Quintessence“ and I sounds like I wanted : cold and dark.

2. Your album is obviously in sad or melancholy mood, but I believe, there´s also something deeper, more personal...?

Without any doubt I have channelled a part of me into this album and I think every form of art have the artist’s personnal touch in it. Though, some people seems to forget that music (and art) is a way of expressing things that can’t be said with words…I think this is why I can’t stand most of popular music, it is empty. So yes, Sombres Forêts has something more deeper and personnal than just hitting drums, distorted guitars and tortured vocals. Everything I compose is a part of me, dark emotions that I put into music…

3. It has always been popular to write lyrics about nature, especially winter. Have you ever thought about it, why exactly this season?

Winter is a wonderful season and for sure I have written about winter in my lyrics. (It may seem a little bit « cliché » I think, because most of the Black Metal bands try being a true fucking cold band and write their lyrics about frost, winter and forests)…Nature is also something wonderful and very interesting to write about and for me it is easy to make good metaphors and descriptions about nature. Also, as you probably know, Sombres Forêts means dark forests in english, it represents something particular : a place where I can hide from the human weakness and be alone with myself.

4. Yes, I wanted to hint at fact, that we won´t avoid this theme even in case of Sombres Forêts and I´m glad. Despair, hatred, loneliness, suffering... Other side of todays „cheerful“ society, though actual, living...


5. As Sombres Forêts impresses us with the anguish and death, what is your attitude towards death? Are you affraid of the beyond or do you regard it as good way out from this rotten, demoralized world? Have you ever been totally down at heel?

There is a lot of melancholy and despressive parts in my music but I never have been a very « depresive » or « suicidal » person. I don’t think death is the only way out of all the suffering that our sick world brings…Sombres Forêts is the first example. I evolve as a person through my passion that is music and it gives me strenght to fight. I would never let society make me kill myself, it would be a weak response I think. But to answer the question about death, I always have been curious to see what awaits me beyond this life. Is there anything? Or only a black cold void? I often ask myself or discuss with some friends about this but it seems that I have to wait…

6. What´s your approach to the creation? Do you plan everything in advance, do you spend long white nights with composing or is it rather spontaneous? Do you focus on spirit of song?

I don’t really plan everything in advance when it comes to compose a song. I prefer to get the inspiration of the moment instead of forcing myself to write something good. The only thing that is planned is the feeling I want to create in the song or the concept of the lyrics. The lyrics are always written before the music, then I compose the music to fit with the text instead of writing the lyrics to fit with the music (as a lot of artists do). That is the way I work and the easiest for me.

7. The band conisists of the single person, Annatar, it means you. Is it good for you to create all just by yourself, it means, that it is the most suitable for you; don´t you need to consult it with anyone?

Before I started Sombres Forêts I knew that I would have some work to do because I had to learn drums (I already had a base but nothing impresssive) and vocals. After about one year of practice, my drum and vocals skills improved and it gives what you can hear on the album. I don’t really need to consult anyone because I usually learn by myself, though I don’t have a drums so I had to use a friend’s.

8. I took a fancy to keyboard on „Quitessence“, it makes great atmosphere and together with guitars create interesting, emotional melodies. Many bands with similar direction take music just for some kind of background and the whole craft goes aside. So this is why I like your debut so much. How are you actually satisfied with it, what about public acceptance, your favourite instrument?

I am quite satisfied with „Quintessence“ as I explained in question #1. My life is based on Sombres Forêts and I spend a lot of time on improving every song I compose. This is one of the reasons I use keyboards, I think it gives the music a very melancholic and eerie feeling and it makes the music much bette rand deeper. People who comment my music usually underline the great use of keyboards.

I don’t have a favorite instrument on the album because they all bring something to the music…you can’t take off any of them without changing anything. On the other hand, some instrument have a more impact at some specific moments of the songs, like the acoustic part of Au Solstice De L’Hiver or the ambiant part of L’Abîme.

9. Ambient delight is multiplied, because it always impresses us with something different. Do you have any idols as for ambient?


10. Involvement of acoustic components is also very pleasant to listen and I think, that major part of listeners was quite surprised at it, but you seem to be very gifted player. Do you listen even to classic?

I like to listen to classic music sometimes but I don’t know very much about that type of music. My favorite composers are Vivaldi and Wagner but as I said, I don’t know very much about classic.

11. Music is certainly an escape from ordinary duties for you, but do you have any other plesant relaxing activities?

I like to read some books when I want to relax or I go and take a walk…but music is without any doubt my biggest activity.

12. Then there´s also black metal part of your music, which you devote yourself to no less. Is it importanto for you to be very individual? Do you have any idols in this respect?

My music is certainly Black Metal and that’s my favorite genre of music. A lot of bands try to sound like another band or being like another band and I think this is a pathetic human weakness…and sometimes it is just too much. I try to make Sombres Forêts sound different to any other bands, but of course there are some influences from other bands that I like because I did not invent Black Metal, but I usually try to find riffs that sounds Sombres Forêts. If you take bands like Xasthur, Burzum, Darkthrone, Forgotten Tomb or Mayhem, they are all Black Metal bands but they all have their particular sound and that is what I try to do with SF.

13. You live in Quebeck, which is mainly french speaking province in Canada. You certainly can speak both languages, didn´t you have some difficulties to decide which of them to use? More accessible english or more peculiar french?

I don’t really have difficulty to decide which of english or french I will use. I mostly go for french because it is a very poetic language and it is easier for me to express myself. I also like very much english, there will be 2 or 3 english songs on my 2nd album but after this, everything will be only in french. I don’t really care about accessibility, french is my mother tongue and a big part of my culture.

14. You´ ve got a contract for one more album with Sepulchral Productions, would you like to cooperate with them even henceforth (in the case, they will offer it to you,of course)? Does the cooperation suit you?

I don’t have any plans of changing label in the future and for me long term collaboration is a good thing. My cooperation with Myrkhaal and Sepulchral Productions suits Sombres Forêts perfectly and I am totally satisfied with it. I wanted SF to be signed on a serious label and the offer I got from Sepulchral was very good. Also the fact that it’s based in Montréal is very important because we can communicate easily, if I would be on a german or french label it would not have been as good as this.

15. What about Sombres Forêts in the future? I think, that you are about to make a new album, I wonder, what you will tell me about it....

My next album should be released somewhere in 2007 and will be called Royaume De Glace. Basically it will be much darker and colder than Quintessence and the production will be a lot better. There will be a great evolution in the music and the vocals…if you liked Quintessence, wait to hear what really Sombres Forêts is…

16. How extended is distribution of black metal in Canada? Are there any labels worth mention?

There are a few good labels/distributions around : Akhera Distribution, Tour De Garde, Winter Forest Productions but Sepulchral Productions is the biggest label I think. The black metal scene here is nothing compared to Europe’s which has much bigger labels.

17. I think, that this genre stands in the background in your country. I would probably mention Pagan Hellfire, Operation Winter Mist or Sombres Forêts. I have chanced upon Niflheim recently, who act quite alike...

As I just said, the Black Metal scene is not very big compared to Europe’s, there are not many bands here that play this genre of music. The metal scene in general is quite diversified, a lot of Death Metal and Thrash Metal but most of the Black Metal bands are not that good, a lot of them try to be as raw, primitive and underground as possible by releasing 10 copies of a crappy demo. But, there are some good bands that are worth of it, the best are Niflheim, Frozen Shadows, Singur Fiinta and Forteresse.

18. Would you call yourself nationalist? What does it mean for you personally? I wouldn´t probably have problem to love my countryside or art, if I were Canadian, bud American are quite peacockish and arrogant from the european point of view...

There is a lot of nationalism here in the province of Québec because we have a very different culture from the rest of Canada, and also because we are 7 millions to speak french here. There is a delicate situation in Québec about nationalism because a big part of the population wants Québec to become a country. I don’t know if I could call myself a nationalist because I wasn’t born here and always considered Canada as my country…Though, I am very proud of being Québécois and a french speaker and I think we should preserve our culture and not let the american influence take too much place.

19. What about you and literature? Do you have some favourite genre or are you open to anything rather interesting? Has any book, movie or document held your interest recently?

I read a lot of books because it is for me a source of knowledge. I don’t read a specific genre, I take anything that catch my attention and brings me something. Recently I have read some books of Werber, a french writer and some books of Lovecraft.

20. Thanks very much for provided interview, I believe, that time, you devoted to it, does not seem to you to be wasted. We will wait for any news from you!

Thank you for the interrest in Sombres Forêts…