Interview: Sirenia’s Morten Veland talks ‘Riddles, Ruins & Revelations,’ looks back on ‘The Enigma of Life’

Posted by on February 24, 2021

Photo Credit: Richelle ter Heege]


Sirenia’s new album, Riddles, Ruins, & Revelations, was released earlier this month via Napalm Records (order here). We recently shared our thoughts on the Norwegian-French gothic symphonic metal outfit’s overall tenth full-full length effort. Now, we caught up with the mastermind himself, Morten Veland, to go into more detail behind making the record.


What was your experience like recording Riddles, Ruins & Revelations during a pandemic?

The writing process went on quite as normal, and most of the songs were already written before the pandemic hit Europe with full force. Things however turned complicated when we were about to begin the recording sessions. We were supposed to start recording vocals in late March 2020, and just a few days before Emmanuelle was supposed to fly into Norway, the travel restrictions came into action and her flight was canceled. We tried to re-book it several times, but it ended up being canceled over and over again. In the end she was finally able to come to Norway In mid August. So the album was postponed for about 6 months due to the situation.


This record is more of a continuation in your more electronic direction, which we heard in 2018’s Arcane Astral Aeons, what made you decide to move with this style?

When I begin writing material for a new album, I always tend to spend the first  few months experimenting and searching for a new direction in which I want to take the album. I discovered quite early in the writing process that this was the direction that I wanted to take the new album towards. We have been using electronic elements in our music since the very first album, but on this album it plays a bigger part than ever. I really enjoyed composing these songs, and it was interesting all the way, it felt new and fresh. And that is always the kind of feeling that I search for when I compose music.


Can you talk more about the songs “Passing Seasons” and “Downward Spiral?”

I think that both of these songs are very atmospheric,and they certainly generate a lot of emotions. They are also very melodic songs. On the song ‘Downwards Spiral’ our longtime friend Joakim Næss is once more contributing with his voice. The chorus of the song is like a duet thing between him and Emmanuelle, and I think that their voice fits great together. I also find ‘Passing seasons’ a really beautiful song, with stunning vocal work from Emmanuelle.




This year marks the ten year anniversary of The Enigma of Life, looking back on the record, do you have any memories that went down with this album or a personal favorite track?

I remember that the album was recorded in a very chaotic period of my life. So it was an album that was somewhat complicated and hard to make. My favorite song from the album at this point must be the title track, “The Enigma of Life.”



What was the experience like putting the video “Addiction No.1” together?

This was also a complicated thing to make. We were supposed to travel to Belgrade in Serbia to shoot the video. Just a few days before departure the travel restrictions came into action once more, so we were not able to go. We ended up shooting our scenes locally instead, so I shot my scenes in Norway, Emma and Nils shot in France and Michael in the UK. Then all the post production was done in Serbia by the I-code team. I am very happy with the way the video turned out in the end.



While touring remains uncertain, do you have any plans for a Livestream event?

We considered this at some point, but for now that idea is on hold. Maybe we will do this a bit later this year, we are looking into some options.


 Is there anything else you want to say or add?

Cheers to all our fans in the US. Please stay safe and take care. We miss you a lot and we hope to be back on tour once more as soon as things get back to normal. In the meantime please check out our new album Riddles, Ruins & Revelations.


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