Having released two nice albums, the debut “Lore” and the sophomore “Inferno”, Dispel gaze at the horizon with optimism and ambition. Their fine electro gothic rock style has earned them fans and fame – Myth of Rock recognized potential in Dispel and contacted the band for an interesting talk. Scott Dispel (drums, keyboards) was here to give us every answer to our questions!

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

Give us a short biography of Dispel. Which is the current line-up of the band?

Dispel (Dih – spel), hailing from the Rock Hall of Fame city, Cleveland. It’s been said we put the Go in Gothic Rock. We’re inspired by historic lore, mystical sagas, medieval literature and late night sessions of Dungeons & Dragons. Our goal is to create Fantasy driven music, through the hauntingly beautiful voice of Berklee School of Music’s Ravensea, to contrast the heaviness of the booming bass lines, grinding synths and guitars. Our current line-up is Ravensea (vocals), Scott Dispel (drums and keyboards) and Sean Gallows (vocals and bass).

How do you feel now that you release your new album?

Quite honestly a little bit relieved and a little bit burned out. It took two and a half years to write and record. Putting a literary masterpiece like “Dante’s Inferno” to music, was a huge undertaking, we had to make sure we did it justice. So lots of attention to detail. We’re an independent band, so we did everything in house; as far as advertising, artwork and imagery, the music videos and social media.

Where would you trace the differences between “Inferno” and your debut (“Lore”)?

Great question, I think our song writing has grown, we felt like we’ve matured a little with our sound, it represents our early influences of 70’s rock conceptual albums, with a modern darkwave grind. It was also nice to have a better feel of where we were as musicians, so we could push the envelope and try to operate outside of our comfort zones.

Who are the main composers in Dispel? How would you describe the music style of Dispel? Which are your music influences?

I write the majority of the music and then collaborate with Ravensea and Sean, when we iron out the verse and chorus sections of the songs. Lyrically we all contribute. Personally my music influences really draw upon 70’s progressive rock, 80’s new wave and 90’s goth rock. However, I really try to keep that punk rock attitude as a backbone for our songs. I really miss the attitude and rejection of authority, early bands used to have. Bands that really pushed the music envelope by creating something original, that’s what really draws my interest. Bands like Black Sabbath, Misfits and The Sisters of Mercy, all have this dark element to their music. Counter culture, offering something for the rest of us. We’ve been described as goth electro rock, but gothic fantasy rock is what I tell people, when they ask about our sound.

Who is the one who writes the lyrics? Where do your lyrics refer to? How much important are the lyrics for Dispel?

These first two albums we wanted to contribute something meaningful to the listener, so yes lyrics are very very important to us. We’re story tellers, I love, when something inspires my imagination, makes me think in an introspective way. Bands like Rush and Iron Maiden did that for me, when I was growing up, so I want to share that experience with our fans. Our first about “Lore” was about the various stages of the Hero’s Journey. We all go through that journey at some time in our life; it’s a tough road ahead, but challenges promote growth. “The sleeper must awaken” or you’ll become stagnant or worse. On this new album, “Inferno”, we dove deep into “Dante’s Inferno”, it was a perfect fit for the band and a huge challenge. We love how Dante revealed such a fundamental Truth, your responsible for your actions; there are consequences.

Give us all the necessary information about the production of the album (recordings, mixing, mastering).

We wrote, recorded and produced the album here in Cleveland, in my humble little studio. It was mastered by Martin Bowes of Attrition fame, in the UK at Cage Studios. I love working with producers, but we didn’t have the budget this time around. The majority of the album was written during the lockdowns, so it was a fitting subject for a fitting time in history.

How and why did you name the band Dispel?

Another good question, so I’m a gaming nerd and there’s a spell called Dispel Magic, which dissipates any magic in the area, so one day I came up with Dispel music and felt that really nailed how I felt about the local underground music scene, so decided to go with Dispel.

If you had the chance to cooperate with a famous musician in a Dispel song, who would he or she be? Why?

That’s a really tough question. Trent Reznor comes to mind, he’s incredibly successful doing his own style which I respect tremendously. Would have loved to work with Dio, besides this amazing voice, he had the fantasy element of music well established. I think Τhe Sword from Austin Texas, has such amazing guitar riffs, would love to create a wall of sound with them. But ultimately Black Sabbath took music in a direction, which had kept so many people sane it can’t be overlooked, so they are my ultimate.

How easy (or difficult) are things today for a gothic rock band? Which are your ambitions?

We music has certainly changed since the 90’s, there’s a definite lack of middle ground for bands. However, the internet is a great equalizer. But you can also get censored overnight, if you go against the narrative so, lots of challenges for bands to walk a fine line, if they so choose. Our situation is kinda unique, as our singer is currently a World traveler with her charity work, so I’m looking to create a theatrical performance for this album, a rock opera; because one off shows are just not feasible for us. We need to do something we can sustain for a period of time. Big ambitions I suppose.

Do you play live? How does Dispel sound on stage?

We’re about to start rehearsals, as we’re launching this new album, we are adding a guitarist to the line-up, up until now we have used studio musicians on guitar, so we’re really looking forward to adding some extra edge. Ravensea, Sean and myself are performers, it’s what we look forward to, how we enjoy interacting with people and it’ s how we best express ourselves; our goal is to inspire others and it’s clear music is the best way for us to do that.

In your opinion, which feelings do your music and lyrics arouse to the listener?

Growing up, music was such a refuge for me and I think most people can relate to that. I feel obligated to give that back, through conceptual albums, that inspire, inquire and are introspective. Our imagery, art and music videos lay it out, we’re really that into fantasy and want to contribute to that genre, we love it so much. Just add music and it’s go time…

How much and in what way did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you as a band and as individuals?

It was honestly crushing for us, we had just released our first album at the end of January 2020 , then the World went on lock down, we had to cancel a tour of Germany and haven’t been able to pick up those pieces. I used the time to write the majority of the ‘Inferno’ album, so it did not go to waste, but the opportunity to properly promote our first album was sorely missed. It also hurt Ravensea and I as it shut us down in our jobs, I Dj professionally and lost so much work. It was a devastating thing for the whole planet, especially to musicians and service industry workers. Locally so many restaurants never recovered and closed.

Which are your future plans? A tour?

Future plans is to start working with a playwright and do something completely different with this album. We are looking for an ambitious playwright with a vision, so hit me up. Rehearsals for the live set begin as soon as I get caught up on album orders. We funded this album through a crowd fund on Kickstarter so lots of packages to ship out and cool bonus band swag for those who believed in us.

Send your message to the fans!

Well it’s a message to you my friend Dimitris, it’s with your support and interest in independent bands like us, that make our message and story reach people. Never have reporters and the independent media been so important. So good work, it’s you who keeps the music alive…


John Norum is a legendary guitar player, a well-established musician on a global scale, with international success for much more than 40 years. Co-founder of Europe, with a remarkable journey in five consecutive decades (with a small pause in the 90s, focusing on his solo albums), he has walked his own path as well, with his solo career and outstanding records, since the debut album ‘Total Control’ in 1987. It has been a privilege for me and Myth of Rock to speak with him about his new album, coming out soon, ‘Gone to Stay’, and a few other hopefully interesting topics. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Antonis Mantzavinos

Hello John and thank you for your time, much appreciated. I am happy to speak with you today on behalf of Myth of Rock, I hope you are doing well.

Oh, hello Antonis, thank you, I appreciate this, I am doing very well, thanks, I hope the same for you.

I would like to ask you about the new album, especially involving friends, people that you have played with before or even been in the same band. So how did that feel while working on the new album?

Yeah, it’s always easier to work with people that you know, and what they can do, what they can contribute to the songs and everything. We have been very close friends, for example with the drummer, my co-producer Peer Stappe, we have been working together for 16 years now, we started working together on the Europe album ‘Secret Society’ and we did a lot of guitar stuff together. Actually, he has been working with me on all Europe albums ever since ‘Secret Society’, on over dubbed and guitar stuff. He also did my solo album ‘Play Yard Blues’. With Mic (Michaeli, keyboards), we know each other since we were teenagers, so it makes it very easy and more fun, when you know the people you are working with.

There is a kind of slight shift to a bit heavier sound on this new album, if we compare it to the previous one (“Play Yard Blues”), which had a more bluesy orientation. Share with us a bit about what you would like to achieve with this one, what is the music direction you wanted to follow?

Well, I wanted it to be a bit heavier than ‘Play Yard Blues’, I was into blues rock at that time, and I absolutely still love that stuff, but I wanted this one to be heavier, more hard rock, and I wanted this to be even more straight through. I arranged the songs a bit better this time. On the previous album, the arrangement was not that great overall, this one feels more solid from the beginning to the end, I guess. On ‘Play Yard Blues’ there were some songs that on a second thought I might have not put them there, I believe. This one definitely feels more solid and concrete as a total result.

Among other influences on this new album, I personally distinguish here on your guitar playing: Michael Schenker, Frank Marino and Jimi Hendrix. I love your improvisation on the guitar leads and solos too. Would you like to share some of your thoughts, inspiration-wise on the ‘Gone to Stay’ album?

When I was recording it, I mean, of course my main influences are Ritchie Blackmore, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Thin Lizzy, the usual guys that my generation grew up with in the ‘70s. You will definitely hear the influences there on the new album for sure. But I wanted to add some good melodies as well, instead of only the fast licks and the fast and heavy ‘runs’. I like to have a melody on my songs, so that people can remember it as well, sing a long too, if you like! I think this is very important, without the melody it would sound boring, I guess, it does not really say much, it’s just fast and that’s it. I was listening to a lot of David Bowie albums while recording ‘Gone to Stay’, especially the ‘70s albums, because I grew up listening to Bowie a lot. I am a huge David Bowie fan! So, this time I was listening to ‘Aladdin Sane’ and ‘Diamond Dogs’, I thought that, especially ‘Diamond Dogs’ is a dark album, and I also wanted to make a darker album myself, with that kind of vocal style and also heavy guitars at the same time. That was a big inspiration, and then I said to myself, I had never done a David Bowie cover before, so I picked ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ from ‘Aladdin Sane’, one of my favorite songs, and paid a kind of tribute to David Bowie, a thing that I am very happy about and proud of.

Covering David Bowie on this album was a happy surprise for me! I think you have done a fantastic job with “Lady Grinning Soul”, paying this tribute to David Bowie and showing us another perspective of how good singer you are actually.

Thank you very much. My voice fits that kind of style and type of songs, I think. Even on the first album, I was doing some David Bowie style on singing. That was the first time I did it on the studio, it was fun, and this happens on the studio of course. I just went in the studio, opened my mouth and this voice just came out naturally, and as I said, this was very fun and cool thing to do. Of course, I had other singers during my records, more specifically for the heavier stuff, where I believe my voice does not fit very well, I’d rather do the bluesier, soft, and mellow stuff, rather than the heavier ones. But, even though I sang ‘Sail on’, which is a quite heavy track, it worked really great there, otherwise I’d rather have someone else doing the heavier or more ’metal’  tracks. And that’s why I brought in Åge Sten Nilsen (vocals) this time.

I have another question regarding your vocals. Personally, I consider you a fantastic vocal performer, to me this is one of your greatest virtues. I am interested to know how much you have worked on that aspect, whether this is an easy or not task for you and generally, how do you see this development of you throughout the years.

I am pretty much like a walking juke box, I drive my family crazy, you know! I always sing, constantly, I sing along to whatever albums or songs I hear, I really enjoy, it’s a lot of fun! I do have a lot of heart and soul, when I am doing it, I put passion on that. It comes naturally. I just walk around singing for example, I sing in the car listening to radio songs which I like, it comes very easy for me to do it. I never went to one of those teachers to learn to sing or to excel my vocal performance, no ‘vocal coaches’. I don’t wanna lose the roughness and the feeling of just be technical or ‘shinny’ in vocals. When you do a solo album, it is important – if you can do it – to sing on your own as well, instead of only having other people doing it. It gets more personal that way, it is interesting to have others of course, just to kind mix it, it makes the album wider and gives it a bit more range. But if you can sing, you should go ahead and do it. For example, Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, any of those great guitar legends, they sing on their albums, I’d rather hearing them sing than other people on their solo albums. I like to hear their voices and sing their lyrics. They are great, when they sing on their albums!

“Face the Truth” is one of my favorite albums and songs, therefore I was extremely happy to see that on the list of the songs of ‘Gone to Stay’, although a very different version, more mellow and slow paced. Would you like to share the story behind ‘revisiting’ this one and doing it in a very interesting and brilliant way?

I was in the studio, working on another song actually, the engineer was getting the stuff together, working on the console and mixing things, so, I was just messing around, playing a slow version of ‘Face the truth’, and he said, ‘what is that?’ – I replied ‘Well, it’s one of my old songs I did a while ago, 30 years back, early ‘90s with Glenn Hughes’, ‘That’s really cool!’ he said. He suggested that we should record it, we did so, then I got back to the other song I was working on previously. So, after that, we listened to that short version of ‘Face the truth’, it was really cool to do this slower, more mellow version, so it happened by accident actually and I am happy it turned out this way.

I am very eager to ask you, whether there are any plans to see you playing live together with your band in the near future, supporting the new album, or any ad hoc live appearances in the horizon?

At the moment, as things are, we are doing a South American tour in December with Europe, but I have a couple of offers to do a couple of solo shows, I would love to do that! It’s in the works as we speak right now, it would be fun to revisit these songs again, since I have not played them for a long, long time. I miss playing those songs ... I have not done a solo gig since the end ‘90s actually ... We were in Japan, and recorded a live album in 1997, and then I joined Dokken again, for the second time. We did a couple of gigs, I remember, in 1999, but I remember one in Stockholm, we had Brian Robertson as a guest and did a couple of songs together...! After that, I did an album with Dokken, in 2001, we also did this Europe Millennium show playing ‘Rock the Night’ and ‘The Final Countdown’ in Stockholm on New Year’s eve, and that is how the seed was planned to get the band together and start recording again. I went on the tour with Dokken for a year then, promoting the ‘Long Way Home’ album, and just out of the blue, Ian Haugland (drums) called me in Los Angeles and asked me, if I was interested to have a meeting, get up and talk about ... He didn’t say much, but, you know, just to have a meeting and talk, have a few beers and laughs, so, I did go, we met at Mic Michaeli’s house and started talking about a reunion tour. I was thinking it would be a one-off thing at that time, probably just go back and play all the old hits.
But it ended up being more than that. We got together and did an album in 2004, ‘Start from the Dark’.

This is actually one of my very favorite Europe albums, not just because the band got back together and actually reunited, but also, because I really love the feeling on this album, it is very heavy, very dark and intuitive and your guitars on that record are super heavy, which made me really happy! It is the heavier Europe album, no doubt about it!

We were going much heavier at that time, that’s true!

And If I remember well, I recall a press/media picture of the band, promoting ‘Start from the Dark’, where you are wearing a Black Label Society long sleeve t-shirt! Wow!

Yes, exactly, I was very much into Black Label Society during that period, and honestly, I am still now as well into their music, I love Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society, so, ‘Start from the Dark’ had a little bit of Zakk Wylde influences as well! It’s heavier and doomy. So, we decided to tour for that album and we’ve been together ever since back then, touring, making albums, we still have a great time!

I saw you playing a couple of days earlier at Gröna Lund and that was an awesome gig!

Yes, that was a really nice show we did, it’s always special for me and us to be playing in our hometown, you know, with our families present, our friends, it’s such a legendary place, Gröna Lund… I saw Thin Lizzy there in 1977, for the ‘Bad Reputation’ tour, and I have seen so many cool bands there, like Blue Öyster Cult, Status Quo, and others. Knowing that Jimi Hendrix has played also there, it makes it such a cool and legendary place to see concerts. It’s always special to play there for me.

And last but not least, some quick questions – quick answers:

  • First LP you ever bought yourself:
    That was actually a compilation album, and this is how I discovered David Bowie, because he was on that compilation album. It was a kinda glam rock album, with bands like T-Rex, etc. That was the first time I listened to David Bowie, and he also looked so cool on the picture inside the compilation and his voice was sooo good! Amazing! And I have been a fan ever since, of course ...
  • First rock/metal gig you ever attended as a fan and where:
    Thin Lizzy in Gröna Lund, in 1977, that was the first ever rock gig I ever attended, I was 13-14 years old and I was totally blown away ...
  • Which is the gig that you have played yourself and you will never forget, because it was super special for you:
    As a solo artist you mean, ok... it was in Japan, in Tokyo, we did a tour in Japan in 1997, and that was very special to be able to tour in Japan as a solo artist, we also took the opportunity to record a live album there, and that album is one of my favorite albums I have ever done, so that was very special for me. The performance on that album is just fantastic!
  • If you could assemble a band of five musicians, who would be your picks (guitar, bass, drummer, vocals, keyboards):
    Ohhh ... This is a very difficult question, Antonis…. Well, the first names that come to my mind then would be: Cozy Powell on drums or Simon Phillips also, Geddy Lee on bass, Don Airey on keyboards, Glenn Hughes on vocals and Scott Gorham on guitars… he is also one of my big heroes ... I saw Thin Lizzy many times in the past, but to play also with Scott Gorham together on stage, during the anniversary show, at the Sweden Rock Festival, for ‘The Final Countdown’, was a very special moment for me ... He got up on stage with us and we all did ‘Jailbreak’... We all had so much fun, it was so cool! We have had so much fun together him and I, we are also the same star sign, we are both Pisces, so that must have played a role as well, I guess! Haha! We have a great chemistry together and he has been a great friend as well. We had been touring together with Europe with Black Star Riders, his other band, and I have had a lot of fun and nice stories, which I will tell you next time we meet!
  • What did you play last time on your Spotify player:
    ABBA, actually! Yesterday! My favorite song, ‘Knowing me Knowing you’, this is my absolutely favorite ABBA song. Actually, when I am home, I use to listen to more pop stuff, blues stuff, to Bee Gees, to Celine Dion, I think she is a fantastic singer, and the Swedish singer, Agnes, she has a fantastic voice, she is amazing! She has so much feeling and soul to her music and performance ... Brilliant! Her song ’24 Hours’ is such a great song! I love it! I get chills, when I listen to her latest album, she is so unique.

Thank you so much for being with me today on the phone and taking this time, much appreciated. Hope to see you soon live with your band!

Yes, it’s sure gonna happen this year, I promise that, and thank you very much for this interview, it was really nice to talk with you, Antonis, a pleasure!

"ΔΕΙΝΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ" is an accomplished album, containing first class songs, and comes to put Social Scream in the high ranks of the Greek heavy metal scene. Myth of Rock came in contact with the band and eight below you can read what we discussed with the band ...

Some months ago you released the “ΔΕΙΝΟN ΕΣΤΙ” album. Which are your feelings?

Greetings from Sparta Greece , thank you so much for that interview …

 The main feeling , speaking personally , is mainly the pleasure that one more SOCIAL SCREAM full album spread  it’s  message to everyone listening out there .

 What would you change now in this new album, if you had the opportunity?

Nothing . Everything came on time to be recorded and to be released  once more .

Why did you name your new album “ΔΕΙΝΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ”? Where do the lyrics of the new

songs refer to?

The album is dedicated to all the fallen souls that passed away during the awakening era of 20220 – 2022 . This is the reason of the album‘s name , based on Ancient Greek Tragedy.

How would you define the music of Social Scream?

Heavy Metal , hopefully .

How much do you think that you have progressed as a musical act in this new


It comes naturally and it’s always the next step of SOCIAL SCREAM ... Growing up as an individual makes that new step to be as it’s meant to be .

This new album was self-released. Why did you release it on your own and not via a

record label?

 Trying to explore new ways of distributing our music , maybe with a more face to face attitude through live shows as always , plus our web pages , inviting our fans to find our music on Bandcamp and Itunes which is under the band’s control and only .

Which are your favorite tracks off the new album? Why?

I still can not name a favorite track because the way I see it , ΔΕΙΝΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ is a complete music story written under the terrible circumstances of that situation we experienced all this time . Maybe LUNA DARK track could be a recommendation of ΔΕΙΝΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ though …

I liked very much the album cover. Can you give me all the details?

Thank you . It’ s based on Greek Ancient Tragedy , so the character you see is NEMESIS , one of the Erinyes …

Giannis Stergiou is responsible for that great art cover and album’s booklet  as well .

 The sound production of the new album was not so satisfying, in my opinion, the

sound wasn’t very clear. What do you think about that?

You are the first with this opinion , so this is certainly a very objective matter .

We really love this production .

How is a Social Scream song composed?

Until now all music and lyrics come out from the same person when the time is right , when inspiration strikes .

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as band and as individuals?

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I guess … Everyone in the band faced the whole thing differently , and still does . Time will tell as the affects , still happen …

Your future plans? Maybe some live shows?

Yes , live shows and as much connection to people as it gets .

Your message to the fans!

Stay safe , enjoy every minute in life , live , love and …. STAY METAL !!!






Days have been really warm in Sweden this August, on an unusual way. Someone could say ‘hot’, as the temperatures can be around 29-30 degrees Celsius. Swedes are not used to this extreme heat wave which has appeared due to the global warming crisis. However, there is a lot going on, hard rock music – wise. It is also a very busy period, especially for Lugnet, where the band is warming up and gearing up for the release of their new album, upcoming gigs in Stockholm and other cities and we could definitely say that “the heat is on”! We met Fredrik Jansson-Punkka(drums) in Gamla Stan, Stockholm, where we had the opportunity to catch up, remember old (or not so old?) days and speak about ‘Tales from the Great Beyond’, this exciting album, soon to be released in a record store near you.

Antonis Mantzavinos

Hej Fredrik, nice to see you again, I appreciate the time you too to be with me on this interview. How are things for you?

Hej, I am doing well, thank you! Hope the same for you, good to see you again.


I assume that things are quite busy and exciting on Lugnet camp nowadays. The new album is out soon, gigs have been scheduled, give us a bit of info about the current situation of the band, towards the upcoming days/weeks.

Right now we are just rehearsing, we will have a release party on August 28 for the new album, here in Stockholm, and after that we will try to play as much as possible on these hectic times and be out touring, as much as we can really. And depending on how much busy we will be touring, we will start writing the next album. We have a lot of material just there waiting, so we will do as such.


Speaking about the new album, we would like to know more details about the writing process. How did it work with writing the songs, the riffs, the lyrics, and the ideas overall?

On this album, we had more time to spend writing it. For the first 2 records, we wrote 8 songs and that was it, more of less. This time, we started writing actually just before the pandemic started, and when we realized we re not gonna get anywhere, we rehearsed a lot. US in the rehearsal space, both of our guitar players they brought so much material and so many ideas, contributing massively on this record, which worked out brilliant I must say. They basically wrote 90-95% of the album, the bass player wrote one track and I wrote 2, and the rest is from Micke and Matte. And you know, as I said, we already have a bunch of material just waiting, so we spent one year focusing more on the songs than we usually do. Hopefully you can hear it when you listen to the album, I mean, there is so much effort there, work, I think you can tell that it took a lot of time for us to do it. For instance, the single we released ‘Pale Design’, that was the very last song we wrote and recorded. And we wanted something different, more uptempo, more diverse.
We wanted to make an album exciting for us to hear it ourselves, but also it should be more diverse for everyone as well, with more layers and ideas, different moods, ‘shades and lighting’ as well sort of.


To my humble opinion, this is a brilliant record. It has all the Lugnet DNA, the band’s character, but it delivers a fresh point of view, a modern approach on all aspects: vocals, riff ideas, the production, and most of all: the actual song writing, which is progressive, for what we have heard so far from Lugnet. What is Lugnet trying to achieve on this album?

One of the goals is trying to develop, to try new things, this is very important for everyone in the band. If we did the same album for the second time in a row, that would be devastating for us, it would not make sense for us. It is not how it works. Since we have different members on the band for example, Micke has brought so much energy to the group, fresh ideas, we have also Matte in the band who is one of those guys, a musical genius who can play pretty much everything. So, to have someone like this in the band, saying ‘We need this specific instrument for this track’ and he goes ‘Oh sure, I can fix that, no problem’, this is very convenient and it has worked great so far. It makes everyone’s life easier. Now it is a solid lineup, where people want to commit their time and dedicate all their efforts in the band, and they really wanna play altogether. This is very important to get what is needed for a band, make things working and go somewhere.

Everyone’s working for the same goal. Its fun to rehearse! Its fun to rehearse with these guys! We put a lot of time and effort on this, so, you must be committed on this and it has to work. It is not a full time job but it’s almost like this!

I am not blaming anyone of course or pointing fingers, but before, we did not kick anyone out from the band. All previous 3 members left themselves, for their own reasons, but they were not as committed as needed, they did not think hat was fun, which I respect of course, and I don’t have any hard feelings, I met them after some time and it was nice to meet them actually. But being in a band is something different. You have to be able to work as a group as well. Some people actually are difficult to work with them, and I am definitely one of them for sure! I can tell you that, this is not news!


One of my favorite moments of the album is the instrumental ‘Svarv’, a very beautiful, mellow, and nostalgic folk instrumental song. What was the idea behind it and who actually wrote it? This is an excellent example of balancing the right way: acoustic guitar, accordion, bass, flute, and some percussion. Simply brilliant! Did you have guest musicians on this or not? I am really interested to know more about ‘Svarv’ – which I also found out that in Swedish, it means ‘torn machine’. So, tell me more about this song overall.

Matte wrote it. And he wrote it while playing everything on it, a one man show thing! HE is absolutely brilliant. I think it started like this: we have a common Dropbox, where we put all our ideas, our riffs and  everything, like a pool, where someone can send something and the rest listen to it and decide. Matte wrote that part and sent it there and we said ‘Ok, that sounds nice, let’s put it in the record’. So, this and the last song of the album as well ‘Tåsjö Kyrkmarsch’ he wrote them also. Those 2 took their place in the album immediately. And also, we consider the album from the vinyl perspective as well: the record should not be long, it should be approx.. 45 mins, tops, and the track listing should be good as well. This piece ‘Svarv’ it was fantastic to have it in the middle of everything, finishing Side A of the vinyl, letting the listener to catch their breath sort of, and then change to Side B and continue. Like you clean your pallet, before you go to the next course. Its just nice to breathe for a while and then move on. About the name, I guess you need to ask him next time you meet him! I didn’t think about the title honestly, but loved that song. Actually, I had a couple of suggestions in Latin at first, but then he took the name Svarv and I am happy as it is.


I believe that the whole band has excelled on this record: You with your solid and characteristic drumming, Johan has done a fantastic job in vocals, so focused and driven. Lennart, Matti and Micke doing what the know best, they all shine on this album. How is it to work with these guys, on and off the stage, the rehearsal room, etc.?

Just working with them is so fun and I really like it.

They are very easy going, fantastic musicians and everything is so easy while being and working with them.

We do not argue at all about anything. And the musicality with these guys is just amazing. You can ask pretty much about anything and they will definitely deliver it, it is great! Imagine the biggest box of colors, we can do pretty much everything! You name it. And Matte, for example, he was in a band called ‘Wizard’ in the 80s and he is also involved in his solo stuff, also played with a band called ‘Badge’ (together with Lennart).


Is that Lennart that you know the most time, right, and started the band? How did it start?

Yes, It’s just me and him from the start. I met him at Sweden Rock Festival in 2009, where I was playing with my older bands and we were having a beer after the gig in the bar, he came to us and we started talking.
He said to me ‘we should jam one day’, and I Said ‘Ok, sure thing’. I didn’t think about it a lot at that time, I mean, I knew who he was and that he was a great player, but, I had no idea where all this would end up with me. And then he called me 3 years later, suggesting to put up a band together. And we got together and that’s how it started..


What are the plans for promoting the record or touring? Any shows abroad?

Nothing scheduled abroad. But we’re playing on a ferry! We might be in Finland, but I don’t know the time, and we will be in this case on international waters!


Have you planned any gigs with Wooden Fields? The album was simply fantastic and I can’t wait to see you guys playing the album live!

Yeah, we play in November in Stockholm, in an old brewery close to Globen, so its going to be really cool.


Some more personal questions now with short answers:

  • First LP you ever bough yourself: KISS ‘Best of Solo Albums’
  • First rock/metal gig you ever attended as a fan and where: I went with my cousin, who lived up north, I think I was 12 y/o, we went to see 3 local bands who played in Kramfors. But the very first ‘REAL’ show I went to, was Yngwie Malmsteen in 1990 at Stadion in Stockholm.
  • What’s the gig that you have played yourself, and you will never forget because it was super special for you: There is a lot of them.. Ohhh… If I had to choose one, we played at Stadion in Stockholm with Witchcraft in 2008. We were touring with Motorhead, I have seen so many shows at that venue growing up, and that was very special to be able to play there with my band! That was very cool and fun. But there is a hundred of them of course!
  • If you could assemble a band of your favorite musicians, who would be your picks (guitar, bass, drummer, vocals, keyboards): Bill Ward, David Gilmour, Geezer Butler, Paul Rodgers, or Ian Gillan on his prime and Vincent Crane!


Last but not least, what’s your message to your fans?

Is there anyone out there?! (laughs)

If you have listened to our records, bought the albums, downloaded the music etc. I wanna say a big ‘thank you’, it really means so much to me and us. We will try to play as much as possible in the near future and meet as many people as possible! See you out there!


Always a pleasure to meet you in person and talk with you, thanks for your time, see you quite soon again, actually next week in Akkurat!

Absolutely, always a pleasure to meet you and speak with you. See you in a few days!

Sands of Eternity were on a long hiatus, but now they are back with a great new sophomore album! "Beyond The Realms Of Time" is a fantastic melodic power/prog metal album, ideal for fans of Iron Maiden, Helloween, Stratovarius, etc. With the guidance of Bob Katsionis, Sands of Eternity reveal their true, hidden power and become part of the Greek power/prog metal front. Myth of Rock, shocked by Sands of Eternity and its musicianship, came in touch with band leader and guitarist Ioannis Ioakimides, and we had a nice chat! Come on, let's follow the path of Sands of Eternity! 

Dimitris Zacharopoulos

Hello, guys. I know that you were formed in 1996 and released an album in 2002. What did you do afterwards? How did the band become active again? How do you feel now that you have just released your new album?

Hello, that is a good question, since from 2002 to 2022 it is twenty years that passed by. The original band of 2002 – called Hourglass Sands Of Eterrnity - broke apart and everyone followed his own path. I, as the main composer of the band, kept on writing heavy metal songs. In this journey I met with our current singer Michael “Dice” Papadakis who showed great interest in the songs and we have tried in various times to record some of them in a home studio approach. Then in 2021 eventually ten new songs were accumulated, and it is then, when I decided that a proper album is needed. So we cooperated with Bob Katsionis who assumed the role of our producer and we changed the name of the band from Hourglass Sands Of Eternity to Sands Of Eternity to mark our evolution to a new era. The end result was “Beyond The Realms Of Time” and now that we finally have our new album in our hands we feel not only happy, but also a great sense of accomplishment.

Can you present the members of the band?

Yes, the band’s current line-up is : Ioannis Ioakimides- guitars, Michael “Dice” Papadakis- vocals, Thanassis Skoutelis- bass, Michael Skoutelis- drums, Vangelis Kalentzis- keyboards and Kostas Nanos- guitars.

When were the songs of “Beyond the Realms of Time” composed? How different are the new songs of Sands of Eternity compared to the songs of “Journey to Infinity”?

Most of the songs of “Beyond The Realms Of Time” were composed the last five years, but there are some that were composed before that, as far back as 2002. The main differences with “Journey To Infinity” is that the sound is much more fresh than back then, there is an evolution in terms of aesthetics in the new album and of course there is a change in the vocals, where I believe that Dice sounds more mature than our former singer.

The music and the lyrics of the new album belong to Ioannis Ioakimides. Describe the composing process of “Beyond the Realms of Time”. Which was the contribution of the other members?

The composing process is mainly me writing the song (music and lyrics) and presenting it to the other members. Of course, a distinct part is played by Dice, where we work together for the melodies of the voices. In this stage I want to stress that both Michalis Skoutelis as well as Kostas Nanos are new additions to the band, after the album’s release, but they have integrated very well to the spirit of the band with a great chemistry with the rest of us.

The new album was recorded at Bob Katsionis’ Sound Symmetry Studio and produced by Bob Katsionis. Describe the whole recording process of the new album. Which was Bob Katsionis’ contribution to the new album?

Bob’s contribution was essential not only, because he acted as a producer but also played the keyboards for us. So, after having recorded the rhythm and lead section for each track we collaborated with Bob very well in the writings of the vocals, where again his contribution to them was seminal, especially in the backing vocals part.

Give us all the information about the new album cover. Who did it and how is it connected with the content of your music/lyrics?

The artwork was made by Uwe Jarling under the guidance of Dice, Bob and me and we believe that the final work is excellent and lives up to the high standards we set forth for this album. It represents a passage through time, which for us is the evolution from the old to the new band. Even though not semantically directly connected to the lyrics still this message on its own highlights exactly the position of the band in the beginning of its new era.

Where do you think that Sands of Eternity differ from the other power/prog bands? Which are the characteristics that make your sound unique?

In terms of compositions, we try to have a distinctive lyrical and epical approach to our melodies, our vocal progression and our riffs, so that might be one differentiating point. The other one is the lyrics where we try to encapsulate a story or a personal though through in a way that not only serves as a natural extension of the music, but also has a meaning of its own. And finally I would highlight the singing of Dice, who literally gives meaning through his singing in every word of our lyrics. 

You releases a video for “Enlightened (Mighty Warrior)”. Why did you select the certain song for a video? How did you experience the shootings of that video?

We selected “Enlightened (Mighty Warrior)” as we think it encapsulates many themes that we can find on the album as a whole both in terms of musical arrangement as well as in its lyrics, so it is a very representative song for our style. The shooting of the video lasted half a day and was directed by Bob Katsionis with the help of Alex Charitakis. It was shot in a hill in a suburb of Athens and the process itself even though a bit tiring was quite fun and enjoyable.

How easy or difficult is it for a new Greek power/prog metal band to be successful? Why?

It is not easy to achieve success in the Greek power/prog scene for any band, if it stays within Greece’s boundaries, as the Greek market is relatively small for this genre. For a band to be successful in this it must aim for an international career with a lot of live appearances both in Greece but most importantly abroad. Also it should have a good promotional mechanism for its material in order to reach as many listeners as possible, which in turn implies the existence of the related budget either from the band itself to begin with or from a dedicated company that would take the band under its umbrella.

If you had the opportunity to have a famous guest musician in a Sand of Eternity song, who would you choose? Why?

As a guitarist, I would want to play with Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden. I always admired the vibe and feeling of his solos both in Iron Maiden as well as Bruce’s Dickinson albums.

Concerts – do you plan to give some live shows? What should we wait from Sands of Eternity on stage?

Yes, it is in our immediate plans and we work hard towards this goal.

Your message to our readers!

I want to thank you for the opportunity to present ourselves, and I want to say stay all tuned in the metal world and keep rocking!