When the band first started what were your expectations for the project and did it turn out the way you thought?
I don’t think we had any specific expectations in the very first steps of the band. The band was founded to make original music. We have not set specific goals, deadlines and we have not focused on how to become known more quickly. In general, we were idealists. Over time, it turned out that not everyone thought like me and our paths parted with most of the formed members. I’m still an idealist, but unfortunately I already know that the music business world is not what I thought. It is much more cruel. Also, I think we have achieved much more than we had dreamed of. Our name is already known. Many people around the world like our music. We don’t have as much concert activity as we want, at least for now, but it’s a matter of time and right people. We are now much ahead of what we had imagined at the beginning. We don’t make music for money or fame. I will never stop repeating it. We make music because it is our life and our calling.
What makes Metalwings unique?
Each band is unique in itself, because the spirit of the band is determined not only by the music being made, but also by the energy of each of its members. That is why we are unique with each of the members who contribute to the sound and distinctive features of our band.
We are unique because we were able to make a break into a business that does not tolerate independent bands. We have succeeded, even though we are from a small country that big labels are not interested to invest in. Despite everything we have gone through, we are here, much stronger and more united. We look ahead and think only of our upcoming album which will change the world of symphonic metal.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process from musical and lyrical standpoint?
The process of creating each song is different. Sometimes I create the lyric first and then the music to it or vice versa. Each song carries its own life and imprint. Tells a story, leaves memories. I would never allow myself the luxury of creating songs that say nothing and carry no message except to fill in the blanks in an album. I pay due attention and respect to each song because music is not a dice game. Music is the language of time. If you ignore this, no one will remember you.
It’s not easy to compose. If one claims that the process of composing or writing lyrics is something very easy, then there is more to learn. It’s hard, but it’s the best thing a person can do. It is a creation and a gift that you need to develop every day and not take for granted. I make my music with love and attention to every detail. Sometimes I get the feeling that I give myself so much into the music that I won’t have the strength to go to the surface afterwards. And when you reach the edge and know that you have no power left to go on, you suddenly feel that there is no other way but the one you are heading for. As exhausted as I am after the creation of a song, in just a few days, with much more force I begin to compose the next. It is a process of destruction and creation. It’s like burning and being reborn.
What lead you to become metal singer? Has it always been a dream of yours?
I always wanted to and knew I would become a singer. As I studied opera singing, I realized that this was not my scene and I did not invest the time to pursue a career in this area. Being a metal singer is fate. You can’t escape your destiny.
What is the hardest thing that you’ve had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
I have a hard time when some member of the band leaves. No matter what is the reasons for this happen, I always looked for the guilt first in myself. It took me a long time to understand that people were just coming and going. Everyone follows its own path and destiny. No one is here forever, neither is irreplaceable. After all, this band is my dream. Some of the people who left the band simply did not want to pursue other people’s dreams.Each obstacle is a new opportunity. I overcome what has happened and find musicians who know what they want and what they are ready to accomplish. I am grateful for the difficult moments, betrayals and lessons because they have brought me to where we are now. We are preparing a new album, which will be something that has not been created so far. We have a lot of fun and we get along perfectly. More than ever we are motivated to break the status quo and give the world a real symphonic metal album.
Do you have a plan recording new album? or tour in Europe?
Yes, that’s the plan. We are currently working hard on our next album. We hope to enter the studio in the summer of 2020 to record it. After that we will do our best to make a promotional tour in Europe.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans before we wrap things up?
Thank you for the support and strength you give us. Without you we will only be a whisper in the darkness.
Read the full interview following the link. The interview with Stela is on page 15:
This is an official video by METALWINGS of the track “For All Beyond” (Orchestral Version) – the self-titled song from the worldwide successful debut album “For All Beyond”. METALWINGS is a female-fronted metal band from Bulgaria, playing symphonic metal.
© 2019 Metalwings. All rights reserved
Composer & Orchestrator: Stela Atanasova
Conductor: Liubomir Denev
Performed by Sofia Session Orchestra
Session engineer: Plamen Penchev
Session producer: George Strezov
Mix & Master by Max Morton (Morton Studio)
Video Crew: Production Manager: Kalin Iliev (WonderSwamp)
Edited by: Peter Tomov
Camera operator 1: Peter Tomov Camera operator 2: Kalin Iliev Camera operator 3: Aleksandar Kostov Camera operator 4: Dimitar Chilov
Stela Atanasova: We’ve mixed all our emotions in every song of the album “For All Beyond” with a lot of work, a lot of listening and smoothing out every detail. The secret is to find the balance. As a friend of mine said, there is everything in each of your songs – there is joy and sadness, there is tenderness and power. Like a bouquet of spring flowers”.
In recent years, our focus has shifted because of social platforms and technologies. We have bad news all the time, governments around the world are acting crazy, the music is full of aggression. We need more light and a breathe of air from all this invasion. We need the tenderness and kindness that we have buried deep within ourselves.
It is a very well balanced album, with a good production and mixed, the balance I hear is quite impressive, I mean Stela’s beautiful voice and the musical combination she has, she has an excellent tempo between each note and input of the instruments, It is atmospheric yes, it is continuous, it is different in musical style between tracks but it keeps that instrumental softness very well managed, in fact Stela’s voice stands out quite a lot. A Symphonic / Goth Metal with a lot of mastery well done, the instrumental parts give it that dramatic and operatic part, suddenly we are impressed with a perfect classic power metal that gives a touch to the album of rudeness!
For symphonic metal fans with beautiful melodic voices this band is a spearhead, for moments is compared with Epica or Within Temptation for the musical mastery.
Stela’s voice is melodically beautiful, soft, wide range and tessitura, white and clean, I hear that it can handle high notes without breaking the harmony managed, it has perfect balance, which does not fall into a sharp distorted and without rhythm, which is sometimes committed in other bands, the harmony and tessellation of Stela’s voice is the strong point of the band, I congratulate Stela!
O nosso próximo álbum abrirá certamente um novo capítulo no mundo do metal sinfónico.
A afinar uma sonoridade distinta desde a sua concepção em 2010, os Metalwings prometem agitar as águas da cena metal sinfónica. A Metal Hammer Portugal dá a conhecer o colectivo búlgaro.
“For All Beyond”: «Quisemos com este disco apresentar ao mundo um trabalho conceptual dentro do estilo do metal sinfónico, que traz a beleza a este género musical, reforçado pelo poder das orquestrações, dos elementos clássicos misturados com as guitarras e do som da viola com os vocais angelicais da Stela Atanasova.»
Temática: «A temática de “For All Beyond” é construída em torno da árvore da vida, que está representada na capa deste disco. Todos os temas são diferentes mas estão, ao mesmo tempo, ligados à ideia de fluidez e da energia da vida que nos rodeia. Tudo gravita à volta das nossas raízes, sonhos, medos e esperanças. Este disco simboliza o ciclo da vida, o princípio e o fim, a luz e as trevas. O elemento que liga todas as nossas músicas é a bondade, a fé e o desejo de encontrar a luz e a felicidade.»
Evolução: «A evolução da nossa sonoridade começou com a mudança de alguns membros. Cada músico trouxe a sua energia e deu um sentido à música. A beleza da música será sempre uma prioridade para nós e estamos agora à procura de novas formas de expressar, enfatizar e fortalecer o seu impacto. O nosso próximo álbum abrirá certamente um novo capítulo no mundo do metal sinfónico.»
Aquilo que os distingue: «Quisemos impor o nosso nome e criar uma distinção no nosso estilo. Como sabemos, cada banda é única naquilo que faz. Todos somos fãs de bandas diferentes mas o nosso desejo é criar a nossa própria identidade no mundo da música e isto não acontece se imitarmos os nossos ídolos. Só acontece se acreditarmos em nós próprios e ouvirmos a música que toca nos nossos corações.»
Posted by Ivona Bogner
I have met Stela Atanasova in the beginning of 2017. She was too kind to come to my hotel in Sofia where we had friendly conversation at the hotel lobby. She is one of the kindest persons I have ever met. Friendly, calm, eloquent, intelligent, respectful… Her band Metalwings released “For All Beyond” album in April last year, so now you can read what Stela has to say about it and lot more. I hope you will enjoy in this interview as much as I did.
Metalwings are back from the first interatonal tour. In March you have been playing in Romania and Austria. Tell me something more about your impressions?
This tour was a real pleasure and a test for us. I am very happy and satisfied that it happened because it is a very important step from the path of every band. We had the opportunity to meet and play with great bands and musicians. We met many of our fans from abroad who had traveled for us from other countries. For example, in Bucharest we were surprised by fans from Israel who had come to hear us live and in Vienna came our fans from Germany. I felt great all the time on the tour but the best moments were those we experienced on scenes where I could feel the energy of people and see the glitter in their eyes. It’s an incredible experience to be on a tour. I would make it permanent.
The band has been playing lots of concerts in Bulgaria. This was the first time the band played on international stages. Now, when it is over, can you tell me good and bad sides of touring?
Even though the tour was short, I got some idea of what to expect next time on a longer tour. You definitely do not have to go with great expectations. You have to take everything with a smile and calm because the tension is huge and people with a weaker psyche would not stand. The good sides are the fans – this is the most precious thing. Meet them, talk to them because it’s a dream come true for them to touch you. Also win new fans, meet new musicians. We also got experience from working with different teams on different scenes. We have seen how clubs working outside of Bulgaria and I can only say that I have not met such a professional attitude for a long time. If we can talk about bad sides- first, it’s the financial part. We faced conditions that would be tough for many of the bands that rely on their own resources, as it was with us. Every day we had to travel vast distances between the towns and immediately without any rest to unload all the equipment, to set it up, to perform concerts and then to load everything again. We slept every night after 2 in the morning and we had to get up at 6 to head to the next town to be there in time. But I can say boldly that it was worth every sleepless night and hardship because it all disappeared the moment we were on the stage. Maybe there are no good and bad sides. Everything is part of the game and who is strong enough and motivated to jump deep, must be ready to experience all this with good and bad. Besides, such a tour is a great test of the will for everyone. Not all of them were mentally prepared for the difficulties and this tour has helped me to find out who I can really count on in the band.
How hard is to be a main composer, lyrics writer, producer?
Depends on the viewpoint. From my point of view this means freedom. The more independent I am, the more certain the band will survive. I have long understood that the less the future of the band depends on people’s inconsistency, the easier it will be to move forward. I’ve always loved writing music and lyrics. I know how my music should sound – so naturally I became a producer of our albums. I think about everything in the band, find the right people and pull the band ahead and hope when I turned back to see people who don’t travel for free. I just want to see people who truly believe in what we are doing together are ready to go this way with me. Of course, it’s hard to be all that stuff, but music makes sense of my life and everything I do for it makes sense. I can’t afford to leave my happiness in the hands of other people. They will always be able to destroy it.
Let′s talk about your videos… How do you choose locations?
“Crying Of The Sun” from previous EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell” was filmed in Belogradchik and “Fallen Angel In The Hell” in Prohodna (The Eyes Of God/God’s Eyes) Cave. Where was filmed “For All Beyond”?
“For All Beyond” was filmed in several locations. This time we changed the concept a bit, because we do not want to go into clichés and every time to rely on some natural landmark. But again we used beautiful places in Bulgaria to emphasize the meaning of the song. For example, at the beginning the video is shot down to a century-old tree, which is one of the last trees left by the Great Bulgarian Forest. The band was filmed in a military unit. The building was very beautiful, but unfortunately it is now ruined. The destroyed building embodies the past, the ruins we leave behind and the lost hopes. Towards the end of the song we shot the scenes over the Ropotamo River and the place where the Veleka River flows into the Black Sea. It was an epic film production and here is the time to thank the whole video production team who made this music video reality.
Ik ga behoorlijk buiten mijn comfortzone met deze release van Metalwings. De uit Bulgarije afkomstige band voorziet de luisteraar van symfonische gothic metal. Eerlijkheidshalve gebiedt het me te zeggen dat dit een genre is waar ik sinds het horen van de Ice Queen-single van Within Temptation al hard van weg loop (als de jonge muzieksnob die ik was). Ik heb echter goede dingen gehoord over deze band en aangezien het schijfje inmiddels toch al een poosje op de redactie is blijven liggen, kies ik ervoor om met een open blik te luisteren naar het debuutalbum van Stela Atanasova en haar heren, getiteld For All Beyond. Het bleek een meervoudige zit te worden, maar één die niet als onprettig werd ervaren.
Vooralsnog brengt Metalwings dit debuut uit in eigen beheer, maar het zal een kwestie van tijd zijn voordat deze band wordt opgepakt door een serieus label. Uitstekende musici met een oor voor het schrijven van pakkende songs. Als zelfs iemand als ik deze release meerdere malen kan afspelen, dan is het voor de vele genreliefhebbers slechts een verstopte topplaat, die nog ontdekt moet worden. Behoor jij daar toe, dan tel je waarschijnlijk nog zo’n vijftien punten bovenop de onderstaande score.
One of female fronted metal bands that attracted my attention in past years is Bulgarian symphonic power metal band Metalwings.
Although the band was formed in 2010, metal world had to wait over than six years to hear what they have to offer. Their first EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell” was released in 2016.
Our focus is on full length album “For All Beyond” that was released on the 19th of April 2018. The recording started in April 2017. The album is mixed and mastered by Max Morton at Morton Studio in Ukraine.
It might be atypical, but I will start with videos. The band was focused on natural beauties of their homeland, so it is totally understandable why they choose to film “Crying Of The Sun” from previous EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell” Belogradchik and the next one, “Fallen Angel In The Hell” in Prohodna (The Eyes Of God/God’s Eyes) Cave. They continued tradition at “For All Beyond” and where the video for title song was filmed will be a secret that might be revealed in an interview with the band you will read soon in our magazine.
Another good side of this album is that is it, compared to EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell”, we have found here more dramatic elements, upgraded creativity and professionalism at higher level.
In global, album could be split in two parts. The first part includes brand new songs while second is more for romantic souls, orchestral and acoustic.
The main Metalwings inspiration was and still remained life itself.
From the song number nine, I can say we are entering realm of beauty. Don’t get me wrong, album in global is at high level, but songs “Тъжни Сърца” and orchestral versions of “For All Beyond” and instrumental version of “Fallen Angel” in the Hell are truly masterpiece.
I never believed in metal sung in any other language but English. “Тъжни Сърца” made me change my strong attitude.
Compared to Metalwings EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell”, album “For All Beyond” is more serious, more complex, more melodic, heavier, powerful, elegant… Everything is bigger here. It seems Metalwings used full potential this time.
Don’t compare Metalwings with Nightwish, Epica or Within Temptation! They are quite unique if its even possible in metal world, bringing us strong author seal, perfectly combining of symphonic, gothic and power metal spiced with Celtic influences. Flute, viola, violin, piano perfectly arranged. Everything is perfectly balanced, nothing is over the limits: overbombastic, overdranatic, over…
Nightwish of Balkans are ready for the world stages!
It seems future of metal lies in woman’s hands. Metalwings might be a proof of my theory.