Founded in 2007 and after releasing three studio records, with Viribus Unitis, Dragony return to their rock opera roots, following up on the conceptual approach of the debut album Legends. For their exciting adventure cemented in their upcoming full length, the Austrians around former Visions Of Atlantis singer, Siegfried Samer was supported by well-known colleagues like Tommy Johansson (Sabaton), Tomas Svedin (Symphony Of Tragedy), Michele Guaitoli (Visions Of Atlantis), and Georg Neuhauser (Serenity) – just to name a selection. Mixing and mastering Viribus Unitis was done by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann of Orden Ogan in his Greenman Studios in Germany.
We return to the days when Austria was ruled by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Empress Sisi. But forget everything you’ve heard and read so far! According to Austrian symphonic power metal heroes Dragony and their brand new record Viribus Unitis, the history of their home country took a completely different turn.
What really happened at the time of the last Habsburg ruler of Austria, his wife, and their son, the troubled Archduke Rudolf, is revealed by the symphonic power metal six-piece on their fourth full-length Viribus Unitis. Let’s clear the assumption that Rudolph died after trying to take his life at castle Mayerling in 1889. No way! Instead, after his mother Sisi is assassinated in 1898 in Switzerland, he subsequently gets in contact with dark powers which, driven by his desire to be with her again, make him turn to black magic and demonology. Now history takes its true (!) course. There are not only zombies and cyber-punks lurking, but Dragony also managed to prove further entanglements of well-known personalities you might never imagine…
Could Dragony’s re-writing of history mark a new revelation of hidden truths previously shrouded in fantasy, or, perhaps it was all a dream? Only Viribus Unitis, and our exclusive interview with Siegfried Samer tells all!
For me personally, I think the album opener and first single “Gods of War” is quite special, as it was a songwriting contribution from two very great friends of mine, Tommy Johansson from Sabaton & Majestica, and his songwriting partner in their project Symphony of Tragedy, Tomas Svedin. This song adds a new dimension to the Dragony sound, as it has this typical “Scandinavian power metal” touch, which so far none of our songs really had. Also, I think the chorus on this song is really catchy, and I can’t wait to play this one live once touring is possible again!The most special song on Viribus Unitis
This summer will be 14 years since we’ve been doing this madness! (laughs) It sounds almost surreal – it’s basically all my adult life that I’ve been part of this band, and we’ve had some quite memorable experiences over the years! From the recording of our very first album “Legends” and signing our first record label deal with Limb Music back in 2012, over European tours with Gamma Ray, Visions of Atlantis, and Serenity, to playing huge festivals like Wacken Open Air, Nova Rock and the legendary 70.000 Tons of Metal, it’s safe to say that we got to see and experience a lot more cool things as a band than we ever thought possible!
And it seems like right now is only the start for bigger things, as we’ve just signed with Napalm Records this past summer. Napalm is one of the biggest metal labels in the world today, and we are very excited about all the possibilities of this new cooperation.
Biggest challenges in the past 14 years:
I think the biggest challenge has been and continues to be the reconciliation of having a band with our “normal” everyday lives and jobs. We are all not full-time musicians, so we are all working full-time day jobs, which of course doesn’t make it very easy to always have enough time for practicing, rehearsing, touring, recording, etc. Some of us meanwhile have families, so time is becoming more and more of a scarce commodity; but I guess that’s just normal once you reach a certain age. Of course, we will try to keep doing it all quite a bit longer, and so far we’ve managed quite well – I don’t think there’s any reason to quit now! (laughs)
The biggest challenge during the working process of the new album:
The biggest challenge was certainly overcome all the logistical limitations that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to all sorts of restrictions in everyday life, we just couldn’t work in the studio the same way we would normally do. So that caused quite a few changes in our plans and made some adaptations necessary. But thankfully, eventually all turned out well and we were able to deliver a great product – or at least, so we think! (laughs)
The most memorable moment:
I think for me it was when I received the shipment of the vinyl edition of the finished album. While I have a vinyl record of the Visions of Atlantis album I was singing on, “The Deep & The Dark”, this marks the first time that “my own” band Dragony has an album on vinyl, and it was certainly a very special feeling to hold the first copy in my hands. Also, the artwork looks really awesome on the big vinyl gatefold cover!
As mentioned, it slowed the production process down quite a bit, but it wasn’t too bad all in all. The more difficult part is now I would say, as we would of course love to go on tour with the new album that’s out on 15th January, but right now it’s not looking like any tours will be possible anytime soon; at least not in the first half of 2021. So this is a bit bad for our momentum as a band right now – but well, it is what it is, and we just have to make the best of the situation!
Getting out of a creative crisis:
When I can’t think of any good melodies to write or get stuck on some chord progression, I usually stop working on music and distract myself some other way, either through playing some video games, watching a movie, or reading something. Eventually, the inspiration comes back – and usually, it does in the most unusual moments! (laughs)
There are plans in the works for this, and hopefully, we will be able to reveal more details soon!
We didn’t have a show at all in 2020 due to COVID-19, so that’s definitely the big goal for this year, to return to the stages! We hope that you have a lot of fun with “Viribus Unitis”, and that you enjoy listening to the album as much as we enjoyed making it! 2020 was pretty forgettable – so here is to making 2021 all the more unforgettable! Stay glorious!
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Photocredit: Dominik Izaquiel Tomé