There are plenty of reasons to like Exodus, the third full-length album (and first on Ulterium Records) of Slovakia’s Signum Regis. Musical direction comes to mind first, taking a power metal foundation imbued with strong hints of speed, classic and melodic metal but also emphasizing occasional progressive and jam-fusion overtones. A concept revolving around the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt also deserves note. Angelic Warlord had the recent opportunity to discuss the album with Signum Regis bassist Ronnie König, who offers his thoughts about both the inspiration behind the Exodus concept and the writing and recording process (among other topics).
I would like start by talking about the origin to Signum Regis. When did you develop the vision for Signum Regis? And what inspired you to start the band?
It took some time and it all happened during the time we were doing another project - band called Vindex. There were basically two kind of songs in Vindex: rough, thrashy heavy metal and melodic metal. We have always liked both, but there was this opinion, that it should not be under one roof. The voice of Ludek, the singer of Vindex was more suitable for the heavy stuff. That was one part of the thing. The other thing was, that Vindex wasn’t doing much progress those days in 2006 and 2007. We wanted to move on, start a new thing. The songwriting was not the problem at all. I had a bunch of songs ready, we had the enthusiasm. We just needed to make it happen.
What led you to work with vocalist Göran Edman?
I have been a big fan of Göran. I really like, what he has recorded during his career. Especially the heavier stuff. Our songs were in the style that I thought would work with Göran’s voice perfectly. Those days, it seemed to me, that he wasn’t involved in too many projects, so I gave it a shot and contacted him. He liked the demos and he wanted to be a part of it.
I would also like to know more about your musical background. Who were your musical influences while growing up? Also, what musicians inspired you?
I started playing on an instrument quite late. I was like 17 years old, maybe 16. I thought, I was too old for lead guitar so I picked bass. In many bands, the bass is almost irrelevant, but thanks to bands like Helloween, I believed, that bass might be cool too. My main influences are Helloween, Megadeth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Impellitteri, Rod Stewart and John Fogerty.
What is the meaning behind the name Signum Regis?
My brother Tommy, who writes most of the lyrics came up with this idea to name the band Signum Regis. It’s in Latin, it sounds cool and somehow underlines the epic dimension of our music. Moreover, it is a little wordplay. It basically means signature of the king and our last name means king, so all of that combined is quite an interesting combination.
What are you thoughts in regards to the group’s new album Exodus? Are you happy with the way the album turned out? What are some of your favorite songs off the album and why?
I am very happy to say, that we have been enjoying the best response from the fans so far. It lifts my hope, that this album might be milestone for us. We would love to have the chance to show, that there really is potential to deliver great music during a long period of time. My favorite songs on the album are “Exodus”, “The Ten Plagues” and “Song Of Deliverance”. These songs rock the most. I really like the riffs and vocals in “Exodus”, the overall sound and dynamics of “The Ten Plagues” and the melodies and lyrics of “Song Of Deliverance”.
How did the writing and recording process for Exodus go? And what inspired you to record a concept album based around the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt?
Few years ago, I wrote 3 songs: “Let Us Go!”, “Wrath Of Pharaoh” and “Exodus”. Honestly, I can’t remember, what was the inspiration to write such lyrics. Probably, I was reading the Bible or watching the Moses movie. One way or the other, those 3 songs were meant to be together. The idea to record a full-length album came from Emil Westerdahl of Ulterium Records. He liked the idea so much, that he suggested, that we write more songs and release it all together as a concept album. It was much more difficult to write a whole concept about one topic, but it has been very rewarding.
How and why did Signum Regis sign with Ulterium Records?
Our second album - The Eyes Of Power - was released via Inner Wound Recordings. Ulterium Records and Inner Wound Recordings are run by the same people. The reason, why Exodus was released by Ulterium and not Inner Wound has to do with the lyrics. The Eyes Of Power was more secular and Exodus is a gospel concept album, so it fits to Ulterium Records better.
Earlier this month Signum Regis had the opportunity to perform with label mates Theocracy. How did the concert go? And what was it like working with Theocracy?
It turned out very well. We never had a rehearsal together with Matt. I watched the video and there is really no mistake, we just nailed it. Matt was great, he could sing it all exactly like he did on the CD and the crowd loved it. It would be great, if we could do it again.
What does the future hold for Signum Regis? Is another album in the works?
We believe, that there is a lot to come from Signum Regis in the future. Right now, we are rehearsing an extended set list for the concerts and we are also recording the rehearsals, both audio and video. We will be posting the videos regularly. For the fans, it is very interesting to know, if the band can actually play what they recorded on the CD. One way to show it, is to be on tour all time, which is not our case right now. The other way is to do something like those videos. The songs for the next album are already prepared. There will absolutely be a new album and we will not wait too long before we start recording it.
Tell me about the first two Singum Regis album, Signum Regis and The Eyes Of Power. Are either concept albums? And how do they compare musically to Exodus?
Both of them are concept albums. The Eyes Of Power is more historical and very original. There is no other band that covered the topic of Roman and Persian relationship in the late antiquity in the Middle East. To those, who are interested in history, I suggest to google “Dura Europos”. It might have been one of the first cities in the history, that was destroyed using chemical warfare, when the Persians used poisonous gas in the underground tunnels. I think, one day, they could do a big budget movie about this. Musically speaking, The Eyes Of Power is more oriental sounding, instrumental and progressive, Exodus is more melodic and vocal oriented.
I would like to close by thanking you for honoring Angelic Warlord with this interview. Do you have any last words you would like to offer our readers?
Thank you for reading this interview. Please visit our website www.signum-regis.com and check us out! If you are a metal fan, I bet you will like some of our songs. You can also support us by liking us on Facebook or perhaps you could write a short customer recommendation at Amazon. Stay tuned!