Almost three weeks ago, Serbian epic power/black metal band Numenor from Serbia released its latest full-length Draconian Age, including a track featuring Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kürsch. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to chat with Numenor vocalist Despot Marko Miranović – a really nice guy and extremely passionate musician. Enjoy reading!
Hi Marko, how are you doing?
Marko: Really great, thank you! My band is growing fast, day by day, sometimes hour by hour. Our last album Draconian Age turned out be the best ever rated album that has come from Serbia by the most important magazine in our country. On the other hand I am just finishing my part of Blind Guardian’s biograhy with Hansi Kürsch. In this particular moment, we are facing the At the Edge of Time period.
Sounds really interesting! There are, for sure, some readers who don’t know Numenor yet. Tell us a bit about the history your band, please.
We are not young anymore, that’s for sure. Numenor has 4 full-length albums and it‘s already established, although we never played live. Also, we have 6 CDs since some of our records were re-released two times since they were sold out. Moreover, some of our most popular songs are «Dragon of Erebor» and the cover of «Valhalla» (Blind Guardian). The band has become even more popular world wide when we did a song and video with Hansi Kürsch. Actually, Blind Guardian are helping us a lot. Our style is uniquely placed between power and black metal, while our lyrics are based on pure fantasy.
How would you define the style of your band?
I have stated on several occasions that Numenor performs sword and sorcery metal. But, anyway, our music has lots of epic moments, power and traditional heavy elements and some black/death as well. To keep the story short, «epic power/black metal» would suit.
Which bands would you classify as your major influences?
There are few bands which are really important (and obvious), like Luca Turilli or Rhapsody, and then there’s Iron Maiden, King Diamond, but lyrically, I try to be an answer to Blind Guardian, so I am more hardcore than Hansi since I only deal with Tolkien and Moorcock. On the other hand, we have some songs directly inspired by Norwegian bands like Arcturus or Covenant (I think this is also too obvious). I mean, this is not strange at all since we grew up listening to those bands.
Let’s talk about your latest output Draconian Age. I like it very much. What do you think about this record?
Thanks so much for the compliment! I have to admit that this was the most direct album ever made by us since we didn’t want to complicate it. So, I guess that we were less creative but more focused. Ideas just came up step by step, we started with «Feanor» and «Mirror Mirror» and then we slowly developed both the album and ideas. I would say that our first two records were much more creative.
Could you point out a favourite track on Draconian Age? I think it was great to work together with a legend like Hansi Kürsch…
Actually, my favorite tracks are «Where the Battle Rages on» and «Hall of the Mountain King» (both musically and lyrically) and – that’s the strangest thing – I also love the first version of «Make the Stand». This was a black metal song named «At the Gates of Moria».
Do you generally read a lot of reviews about your music? And what was the weirdest thing you read in an article?
Yes, I like to read them as long as they are smart but there are many strange reviews coming up here and there. Well, perhaps the strangest thing is when writers compare Numenor with Ensiferum or Finntroll. This shows that people who are reviewing the album do not have any clue what they are listening to. This is really madness! I have stated many times that we have nothing in common with these bands.
How popular is metal in Serbia these days? Is there a vivid underground scene?
No, it‘s rather unpopular, I would guess – and to be honest, I do not have any clue about how vivid the underground scene here really is. But some 20 years ago from now, between 2000-2005, there were a lot of people listening to metal. Still, older metalheads speak about those great times here. From 2005 on, everything started to go downwards…
Are there any Serbian metal bands who you would like to recommend to our readers?
Claymorean would be one of them, that’s for sure. Actually, I do remember some bands from the past like 20 years ago when we were young. It‘s not that I loved their music but we were hanging out together since there were many more people into metal than nowadays. Some of these bands and their records sound completely hilarious nowadays, like Draconic’s debut CD for example, but on the other hand, this record hides a lot of potential. Srdjan and Vladimir composed this record, who later on composed Colossal Darkness, Numenor’s debut CD.
What’s your favourite festival? Where would you like to play with Numenor in the future?
Summer Breeze – because we have a house just near the festival ground. But of course I love Wacken but it’s such a huge festival… or maybe I have become too old. But, yeah, these two festivals are among my favorite ones. I also love Metal Days. I would love to appear with Blind Guardian on Summer Breeze to sing one song with Hansi Kürsch, that’s not a secret at all. Then I could finally die (laughs).
On our blog, we focus on metal with epic elements. How would you define the term «epic» regarding music?
Actually, it‘s hard to define what’s epic and what’s not since Eternal Champion could sound quite epic and Rhapsody as well, although their sound is very different. Some say that Iron Maiden sounds epic, so it‘s really hard. Bathory is epic, that’s for sure.
No doubt about it! 2020 was a disaster, no doubt about it. But there were some great releases: What’s your favourite album released last year?
Actually, during 2020, we did a lot of stuff. I have to be honest, we used 2020 to complete our latest album and I did so many chats with Hansi concerning their biography. I do not think that we would have done all these things, if there was no COVID. Moreover, at the very end of 2020, the first ever CD of Blind Guardian appeared with a story that I had written alongside with Mark Frostenas. But yes, I completely agree with you, 2020 was a total fail in every aspect.
Last question, regarding J.R.R. Tolkien: What’s your favourite character out his universum?
Hm, hard one… I would say, but it depends, I always loved Gandalf because when I was just a child and I read The Lord of the Rings for the very first time, I was always feeling very safe and secure when Gandalf was around.
Marko, thank you very much for your time. It was a pleasure!