★★★★☆ from DEVILUTION in this review of HOLLOW MIRROR! Well-known in the Danish metal scene for their sharp ears and even sharper pens, we are thrilled with the lovely words from journalist Henrik Hjellerup Bro in this review of our debut album.
“SOFIA SCHMIDT‘s voice easily spans several octaves and not only is her clean vocal in peak form, she’s also handling the album’s growls. Truly a woman with an excellent organ”
“ETHEREAL KINGDOMS is a symphonic metal band, but it’s a bit more than that. A significant amount of black metal sneaks its way into the songs.”
Especially ‘ENDINGS’ was highlighted as an example of this, with massive blasts and the duality of Sofia’s growls and clean vocals.
“The inspiration from NIGHTWISH is present, but opposed to the swedes, ETHEREAL KINGDOMS is carried by guitar, bass and drums rather than long keyboard sequences”
The comparison to the Finnish symphonic legends was also noticed by METAL A DAY’s Mads Pristed in another review. Devilution’s Henrik Bro continues:
“HOLLOW MIRROR is an excellent full-length debut from ETHEREAL KINGDOMS. This reviewer totally overlooked that in 2019. It could have made its way to the top 5 Danish releases of the year”
Ethereal Kingdoms presents a musical total experience in Udlejre Church The critically acclaimed band experiments in the intersection between classical, metal and theatre concert in an intense, contrasting and emotional show, featuring the church’s beautiful organ.
The stories are brought to live exclusively by The Kingdom Choir, the church’s organ and special guest soloists in concord and contrast with roaring drums, elegant guitar lines and Sofia Schmidt’s characteristic soprano notes and low growls
The concert program consists of works from the critically acclaimed debut album Hollow Mirror (Mighty Music 2019) and two new pieces of music composed specifically for this concert experience.
Surrender. Let yourself be surprised, overwhelmed and full of wonder when Ethereal Kingdoms opens the doors to their beautiful and strange universe.
Spanish-based European Metal Channel featured Ethereal Kingdoms very first single and music video “Heartchamber” in their 145th “Best European Metal Bands” compilation.
Focusing on releases from October 2019, this song from Hollow Mirror made it onto their list. We are in good company with bands from all over the EU!
European Metal Channel has a collection of “Best European Metal Bands” for you to explore on their YouTube as well as on their website.
Watch or rediscover the story of Heartchamber – a beautiful bittersweet story of love and loss.
The song features award winning singer-songwriter Amalie Skriver on harmony vocals. The torn lovers in the story is portrayed by our lovely flute soloist Lærke Krarup and our good friend actor and athlete Magni Hansen.
We created the video with the joined forces of videographer Anders Mikkelsen (who also filmed this ‘Endings’ vocal playthrough video) and the brilliant editors at MindSpark Films:
Did you know that Sofia and Christian wrote the song for their participation in the finals of Wacken Metal Battle Denmark back in 2018? The story is linked to the songs “Beginnings” and “Endings”, which you can find on ‘Hollow Mirror’ Those three songs and the characters portrayed herein are therefore the core actors in the ghost stories on our debut album.
Earlier in November, we asked all of you which Ethereal Kingdoms song you would like to see a full vocal playthrough of. You chose ‘Endings’, 5th song on Hollow Mirror.
Sofia and our video-genius friend Anders Groos Mikkelsen of Mikkelsen Photo, spent an evening creating this full vocal playthrough video:
The video was created in our newly re-decorated rehearsal room, which we share with our good friends and label-mates Vanir. With three video lamps, two colored LED-bars, a dual-camera setup and some creative time in Final Cut Pro X, we created this clip for you.
Sofia used the Shure SM7b vocal microphone for this recording, and all screams and growls for Hollow Mirror was actually recorded with this very setup. Her clean vocals for the album was recorded in Wolf Rider Sound Productions studio. For this playtrhough though, everything is made on the SM7b, one of her absolute favorite pieces of equipment.
The studio version? It sounds like this, featuring The Kingdom Choir and an absolutely brilliant mix by Jakob Gundel of Gainfactory. Watch or re-watch the stunning lyric video with artwork by Anna Holm brought to life by legendary Scott Rudd Films:
Which Ethereal Kingdoms vocal playthrough would you like to see next? Leave a comment or reach out to us on Facebook,Instagram or Youtube!
Enter the theatrical metal experience. Ashes within, the opening song of this Ethereal Kingdoms live performance is now shared with the world. A raw, personal and intense recording from our performance with Wintersun, Seven Thorns and Faanefjell in Roskilde, Denmark, 30th of August.
“I search for beauty. For within me there is none” Unpredictable beauty. Unexpected brutality. Enter the theatrical metal experience with this Ethereal Kingdoms live clip.
On October 11th we released our debut album Hollow Mirror Now, (30th of august), less than three weeks later, we have already reached almost 9000 streams on Spotify alone. Well past 2000 of you have entered the Hollow Mirror dreamscape on Spotify, and we are grateful for each and every stream. Our stories are heard. Our words reach your heart.
Thank you so much everyone who listen and explore our stories! You make it possible for us to continue to create art and share our music. Follow us on spotify, tell a friend, add a song to a playlist of yours – YOU make the whole difference!
Journalist Lukas Schärer of Legacy magazine reached out to us for an interview in their 122nd issue. We talk about Hollow Mirror, our view on our unique take on symphonic metal, our show preparations for our Wintersun support show, our inspirations as well as our hopes and plans for the future.
Excerpts from the interview:
“(creating Hollow Mirror, red.) was a very emotional and intense experience. We hope that this energy reaches the listener. We can not wait to share the album with the world.”
“We focus on the contrast between beauty and brutality. If it’s only brutal, you get desensitized, it’s the twist that makes it interesting”
Sofia Schmidt, interview with Legacy Magazine
The theme of contrasts on Hollow Mirror is apparent, when we shift the topic towards our music video for Heartchamber:
“The video shows a love couple being torn apart. Both are recurrent characters on the album. We use quite brutal images, such as when the heart is ripped from the chest. It underscores the balance between the beautiful music and the rather gloomy lyric theme of loss and pain in the soul.”
Sofia Schmidt, interview with Legacy Magazine
We elaborate on the connection to our single Endings.
Read the entire feature of this Legacy Magazine interview in their issue no 122. Besides this interview, you can also find a 12 of 15 scored review of Hollow Mirror in the magazine’s review section.
In celebration of the release of our debut album Hollow Mirror We have created a special night full of strange wonder and beauty We play a one-of-a kind acoustic set with special guests Enjoy the band’s signature ‘Sovereign’ drink Contests, surprises and more! You are invited
11th of October 2019 Doors: 19.30 Showtime: 20.15 DJ’s, special surprises and more!
Venue: Zeppelin Rock Bar, Vesterbrogade 45, Copenhagen
For this show, we will be joined by flute soloist Lærke Leth, viola soloist Hansi Andersen and The Kingdom Choir in a bit of a different configuration. This night, they will consist of Victoria Omberg, Oliver Svensson and Mads ‘Arpeggio’ Sørensen. All of these artists except Victoria took part in creating Hollow Mirror, so this will be a very special moment for us to unleash the strange beauty in an intimate acoustic setting.
How do you create a symphonic metal album from scratch? What is life on the road like for Ethereal Kingdoms? And what is it like to sign with Mighty Music less than a year after your debut EP? We spoke to journalist Hell(e) in this Metalized magazine interview, the oldest metal and rock magazine in all of Scandinavia
Excerpts from the interview:
“We try to create the music we feel is missing out there. We draw our inspiration from a lot of different places, and always strive to create something extraordinary”
“For me (Sofia, red.) the growl is the 6th gear of my voice, it’s for when what I want to say can’t be said with intense high notes. I need to scream and roar it out, it’s a raw masculine energy that I like to work with in my voice”
“(Signing with Mighty Music, red.) has opened up a lot of opportunities to get our music out to those, who want to hear it”
“Especially live, we sometimes take big chances and experiment in the intersection between show and concert”
In this issue no 124, you will find a review of Hollow Mirror as well (10 of 10 stars, thank you so much!) as well as articles with Baest, Mayhem, Soren Andersen and many many more!
We have also spoken with Metallian, the largest French metal magazine in print (and even made it to the frontpage of their September/October issue! Thank you so much!
Metallian – the largest French language metal mag – have honored us with our very first foreign print magazine feature! And our name even made it to the front page!
The editors reached out to us for an exciting interview about Hollow Mirror, our music and our creative process. Christian and Sofia goes into detail about the theatrical aspect of our music and the concept behind the stories on our very first album. We also talk about our inspirations and dreams.
Read it in in this September/October issue.
We are featured alongside our heroes of Jinjer, Lacuna Coil, Killswitch Engage and our Mighty Music label mates Tygers of Pan Tang and Blood Red Throne.
Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Besides this interview, Metallian also awarded Hollow Mirror a grand 5/6 stars in their review of our debut album!
Have you entered the theatrical metal experience yet? Have you dared to step into Hollow Mirror? Get a glimpse into our soundscape with our three first singles: Heartchamber – Endings – Distance Three stories of torn fates, bitter hopes, loss, love and unbreakable bonds.
Follow us on Spotify and be among the first to hear our new album
We were invited for the very first installment of Copenhagen Metal Fest. A festival celebrating danish metal culture and Heavymetal.dk‘s 20th anniversary on three renowned stages: Amager Bio, Beta2300 and Teater ZeBu.
We’ve played both of the first stages at Nordic Noise and Dirty Days of Summer Festival, but we had yet to unleash our theatrical metal universe at at true, real theatre stage. We got this opportunity when we were offered a slot at 21st of September 2019 at Teater ZeBu stage.
September 20th and 21st 2019 something new happened in the Danish metal scene. We were among the lineup for the very first installment of Copenhagen Metal Fest – a new festival focusing only on Danish metal bands.
Heavymetal.dk reached out to us for an interview before the show, where we talk about our inspirations, the state of the Danish music scene and how it feels to be part of starting up something entirely new.
“We’re not afraid of taking chances and creating shows, that extend beyond just being a concert”
“Expect something intimate, something intense – with surprises! (…) We’re playing on a theatre stage, (…) so there’s space for getting up close and personal when the intensity and emotions are peaking. “
“Our format is flexible. Theatrical metal can be a lot of things. We’re gonna have a blast regardless”
Ethereal Kingdoms have been granted a very special time slot at Royal Metal Fest 2019. A unique opportunity to bring our theatrical metal visions to life. A space to experiment in the intersection between show and concert.
Each year, the Metal Royale Foundation, Dansk Musikerforbund and Dansk Artistforbund offer a grant for a band, that wants to do something extraordinary with their performance.
For 2019, we had the honor of being chosen – Showtime is 6th of April at 17.00 at the Radar venue at Royal Metal Fest.
Journalist Pernille Randrup reached out us to learn more. We spoke about what’s happening behind the scenes, our ideas and concepts for the show and how to make ghosts come to live on stage.
“It’s not a concert, it’s not a musical, it’s not theatre. It’s something different where we think stage-oriented. A show”
“Ethereal Kingdoms is about experimenting in the intersection between show and concert. The balance between the grotesque and the beautiful. Contrasts, quick shifts, sudden flows.”
“We bring dancers to coporealize ghosts and (…) bring a choir to be a living part of the stage, to make everything more vivid – and it’s just nicer with live voices!”
“We’re experimenting with video backdrops and to assist in the lights we have Martin Lundholm, the light tech of MØL”
Finntroll. Sylvatica. Vanir. A sold out venue. Special guests. A broken violin.
That was the ingredients of Ethereal Kingdoms’ night supporting Finntroll at Gimle 21st of September 2018.
Fresh off stage with the adrenaline still rushing, Sofia spoke with journalist Davide Bonavida of Heavymetal.it In this very first italian magazine feature, they talk about musical influences for Ethereal Kingdoms, the creative process and performance.
A few excerpts from the original interview in Italian 🇮🇹
“We wanted to create something unique that differentiates us, not just copy other bands. We don’t just make music, we create stories”
“I study as a classical singer (…) whereas Christian comes directly from death metal. The funny thing is that in our compositions it’s me who brings the chaotic part and the growling while he brings the nostalgic melodies.”
“(…) those who spend time listening to us cannot get that time back. So I want to make sure they have a good experience.”
“(…) you can’t wait for something to happen by itself, you have to do it yourself. We took initiative to organize this show. I contacted the club while Christian called the bands he already knew personally. (…) we needed a prominent name (…) so we contacted Finntroll, explaining our project and … they said yes. I could not believe it!”