MELODY LANE had a great interview with ROMAN NEMTSEV, founder and frontman of the Russian Atmospheric Melodic Death Metal band SLICE OF SORROW. Their new album titled "Egothrone" will be released on April 30th via Metal Carnival Records, 12 tracks with lots of melancholic melodies and headbanging rhythms, "...death metal combined with such genres as black, heavy, thrash and even gothic metal...".


MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name SLICE OF SORROW come from?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: Hello! I founded this band as a side project of my other band Instorm. I came up with lots of names for this project but none of them felt right. Then Marina Nemtseva (guitarist of Instorm) suggested to name it Slice of Sorrow and I thought that it’s perfect, because the songs are very melancholic and filled with sadness.

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is confirmed, is it the same from the beginning of the band…or have you had changes in the last years? Can you tell us anything about the roots of SLICE OF SORROW? And where the band was born?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: Slice of Sorrow was founded in Krasnodar, Russia. In the beginning there was only me, I was writing songs for a couple of years and when I got plenty of them, I decided it’s time to find people to play concerts. After that I’ve moved to Moscow. The first line-up was Roman Nemtsev (guitar, vocal), Max Konnov (drums), Alexander Petrov (bass) and Nick Yazykin (guitar). After one year we’ve parted ways with Alexander and Nick due to personal reasons. They’ve been replaced by Denis Fokin on bass and Arseniy Karnaukh on guitar. In 2020 we’ve parted ways with Denis. Well, it just didn’t work out with him. And the funny thing is that we’ve got Nick Yazykin on bass – the guy who played with us before but on guitar. So, yeah, there were some changes in the line-up and now it’s Roman Nemtsev (guitar, vocal), Max Konnov (drums), Arseniy Karnaukh (guitar) and Nick Yazykin (bass).

MELODY LANE: Can you list us 5 songs, from  SLICE OF SORROW ‘s discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 5 songs that can help our readers to know SLICE OF SORROWat the best.
ROMAN NEMTSEV: It’s pretty difficult considering the new album but I’ll try. To show the classical Slice of Sorrow I recommend “Bath of Eternal Youth” and “Brutal”. To show how diverse the songs can be I’d say “1000 Nights” and “Glowing Dawn”. And to show that we have fast songs I’d say “False Prophet”.

MELDY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?ROMAN NEMTSEV: I write everything by myself (music, lyrics and arrangements for all tracks). I really like to write songs. And not only some parts but the whole structure and all the instruments. Usually I compose riffs on a guitar and then I add other instruments on a computer. There’re some exceptions of course. Sometimes I compose orchestrations first on a computer. Songs “Brutal” and “Glowing Dawn” I composed on a bass guitar. After everything is done I send the tablature to the guys to learn the parts and then we rehearse it.

MELODY LANE:  Can you tell us something about contents and messages of your last album? …Can you tell us anything about the whole concept of Egothrone? And please tell us where does this title come from? 
ROMAN NEMTSEV: The album contains 12 diverse tracks with melancholic melodies, atmospheric orchestrations, heavy headbanging guitars and expressive vocals. You can hear on this release very interesting mixture of melodic death, heavy, thrash, doom and even gothic metal. The main theme on the album is egoism and its harmful impact on different spheres of life and the world itself. The title Egothrone came to me when I was working very closely with one particular person. Ah, what a character. I’ve never met in my life such an egocentric and selfish person. It’s like everyone around including me were just mindless slaves and this person was on the throne looking down on us. So one day it just came to me - egocentric person’s sitting on the throne - here you go “Egothrone”. It’s not just a title, the lyrics in this song is about this person too. Well not just about this person, it’s about all egoists in this world.

MELODY LANE:  …After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your previous album? If you could… would you change anything? What did you focus on to make the sound better and perfectly consistent with the musical ideas you had in mind?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: Our previous album was released in 2017. Four years later I still like it, I like the sound, the writing, lyrics, everything. Yes, I’m totally satisfied with it. It was my second album as a producer and I was very glad how it turned out. Even if I could I wouldn’t change anything because I don’t really like to live in the past and think about things that I could’ve done better or differently. For me only important is that the next album should sound better than the previous one. I produce, mix and master albums myself. I don’t really like this process but I do it because I know what’s best for my songs and how they should sound. I always learn new tricks about producing and studio craft to improve the sound. Also I compare the sound of our albums with my favorite bands. They’re beacon for me. The most important role-model for Slice of Sorrow is band called Hypocrisy. They sound awesome and Peter Tägtgren is a sound wizard. By the way he saw our video “Brutal” when he was on show Videosalon of Russian magazine Maxim and he said that song sounds great. I was on cloud nine when I’ve heard him saying it.

MELODY LANE: So apart from the covid/pandemic situation…will you tour in the next future? Have you already a touring schedule? Any chance for us to see  SLICE OF SORROW playing live here in Italy or Europe in the next months/year?  
ROMAN NEMTSEV: Oh, it’s really difficult to schedule concerts right now because of the virus. We’re gonna see how the situation will be in the next six months. If it will be better we’ll start thinking about playing outside of Russia. We’d be very happy to play in Italy and I hope we’ll come to you one day. Unfortunately right now we plan concerts only in Russia but you know, on the bright side, at least we can play in Russia, I mean one year ago we couldn’t play live anywhere. So I think the situation should get better for European tours soon. Right now we have scheduled concert in Moscow in May to celebrate the release of our new album Egothrone. We have cool special guests Blackthorn, Fragile Art and Instorm. So it’s gonna be interesting. After that we’re gonna plan concerts in other cities of Russia.

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like SLICE OF SORROW to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for SLICE OF SORROW to play with. And why these bands?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: With pleasure. The first band should be Hypocrisy because they had the biggest impact on us. I dream to play on one stage with them)) And the second band is Cradle of Filth because they have cool atmospheric orchestral parts and it’s pretty common for us too. By the way we opened for them in 2018 in St. Petersburg and people on the concert were very glad to hear us and them. Well here’re you go the perfect tour for Slice of Sorrow.

MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define  SLICE OF SORROW sound? Are you a  MELODIC DEATH METAL band…an ATMOSPHERIC DEATH METAL band… A  BLACKENED DEATH band…Or…?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: We call our style atmospheric death metal. It’s not pure melodic death metal. Frankly I write what I like. I almost took on the new album song in blues style but in the end I decided to save it for another project) I guess the vocals is what defines us most of all. Slice of Sorrow is a mixture where the main ingredient is extreme vocal which define it as death metal combined with such genres as black, heavy, thrash and even gothic metal.

MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: Many musicians inspire me: Peter Tägtgren, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alexi Laiho, Blackie Lawless, Paul Stanley and Peter Steele. Nowadays I like to listen to very different bands: Hypocrisy, Metallica, KISS, Skid Row, Billy Idol, Gary Numan, Mötley Crüe, Aria, Yngwie Malmsteen. Also I like classical music and my favorites are W.A. Mozart, A. Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, L.V. Beethoven.

MELODY LANE: As a musician, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future? 
ROMAN NEMTSEV: I think my biggest achievement as a musician has been European tour with Instorm. It was awesome. In the future I’d like to play at Wacken Open Air festival and tour with Hypocrisy.

MELODY LANE: Until today...What was the most important concert for  SLICE OF SORROW career? And why?
ROMAN NEMTSEV: I guess it was concert with Cradle of Filth in St. Petersburg in 2018 because there was the biggest crowd we’ve ever played for. It was great.

MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
ROMAN NEMTSEV: Thank you for making it to the end! Listen to Slice of Sorrow, share it with people. Stay safe and live with passion! \m/