Course Of Fate – Is Mindweaver the new Operation: Mindcrime 2020?

The debut album is released – a conversation with the Progressive Metal band from Norway

Artist: Course Of Fate

Home Town: Fredrikstad, Norway

Genre: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock

Label: Roar! Rock Of Angels Records

Link: https://www.facebook.com/courseoffate/

Bandmember:

Vocals – Eivind Gunnesen
Guitar and background vocals – Kenneth Henriksen
Guitar – Marcus Lorentzen
Bass Guitar – Daniel Nygaard
Keyboard – Carl Marius Saugstad
Drums – Per-Morten Bergseth

Course Of Fate released the debut album Mindweaver during the corona pandemic on May 15th. More than enough topics for a conversation with the band from Norway (during corona time via email).

Photo Credits: Terje Johansen

 

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

Hi Eivind & Course Of Fate,
Thanks for your time, and before we start the very important question: How are you? Hopefully no issues with a virus?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

Hi! We’re great, actually, considering the circumstances. Apart from our keyboard player, Carl, who had to spend a few weeks in isolation because of a colleague contracting the virus, none of us has really had any close encounters with the epidemic. Norway seems to avoid the worst numbers, for now. Hope you guys are doing alright as well!

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

I don’t think everyone of our readers has heard the name Course Of Fate. I did some research on the history of the band, but I did not find many information. In 2006 the band was launched and in 2013 an EP called Cognizance was released. Could you please briefly summarize your story from 2006 until the release of Mindweaver? How long does the current line up play together? Are you all „full time“ musicians?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

We don’t blame them, or you, for not hearing of us! The band has been going through a ton of lineup changes through the years. People tend to think of Norway as an extreme metal country, and it really is, so prog-metal musicians aren’t easy to come by. Kenneth and I actually formed the band way back in 2003, but I won’t bore you with the whole story. Basically, our drummer left to join Triosphere (check’em out, they’re great!) just after the EP, and it took some time to find Per-Morten and start recording our first album. If you want the detailed list of former members you can send Marcus a message, as he once made a complete list of our all time lineup, and if I remember correctly it contained over 20 names!

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

Mindweaver has not only a certain similarity in name to Operation: Mindcrime. Both are concept albums. Mindweaver is about the rise and fall of a cult leader. Could you briefly tell us the story and how the idea for the concept came about?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

The Mindweaver story was slowly developed by Kenneth and me over several years. When Kenneth made the music for what would become the album, it became clear that this had to be a concept album, because the music felt connected, somehow. We always had a fascination for cults, and the mind-set of the leaders and the followers, but wanted to explore the idea of a cult-leader, who didn’t necessarily want to become one.  What would you do, if you started seeing creatures telling you about the end of the world and how to stop it? Shouldn’t you do something? Also, we wanted to incorporate the poem “Antigonish” (…I met a man who wasn’t there) and naturally, the story got a mental health aspect. I also read a story about a girl who was seeing man shaped wolves in broad daylight because of a type of schizophrenic disorder, that I found extremely fascinating. Basically, we wanted a layered story. But, in its simplest form, the story is about a man who is shown the end of the world, leaves his family to form a cult, it doesn’t work out, and he asks for redemption.

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

In general, I feel a certain proximity to Queensryche on many tracks. For example a few times I hear Suite Sister Mary in different Mindweaver tracks. Was the now 32 years old Operation: Mindcrime by Geoff Tate and his band a template for Mindweaver also musically?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

In a way it probably was. We’re all huge fans of Mindcrime, and concept albums in general. Speaking for myself Geoff Tate is a huge inspiration. But I feel, that we didn’t try to emulate their awesome album. It’s more of an inspiration, that rests in the backs of our minds, and is impossible to completely remove from anything we create. We were high school kids when we were first exposed to the prog-classics like Operation: Mindcrime, Scenes from a memory and albums like that, and music tends to stick in your mind in a special way at that age. I also feel the need to mention classic prog-bands like Marillion and Rush and Swedes Evergrey and Pain of Salvation as bands who have had an impact on our sound, although it probably isn’t as easy to identify the parts, that has their stamp on them, than the Queensryche stuff.  And there’s Tool, and Nevermore and… We probably could go on for days….

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

Furthermore, I feel a certain resemblance to Pink Floyd at Drifting Away, especially with the guitar solo, which reminds me of Shine On Your Crazy Diamond. Is my impression correct?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

Yes, we tried to get that solo as “Gilmourish” as possible as a homage to a great musician.  You can’t really do a concept album without some kind of inspiration from Pink Floyd, anyway, so why not make it as easy to identify as possible?

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

I hope, you won’t blame me for not having known Course Of Fate before the Mindweaver album. I was more than impressed what you created (9 of 10 points). It sounds so perfect and professional; it can’t be done by a newcomer. How long have you been in the music business in other functions and how long have you worked on Mindweaver from the idea to the final mastering?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

Thank you so much for a great review! It’s difficult to describe the feeling of working on something for so long and it turns out people really like it! From first idea to final mastering I would say it took about seven years(?!). Of all the members Per Morten, our drummer has the most experience. (Holter and Lande’s DraculaSwing of death, Fracture and many other bands) As for the rest of us we have been playing in bands for as long as we can remember, but not in anything that’s been published in any meaningful way. You could say we have been developing our skills under the radar, in a secret plot to achieve world domination.

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

The Mindweaver album with a running time of app. 45 minutes would currently be a perfect opener for a show of e.g. Geoff Tate. Are there any considerations to go on a bigger tour now, also outside of Norway or Sweden (if the corona restriction is removed)?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

It will be interesting to see what kind of world we will emerge into after these weird times. We hope to do some kind of touring, of course, but in what capacity remains to be seen.

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

Then of course we have to come to the currently dominating topic. Your release show in Oslo has been cancelled. How is the life for a musician in Norway during the corona pandemic? Is it possible to have band meetings in real life?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

As mentioned earlier Norway hasn’t been hit that hard, and is slowly opening up. Luckily, under the current rules, we are allowed to rehearse in person as long as we maintain at least 1m distance to each other. We have moved our release show to October this year (in our home town, Fredrikstad) and hopefully we’ll be able to play for a full crowd. But who knows…

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

The live release show in Oslo is not possible and has been cancelled. Kvelertak and Enslaved did streaming shows. Is this also an idea for Course Of Fate?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

We have discussed it. From our standpoint we really like the energy from an audience, and we feel it will be sorely missed doing a streaming set. Also, as we’re all full time workers, we aren’t really dependent on the revenue from our music. (We hope this would change at some point, of course)

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

A look into the future, especially in the music business, is very difficult in the moment. If the Corona topic will hopefully no longer be relevant at some point in time, what do you think, is it possible that you come to Germany for a few gigs or festivals?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

If the opportunity arises we wouldn’t hesitate for a second. Germany still seems to have a live and kicking metal scene, and we would love to play our music for the German people.

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

We are coming close to the end. What would you like to give our readers and your new fans along the way for the next weeks and months?

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

For now we really hope, anyone who likes our stuff listens to our music as much as possible. Just send us a message on our facebook page, if you want some signed items, and we’ll see what we can do. Also, as we won’t be doing any touring for some time, we’re currently working on a new album. Pretty sure it won’t take seven years this time. No promises though!

Time For Metal / Jürgen:

I thank you very much for your time and the information. Stay healthy, stay metal and stay home!

Course Of Fate / Eivind:

Thanks for a bunch of great questions! Stay safe! Hope we’ll meet on the road at some point in the near future!

 

 

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