Name: Arno Callens
Online Alias (if applicable): Feoreunn
Hometown: Moeskroen, Belgium. An unflushed toilet near the French border. Petty to major crimes are its petty to major export (and import) products.
What You Do In Real Life: Assassin for the mob, mercenary under contract of a foreign warlord, ice cream salesman. No seriously, I do telephone technical support for a telecom company which is basically yelling at people about cables.
Preferred Styles of Metal: Power, Progressive, Heavy, Zinc, and a sprinkling of Thrash and Doom.
Least Favorite Styles of Metal: Black, Death, Copper, and all the others.
Favorite Non-Metal Music: Original soundtracks from films and games.
How You Got Into Metal: Peer pressure. Meaning: a friend who was cooler than me, and I couldn’t let that happen. My first power metal experience was Rhapsody’s “Knightrider Of Doom” and I never looked back.
First Metal Album: Probably either Hammerfall’s Crimson Thunder or Kamelot’s Epica
Favorite albums – 5/5 on Black Wind scale:
Avantasia – The Metal Opera
Dragonland – Under The Grey Banner
Edguy – Theater Of Salvation
Gamma Ray – Land Of The Free
Iron Savior – Condition Red
Kamelot – The Black Halo
Keldian – Journey Of Souls
Lost Horizon – A Flame To The Ground Beneath
Rhapsody – Dawn Of Victory
Seventh Wonder – Mercy Falls
Favorite Metal Artists: In order I thought about them: Edguy, Kamelot, Evil Masquerade, Firewind, Iron Maiden, Iron Savior, Gamma Ray, Helloween, Masterplan, Orden Ogan, Dragonland, Serenity, Circus Maximus, Anubis Gate, Seventh Wonder, Shadow Gallery, Redemption, Keldian, Sinbreed, Avantasia, Mob Rules, Blind Guardian, Brainstorm, Running Wild, Falconer, Lost Horizon, Nocturnal Rites, Virgin Steele, All Fifteen Rhapsodies, Angra, Manigance, Vision Divine, Threshold, Voyager, Pyramaze, Pagan’s Mind, While Heaven Wept, Theocracy, Vanden Plas, Dream Theater, Savatage, W.A.S.P.
Most overrated Metal Artist(s): Opeth
What metal means to you: Power metal means having a positive outlook on life and laughing all your misery in the face. It’s joyful, uplifting and inspiring in a way no other music is. Prog, on the other hand, is much more observant and introspective, which can be very helpful at times. Heavy metal is just plain beer-swilling, head-banging, throat-blistering fun.
Why You Enjoy Reviewing: Writing is the only thing I’m good at, and music is probably my main passion (although it clashes with my love for cinema at times). So what else was I to do? Yell in YouTube comment-sections? I’m not twelve!
Best Personal Encounter With A Metal Musician: I interviewed Jon Oliva at Graspop 2010, and I really felt like I was in the presence of a legend. Until we started talking. He was very friendly, funny and not at all the fool on the pedestal like some other musicians of his caliber. Tons of respect. I also did a phone interview with Luca Turilli in 2012, which is the guy who got me into power metal. So I consider that another highlight of my life, just above my birth.
Favorite Literature: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Everything, H.P. Lovecraft’s Everything and George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire. Of course those will all be eclipsed when my own debut novel hits.
Favorite Film/Television Series: Every genre, although I prefer a film with a strong directorial voice. My standard answer to “favorite film?” is Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, although I could name another fifty that I absolutely love.
Favorite Cuisine: Fried stuff, potato chips, greasy hamburgers, spaghetti, sandwiches. I’m not much of a “cuisine” person, as you may notice. I eat when I’m hungry or bored.
or beverage: Gulden Draak, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Chimay (Rouge and Blue), Westvleteren, Rochefort, and I do enjoy the occasional Jupiler, Stella or Carlsberg. Oh and I slosh down gin tonics like they’re bottles of Yakult.
Song that you would have played at your funeral: Hammerfall’s “Glory To The Brave” or Silent Force’s “No One Lives Forever”.
Message to Black Wind Readers: Buy CDs, dammit. If you want new bands and music to stand a chance in the next five years, downloading and Spotifying ain’t gonna help. Nor will the price of concerts or merchandise go down. Respect the artists you like and/or love, or find another hobby.