1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band? B. S. HIRCUS: First of all, let me thank you, for your interest! It was my personal idea to form Idolatria in 2013. Here in Italy with have a difficult relationship with religion and spirituality. The Vatican is well known to spread lies and control over the weak. At the beginning, the aim was simple and straightforward: a proclamation against the Church (with all its bigotry) and a praise to Lucifer. We firmly support blasphemy, black arts, occultism and anti-Christianity; we put these concepts into music under the name of “Idolatria” as a liberating morbid expression.
2. In September you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past? B. S. HIRCUS: At the time we knew perfectly how our music and style were gonna be, so we skipped the usual demo and started working on a full-length. A mix of War Metal, hammering Black Metal (Marduk, Infernal War) and “Breviarium Daemonicus Idolatrorum” was forged in 2015. It was a simple but effective idea and it was the perfect conduit to vent all our anger and blasphemy! This second album is quite different. The composition was entrusted to a new guitar player (M. T. Iracundus), finding inspiration to the new wave of icelandic Black Metal. The hellish screams were passed to the bass player (M. F. Maeficus) and lyrically speaking we focused the concepts around history and mythology… a more idolatrous theme in a sense. M. T. IRACUNDUS: I joined the band a bit after the release of the first album, but I’ve known the guys for many years. Adding another guitar brought more complexity and richness to the compositions. I have the tendency to repudiate all the known forms of a song (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.). I am all for chaos, dissonance and pure madness. Black Metal offers me complete freedom musically speaking, something I find difficult to achieve with other genres.
3. This is also your first release in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span? B. S. HIRCUS: We had some changes in the line-up, so we basically started from scratch. We wanted to create something totally new and different, both in music and lyrics. So we took the time and had no constraints. We do not believe in releasing stuff every year without proper and interesting ideas! Moreover, Italy doesn’t offer many stages for acts like us; it’s quite difficult to grow as a band and confront with others in such context.
4. A lot of your lyrics cover satanic themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts? B. S. HIRCUS: We all have ordinary lives and jobs, but something ticks inside us; something twisted and wicked. We can try to keep our distance as much as possible from society, but we have this urge to create something not suited for everyone. For 20 years now the passion for the obscure has attracted us and there are several ways to experience it. This internal struggle brings us to different life’s choices, creating a deep connection with occultism, the unknown, obscurity and Satanism. Besides people hide themselves behind democracy, compassion, love, but most of the time they are parasites and criminals; we do not reject this human nature, we rather embrace it. All these thoughts lead us to carry our discomfort into music.
5. What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music? B. S. HIRCUS: Our first album was a hymn to Satan, a description of His triumph over the celestial realm. It was the pure anticlerical dream. No more, no less! In “Tetrabestiarchy” the lyrics are deeper, more poetic, definitely more mature; I’m quite proud of this direction. Some verses are a mixture of oniric visions, mythologic history and satanic idolatry. We analyzed four animals that in history have been revered and told; each one becomes an integral part of a unique plan that places Evil at the core of our lives.
6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Idolatria'? B. S. HIRCUS: The lyrical themes actually came before the name of the band. Idolatry (idolatria in italian) is a complex word and has many definitions and meanings. Given its nature, I think it will keep a strong connection with the lyrics in the future. “Tetrabestiarchy” is the perfect example on what idolatry can represent: fanatic adorations to animals and their mystical powers. We can find many more demonstrations in the egyptian mythology (Anubis, Apep, Sobek, etc.)
7. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover? B. S. HIRCUS: For me it’s a masterpiece! We trusted Cold Poison (http://www.coldpoison.net/) to realize this front cover; we’ve talked with many other skilled artists before but he was the most suited and enthusiast for this work. I’m quite into history and I’ve been always fascinated by an old egyptian porphyry sculpture situated in a corner of the façade of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice: the “Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs”. It depicts the four rulers of the Empire instituted by Emperor Diocletian and we linked those figures to our lyrics and animal Gods… Cold Poison did the rest! It’s amazing seeing this sculpture now, because its meaning is intertwined with our music!
8. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? B. S. HIRCUS: Our best performance was in Slovenia supporting Horna, Tortorum and Fides Inversa. There weren’t many other occasions, especially in Italy; finding a proper stage for Idolatria and Black Metal in general is quite difficult here, but we’ve always done our best. The live performance is extreme and we try to pass down all our energy to the audience. M. T. IRACUNDUS: Skulls, bones, incense, candles, smoke, mesmerizing lights: our concerts are a spiritual mass in the name of violence. If there will be any occasion to set foot on a stage again, we’ll give these new songs the dignity they deserve.
9. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal? B. S. HIRCUS: At the moment the reactions are positive, with internet and social media it’s easier to receive immediate feedback. With the new album “Tetrabestiarchy” and with the support of Signal Rex, we hope to gain new fans and grow as a band. Our previous production was quite limited due to the capability of the label “Mater Tenebrarum”; nevertheless it was an important first step and we are very grateful for all the work it was put into. M. T. IRACUNDUS: So far the reviews are excellent. We have to wait when the people will actually have the album in their hands to reach an objective opinion. Anyway I feel confident, because when you work hard you see good results.
10. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of? B. S. HIRCUS: We’ve always been fans of Black and Death Metal; we listen daily to tons of music and we’ve been always involved in some band. At the moment, M. F. Maeficus and P. T. Perversus play, respectively as bass/vocals and guitar, in a Death Metal band called “Dominhate”. I played the drums with “Veneror”, but at the moment the project is in standby. M. T. IRACUNDUS: I played the guitar and released an EP with Pentothal Sodim a few years ago. If you are fan of Death/Doom Metal check it out!
11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future? B. S. HIRCUS: We’ll always try to give our best, with no shortcuts and no impositions from anyone. We always search for new fresh ideas, experimenting with sounds and recordings. For example, the drums on this album were recorded in a 100m 2 hall of a18th century italian villa. We took advantage of the natural reverb and it gives the sound a superb chaotic aura, which is definitely a plus. M. T. IRACUNDUS: I think we’ll always have something different to offer, we don’t wanna stick to a genre or a specific style. The fundamental basis will remain the hatred, the discomfort, the disease. At the moment we’ve got some new material (we’re thinking about an EP or a split), it can be considered an (un)natural evolution to Tetrabestiarchy. After that it will be a true mystery!
12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays? B. S. HIRCUS: During the composition of “Tetrabestiarchy” we took inspiration mainly from the new icelandic Black Metal scene like Svartidauði, Sinmara and Misþyrming. We’re big fans and we’ve supported them buying their music since the beginning. We liked very much those new sonorities and we decided the album needed a direct touch. As a matter of fact, it was mastered by Stephen Lockhart, the man behind Studio Emissary (http://www.studioemissary.com/) in Reykjavik. Another big and important influence comes from the band “Portal”, an outstanding and powerful act! The list could go on and on, but obviously all our sick inspirations helped us to achieve our work.
13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? B. S. HIRCUS: We want to thank Flavio of Signal Rex for his trust and the great work he has put into to release “Tetrabestiarchy”. I wanna personally thank you, John, for this interview and for all the space you give to bands like us! M. T. IRACUNDUS: We wanna thank all the people involved with this release and all the people who are gonna appreciate it. Follow us to our social media (https://www.instagram.com/idolatria_official/ - https://www.facebook.com/idolatria666) for more news and let’s hope to see each other soon to some concert!