Högash: We formed in early 2019, in Italy, exactly in Rieti (VMBILICVS ITALIAE). The first idea was born by me and welcomed with open arms by Asdraeth and Nekroshadow.
The Geography is very important for us because it determines the use of our dialect in our songs, which greatly influences the themes treated, the imagery and the forms used on lyrics.
Nekroshadow: Basically we are talking about 3 friends who have been dating for a long time, we are among the very few people who listen to extreme music in our small city, especially Black Metal. Let's say that we would have liked to create an our own project sooner or later, deciding to focus it partly on some folk elements, as we are also passionate about myths and legends related to our territory.
2.Recently you have released your first full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
Högash: "Per Aspera ad Mortis" is our first "creature".
Musically, we have very different influences, different inspirations and different interests. This leads to the creation of heterogeneous compositions blended from a viscous “medium” like the passion for music and the sensations it leads to try.
Different musical influences such as death, thrash, black, folk, have given us an incredible possibility. Normally, this leads to many stylistic discrepancies that don’t always work but on the other hand, we have managed to live up to these differences by transforming them into our music.
Nekroshadow: We noticed with pleasure that we all have the same concept about this kind of music despite the different influences. Before we approached this genre, several years ago, we all came from different musical backgrounds: me from Heavy and Thrash Metal, Asdraeth from Death. Högash is the one who has approached Black Metal many years earlier. It was great to see how whole songs came up with no complications, like every riff or idea matching perfectly with each other.
3.The band was formed in 2019 and also released an album in the same year, do you spend a great amount of time writing and creating music?
Högash: Actually, with commitment and perseverance, impossible goals can be achieved.
Many have an initial burnout that, taken by the enthusiasm and the wind of creativity, leads them to exhaust their energy almost immediately.
At the other hand we have to say that Per Aspera it is not a particularly voluminous album and that helped a lot with times too.
Nekroshadow: It was a very spontaneous and natural process, it didn't take very long because we was rather taken by the thing and we always wanted to compose. I can tell you that we already have some new tracks ready.
4.A lot of your lyrics cover Sabine folk lore and history, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
Högash: This is my favorite part.
There is a proverb that states "Every world is country".
Our territory suffered everything that, of course, the rest of the world undergone too, but being a small reality, even what has been long past, this has been felt and dug into the skin of the inhabitants. A global catastrophe, for example, becomes hopelessly a local catastrophe. Every place lives history in its own way, and I want to tell our point of view and so, to tell the point of view of the rest of the country and therefore, of the world.
Nekroshadow: We are deeply connected to our territory, not only in an affective way but also from an historical point of view. We are fascinated by our legends, and each alley has its own precise and definite history, often dating back to a pre-Roman era. There is really a lot to say and we have implemented it in our music.
5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
Högash: In addition to folk elements, actual themes throughout the album are blasphemy, spirituality and satanism.
6.I know that the band name means 'black year' in Italian, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
Högash: ”Annata Nera" actually contains a far deeper concept than "Black Year". Annata nera is, in agriculture for example, a lean period, an horrible moment to live. For a country it can represent a period of fifty, a hundred, a thousand years. With this project we want to talk about the violence suffered by our territory too, in the past and in the present. "Tremori Atavici", for example, has the foundations focused on recent seismic events (but also the most dated) and it’s a "complaint" track. Nothing satanic, nothing folkloristic. Only a complaint against human negligence and the lack of respect by the so-called "high plans" towards nature and people of which they had civil and human responsibility.
The band name can be translated more correctly as "A DARK AGE". But literally yes, it means "Black Year".
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
Högash: The main theme about the artwork of "Per Aspera ad Mortis" is death.
On the cover there is an ancient deity: "Rea" (from which "Reate", ancient name of "Rieti"), mother of "Romulus" and "Remus", in a landscape in flames.
A divinity linked to life and prosperity, which is the center of death, with wings like a black angel, holding the offspring of a kingdom made of pain and atrocity (Mortis).
8.Currently the band is only a studio project, are you open to expanding into live shows during the future?
Nekroshadow: “Time will tell”.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
Högash: We have found really encouraging and positive opinions.
Nekroshadow: Although we recently started, the record is not going bad for the moment and I honestly didn't expect that.
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?
Högash: I don't have parallel projects at the moment.
Nekroshadow: At the moment I'm busy with some future releases of my other bands, first of all with "Infernal Angels", we have recently announced our next album and organizing different shows.
Furthermore, for almost 3 years now, Asdraeth and I, we are also working on an Atmospheric/Post Black Metal project that responds to the name of "Umbilicus Necis”;
a single has already been released, soon its first album will also be released for this project too.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Högash: Working constantly and in an increasingly mature and conscious way. Creating tracks that also cause questions and curiosity. Curiosity moves the world from the dawn of time.
We are very open about experimentation: we are not tied to a narrow and specific style. We are the ones who adapt to the issues to be treated and not vice-versa.
You can talk about a flower in a completely different and atypical way with black metal; it would be foolish to fall on the usual arguments and let that opportunity to escape.
I don't want to talk about death and despair for all my entire life just because we play black metal.
We will keep this aggressive line probably, or better, developing it continuously. Fundamentally, the project is an outburst, therefore, markedly influenced by our recurring sensations.
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?
Högash: I am, personally, totally enraptured by the atmosphere.
Atmosphere for me is everything… more than the lyrics themselves. I mean the conceptual atmosphere created by the sound, the riffing, the vocals and so on.
That can immerge you in a reality where it is easier to understand the lyrics.
Without that, the listener is like a foreigner who doesn’t speak the local language at all. Basically we focus on something rather sulphurous and evil.
Bands like "Funeral Mist", "Ragnarok" and "Belphegor" (but also others) are masters about this.
13.Does Satanism play any role in your music?
Högash: Yes, but it is not a prerogative, nor is it a subject on which to beat the nail too much, at least for our music. As can be guessed from the other answers, Satanism is only one of the ingredients for the music we make.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Högash: It was a pleasure to talk with you.
Nekroshadow: Thanks for the space given to us.