About Me

Interview with Blaze of Sorrow

Blaze of Sorrow is one of the most consistent acts in the Italian black metal underground. Known for their naturalistic and introspective covers, this year, they launched their 6th album, Absentia, from their 23-year career.
In the middle of a pandemic, from one of the countries in the world most affected by Covid-19, we discovered the sensitive, mysterious and patriotic soul of the multi-instrumentalist behind the band, Peter, who was kind enough to answer our questions.

M.I. - Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. 

You're more than welcome.

M.I. - Let`s talk about Absentia… How have the criticisms and reviews been so far? Are you happy with the final result?

We're having very good reviews and feedbacks and we really appreciate that people are spending their time listening to the album. Both positive and negative points of views are always welcome because it's interesting to know what people feel while listening to our music.

M.I. - What`s the concept behind the album? Absentia means “while absent”. In being involved but not present… The whole album seems to evoke a kind of transcendental experience... Almost like those stories of people who say they travel outside their body... They are present, but at the same time... they are not.

The songs speak about the meaningless of mankind and the limits we have compared to nature. The weaknesses of humans and their attempt to get out of the abyss. I think we can all find something about ourselves reading the lyrics.

M.I. - Most of your past records seem to focus on the relationship between man and nature… In Absentia you seem to shift for the relationship we have with ourselves. It seems to be something much more spiritual and individual.

Nature has always been present in our music and lyrics. Microcosm and Macrocosm, you know? The link with nature also remains in Absentia but, as you say, this time we have given more voice to our inner self.

M.I. - The cover art is also very abstract (in fact, like almost all of your albums)... What is it? Who thought about it and drew it?

The concept behind it is that everyone can find their own link between what you are looking at and what the image manages to arouse in you. This is the primitive concept behind the Absentia meaning. Erebograph painted it and he spent a lot of time listening to the album and trying to give it a face and the right colours.

M.I. - Still on the covers... They were always very artistic and, at the same time, simple. Some resemble paintings by Monet, Cezanne, O'Keeffe or Heade... Do you think art should go hand in hand with music? That it is impossible to disassociate the two?

Art is authentic when it's an expression of humanity. There are precise canons and styles, which can cage and limit or help expression. I believe that music, painting, sculpture, narrative, poetry are all expressive forms of the same soul. To split them is impossible. The artwork has to communicate with the listener on a first step and then introduce the music...

M.I. - Where does your inspiration come from, when writing music?

We are the music we play, if you are able to channel your emotions and visions into music without using any filter or trying to make it fashionable just because of the sales, the result will be honest and personal. This will make the difference during the years. Everything can be an inspiration, a sunset, a voice, a memory of someone who flew away leaving us in this complicated world.

M.I. When do you know a song is finished?

We keep rehearsing until the song sounds fluent and we are all satisfied. It could take one day or months.

M.I. - Why did you choose to sing in Italian instead of English? Through a universal language, wouldn't it be easier to reach more people?

I use Italian because I think it's the best way I have to express myself. I know using English would be better for reaching more people, but using my language allows me to give a true identity to what I feel. Every band should sing in their own mother tongues.

M.I. Your music is very… melancholic, sad, dark. Is it a way of externalizing what goes on in your soul? On a daily basis, are you really like that?

Our days are spent on duties related to work and everyday needs. To be overwhelmed by melancholy during simple and mechanical daily actions it would be foolish and cowardly. But when you retire to the space of music, you can give way to free expression. When this happens, yes, it is often about visions with dark shades.

M.I. I`ve read somewhere that some of your favorite bands don`t play your genre of music at all. Why did you decide to write a different type of music than your musical references?

I listen to a lot of genres, from classical music to extreme metal. I think you can notice it listening to our songs. I don't really have favourite bands, I constantly discover new albums and my musical taste changes with time so an album could be great but then I could change my mind during the years. I think it's normal. As said, I listen to extreme metal too so it's not an alien genre for me and it's the best kind of music I found to express my inner self.

M.I. - Do you know any Portuguese band? Are you a fan of Mediterranean metal (Portugal, Spain, Greece ...)?

Mediterranean metal has its own identity and influences so yes, I like it. Speaking about Portuguese bands I'd mention Moonspell, Sinistro and Ava Inferi. If you have any suggestion just let me know.

M.I. - Talking about the theme of the moment… Italy was one of the countries in the world most affected by covid-19. Why do you think it happened?

Northern Italy, where we live, is one of the most affected areas in Europe. I believe this is linked to the dense and industrial areas and productive sites. But I am also afraid that it is a good deal of "chance / fate".

M.I. - Things from now on will certainly not be the same. And it will be a long time before everything returns to normal. How do you think it will be with concerts and other live shows? The world of music in Italy is prepared to resist all the constraints that still lie ahead? Will Italian music stores, publishers, promoters survive these times?

At the moment we don't know about the future but we really hope to be able to live our normal lives and go back to playing concerts as soon as possible. I think we need to wait sometime for understanding what the real situation is and see if we can find a cure.
It's not just Italy but a worldwide crisis and the show must go on.

M.I. - How have you been these days, closed at home? What have you been doing?

All four of us continued to work, each in their own way. Of course we missed the opportunity to rehearse or to maintain important contacts. But we managed to take advantage of this moment of "pause" as an opportunity for reading and keep our minds active.

M.I. - Thanks a lot for your time. Anything you like to add? Any last words for our readers?

Thanks for your time. Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt. (Latin phrase attributed to Séneca - Roman philosopher, speaker and tragic -, which translates to “The Fates lead the willing and drag the unwilling”.)

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Ivan Santos