Lachryma Christi had the pleasure to interview Animae, the frontman of the Italian Black Melodic Horror Metal DARKEND, founded in 2007. DARKEND will be touring with Cradle of Filth, promoting their latest album Grand Guignol - Book I.
How did the band start?
DARKEND started up in late 2007 with the album “Damned Woman And A Carcass” (well, despite its length -almost an hour- it can considered more a demo-release than a real debut, in fact it was recorded in a private studio, with no label and from a very different line-up: only the drummer Valentz and the keyboardist Antarktica are still in the band nowadays) which was followed up by the concept album “Assassine” (that I consider the REAL start up for the band) that gave us the opportunity to tour the whole Europe supporting ROTTING CHRIST first and then, at the end of the last summer, with SAMAEL, MELECHESH and KEEP OF KALESSIN. And then we come to “Grand Guignol – Book I”, released in a first limited edition (500 copies) with the support of the ARCANE WITCHCRAFT COVEN.
I mean a dark and melancholic extreme metal tightly combined with black metal patterns, classical symphonies and sulphur heavy riffs in the vein of Mercyful Fate/Angel Witch together with bleak ecclesiastic compositions, harmonies directly taken from the gloomy and dramatic theatrical representation of the XVIII century, straight melodic straight guitar solos and some atmospheric nocturne ambience. Here, the music walks together with the lyrical concepts and the visual graphics, two fundamental aspects that complete our vision and Art.
Why the name "Grand Guignol - Book I" for your new work? Is it related to the Theatre in Paris at all?
Yes, it is related to that theatrical movement born in Paris at the end of the XIX century and specialized in naturalistic terror and macabre shows, where more than often reality and fantasy become one. We decided to use its name for two main reasons: because it describes perfectly the nature of what is the core of the whole DARKEND philosophy (what we use to call “THE THEATRE OF HORRORS”) and because it is metaphorically connected to the main concept of the album: in fact, lyrically, this third opus takes its moves from a conscious and profound esoteric/philosophical research exploring through a rich narrative plot the common roots of occultism and spiritualism, self-martyrdom and black magic ceremonies. There, behind the curtain, you will hear a conceptual tale of sanctified sins and loathed purity, of mercy and murder, of gentle wickedness and dismal virtue, where everything is melted with its contrary: a theatre of abominations in which humanity roams unconscious of the highest cosmos’ secrets.
How has it been to tour with bands like Rotting Christ or Samael?
It was fantastic!!! We had the opportunity to meet not only some of the greatest bands that we always loved, but also great persons full of kindness and passion that helped us and really liked our music. Especially with Sakis from Rotting Christ I developed a strong friendship, we talk a lot through mail and we are really happy to hit the road once again in November, for the next European tour.
What do you expect from playing with Cradle of Filth? Are you, or have you ever been a big fan of the
Oh we really can’t wait to leave for the tour, we are so excited and proud to share the stage with two legendary bands such as Cradle Of Filth and (again) Rotting Christ. Our previous European tour were great and I expect even more for this one, now that our popularity has increased and that we will play in really big venues.
About Cradle Of Filth yes, I consider their first full album amazing, especially “Vempire” and “Dusk and her embrace” have that creepy, cemeterial atmosphere that is unique.
What are your lyrics about? Where do you get the inspiration?
The ideological and lyrical substrate of DARKEND is deeply related to Philosophy, Magic, Psychology, Occultism... and on a more general level, I can say that all of our songs are strongly connected to everything that is mysterious, unknown, bleak and horrorific, topics through which we activate a profound inner-ritual to investigate and at the same time to express our Souls.
This last one, without any doubt. With “Grand Guignol – Book I” our vision has started to take the form that
I always had in my mind.
How would you describe your new album? It seems to be a lot more melodic than Assassine. Do you agree?
Hmm, I think that the four words that I sing on the track “Spiritism” are perfect to describe the album:
SOUL, FIRE, NAILS and DARKENSS. If I have to compare it to the past releases, I think that “Grand Guignol – Book I” is more structured, more dramatic and more atmospheric than the other ones. With it we tried to bring the most characteristic parts of our sound to their extreme point: so, what has to be aggressive is very aggressive, what has to be dark and melancholic is even more dark and melancholic, and so yes also the melodies are more marked that in the past.
After the new album "Grand Guignol - Book I", what can we expect for the next future from Dark End?
We are currently completing the writing sessions for our fourth album titled “Il Velo Delle Ombre” (Italian for “The Veil Of Shadows”) This will be followed by a special EP and then by the 5th full-length, strictly connected to the previous EP. Then the time for “Grand Guignol - Book II” will come…
Anything else you would like to add?
I thank you too for your strong support and for the space granted to DarkEnd here on your pages… THANK YOU! I also want to thank all of the DARKEND fans for being the amazing creatures full of passion that they are: I hope to meet you soon, all of you! In the meanwhile… keep on spreading our obscure Cult of Horror!
Animæ - Litanies
Antarktica - Piano & Orchestra
Ashes - Lead Guitar
Nothingness - Lead Guitar
Specter - Bass
Valentz - Drums
"Grand Guignol - Book I"
You can find more information and music of DARKEND on: