Sunday, January 20, 2013

Interview with Riul Doamnei (ITA)

Riul Doamnei, Symphonic Black Metal band from Italy just released “A Christmas Carol”, a very special  single based on Charles Dickens work, and featuring the singer of Cadaveria, while they are still working on their EP. 
Please, find more information and video about this in here:
Sadly some complicated matters happened recently and the EP didn't come out yet. For now they are focused on finishing it and touring, as you may read below. Lachryma Christi interviewed Federico, Riul Domanei's singer and also guitarist.

Your logo is a bit peculiar. What does it represent?
Our logo combines two different elements, a Triquetra and a Pentacle. The first one is an ancient symbol from pagan and Celtic cultures, which is related to a triple female divinity and represents the three stages of the Goddess: Crone, Mother and Maiden (Wisdom, Creation and Innocence). It’s also connected to the cycles of life (Birth, Death & Reincarnation), to Past, Present and Future as well, and only later was it assimilated and abused by the Christians as a symbol of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The Pentacle is one of the most ancient pagan symbols and appears in secret cults and occult rituals since the Neolithic Era, traversing Sumerian, Egyptian and Greek mythologies. In the modern age it finds many meanings and generally claims the man’s refusal to submit to god, exalting Mother Nature’s power with her five elements. All is closed in a circle, symbol of fertility.
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.
The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus…” (Rev. 17.3-6).
Who did tell the devil is male?

What does Riul Doamnei mean? It is Romanian, right?

Yes it is! It comes from an oral tradition of Arges region and it’s connected to the escape of Vlad Tepes III (the well known Prince Impaler, later worldwide famous as Dracula) from his castle, during his second reign, and the suicide of his bride. In fact, according to the local tales, she preferred to cast herself from the balcony and drown in the waters of Arges river rather than being captured by the Muslim invaders. That section of the river has been called “Riul Doamnei”, which means “River of the Princess”. The river flows today near Poenari, at the feet of the castle ruins, which still stand on the top of the hill.

Your new website, launched earlier this year is very "mass" related. What is the main concept behind that?

Our website follows the line of the icons and themes featured in our previous release, “Fátima”.
A concept album based on the figure of the Holy Virgin and on many topics of the Marian apparitions; starting from the occurrence in the city of Fátima (Portugal, Oct. 1917), it analyses the process (or conspiracy!) that drove the Catholic Church to absorb and assimilate the rising cult of the Holy Virgin, later using and abusing it to recruit new acolytes for its own army. Each song composes, lyrically but also musically, a piece of the mosaic, and develops a different story like tales from the same gospel. The entire concept is dominated by the character of a female figure with one name but two “souls”, different sides of the same icon: the “white” Holy Virgin of Fátima and the “black” Fourth Daughter, Fatima herself, the “shining one”, the only keeper of the Islam Prophet’s Bloodline, Muhammad. So this album touches Muslim religion taboos too, like the condition of the woman and her submissive role in “society”. From the collective miracles and Church propaganda to women abuse and the cruelty of the holy war, all the factors which have contributed to carving a giant named Fátima.
So coming back to our website, it is all “mass” related with particular intent.

What are your lyrics about? What are your biggest influences?

Our lyrics, their themes, content and form change every time because we choose to express ourselves through concept albums. So it depends on the main subject and it’s strictly chained to the fact that we treat each of our releases as a single case, although you could hook them up one to another.
The input can arrive suddenly and anywhere my attention is captured, all the ideas come from a kind of a personal data processing that elaborates these inputs and translates them into images, which then become names, places and stories. And of course from personal interest and experiences too.
A funny example could be the idea for the song “Of Misery and the Final Hope” (Fatima, 2011), for which a videoclip was released too. I do not often watch TV but, when I rarely do, I like zapping. So at that time I stopped on a program about Christian pilgrimages to the Marian sanctuaries and about how devotees could be used to self-inflicted torture and forced to march on their knees to offer their penitence to the Holy Virgin in order to obtain grace.
There are similar traditions in some of the southern regions of Italy, where you can still attend the processions of the Flagellants, hooded penitents that flagellate their own skin in a triumph of blood.
The music composing process involves the whole band and evolves adapting the atmosphere and music itself to the concept we chase, by inserting ethnic elements and influences from the collective imagery.

Riul Doamnei grew very much and very quickly in the metal scene, what do you have to say about this? Have you accomplished what you have intended to so far?

We did reach lots of goals during these past years, both from the studio and live activity, accumulating amazing experiences and achieving steps we didn’t think as possible, but of course we won’t stop growing, evolving and kickin’ asses. Now all the music business is changed and if you’ve got something to say and the right weapon to do it, everything is possible. As more than one told before: “do it yourself” and be sure of the real results.
We’ve been working now for some years with our own studio project, offering careful services to all those bands that are searching not only for a place to record their stuff, but also for true interest in their cause and experience in metal divisions, ‘cause we still believe in music and support the great underground out there.

You are currently working on a new EP, how is it going? Anything you want to share with Lachryma Christi and your followers?

Yes, we’ve been working for the last eight months on our new EP. Unfortunately, after we finished composing and arranging all songs and right before the recording sessions, I was involved in a serious accident that took me three months to recover. During my bed-forced crucifixion, all band members worked very hard without losing any hope or time, so I was able to record the vocals straight after my resurrection, my biggest thanks to them.
Our EP will soon be available in free digital download, meanwhile you can find the complete lyric video version in streaming on our youtube official channel.
There are many reasons behind this digital release, “A Christmas Carol”.
We’ve always wanted to give something for free to all our followers as a special gift for their support during all these years. We have also stepped on different sound paths and experimental approach, starting from the point that this EP is an orchestral metal opera in eleven movements, a long suite based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel.
Of course we made it in our way, including a sick imagery and a desecrating disgust for Christmas, it isn’t just a ghost tale or a Christmas tale, in fact we wanted to emphasize the human aspect of the story, the solitude of old age, the regret about the loss of love and the failures, man’s terror of dying alone and forgotten, and we chose to do it by painting the most disgraceful images through the quotes of Ch. Dickens himself, using for 90% of the lyrics the original parts from the novel. So the lyrics and music were written, arranged and adapted at the same time in a kind of inverse process.
“A Christmas Carol” is a very dark and atmospheric experience and when you start listening to it you feel like entering a journey, somehow. Similar to a soundtrack or a musical for the blind, it trespasses the borders of many styles to converge in an orchestral suite, mixing all those influences which have been our trademark from the very beginning.
Atmosphere, violence, experimentation and one more touch of old school.
Also the production has been adapted to the concept, colder and rich in natural sound, more like the nineties. This time we decided to work by ourselves on 90% of the production, from the recording sessions to the mixing process.
We had also the honour to have a very special guest, the Italian female metal icon Cadaveria, who’s featured on the fourth movement, “Once upon Loss, Regret and Broken Promise”, with her amazing vocals.
“A Christmas Carol” will soon be available in free digital download on our web channels.
So download it, put on your headphones and enter the journey, but be careful, you may have to confront some of your own Ghosts…

What was the band with who you enjoyed the most sharing a stage with? Why?

I think probably Rotting Christ, great band and dear friends.
We’ve shared many different experiences with them in the past 5 years and we’re always very pleased to meet them, they still support and believe in the underground and are very nice people too.
Sakis Tolis was featured on our latest full length “Fatima”.
We have also many friends in the Balkans area, like Krepuskul from Romania, we had some tours together in the past and we’re very close friends.
I enjoy sharing the stage with every band that I like, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy them down the stage too, sometimes it happens, for a lot of reasons, lack of time is the main one!

What do you mean when you describe Riul Doamnei as Extreme Symphonic Metal? 

Simply because it best describes most of our tunes, there’s no particular intent to enter this division, we simply play what we like and what we are. We could start a never-ending discussion about the differences between Extreme Symphonic Metal, Orchestral Death Metal, Symphonic Black Metal etc. Let us just say that we don’t like to repeat ourselves or stagnate blindly on the same formula. We like to change, evolve and to hazard maybe. To give you a specific example, Fatima was more “extreme sympho”, A Christmas Carol is more “sympho black”, but to us trying to describe our music with a slogan is not so important...

When is a new album supposed to come out?

We will start thinking about a new album straight after we’ve finished pushing more on Fátima and live promotion of the new EP. But I’m sure we will not resist the urge of starting another project as soon as possible.
We have some ideas, I can officially say that the title will include only one word, as by common Riul Doamnei album tradition, and of course it will be a concept one, but I can say no more about it.
By now we’re curious to see the media reaction to the new EP, although we’ve already had great approval from our followers.
Apart from new album project, what's in store for Riul Doamnei?

Beside promoting our new release and taking care of the recording sessions of the next band in our studio project, we’re now focusing on the live activity which will start in February. We’re currently planning some concerts around Italy and an Eastern European tour with our friends and mates in Krepuskul, that should cover the territories from Italy to the Balkans from the second half of April, we’re also working on a special live set that will feature songs from our latest three releases and a new visual concept.
Thanks to all our followers and Lachryma Christi!
And...  Let the haunting begin…

Line up:

Federico D. B. - Voice/Guitar
Giorgio M. - Synthesizers
Maurizio S. - Lead Guitar
Fabrizio T. - Bass
Luca L. - Drums

Latest release:

Fátima (2011)

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