** Mortuary Drape are Italy’s oldest black metal export. But don’t rely on our words for the truth. Many a Norwegian—you know, the guys who made black metal a household name—genuflected at the altar of the Alessandria-based outfit. Just ask Fenriz next time you see him. He’ll tell you the demos were on par with the Eastern European greats in Tormentor, Masters Hammer, and Root. As for why we’re “into the drape” all of a sudden, well, Peaceville has recently reissued strangeitude effort, Tolling 13 Knell, with bonus tracks, new artwork, and some other neat stuff like an embossed slipcase. Therefore, it’s time for a little astral bewitchment.
Mortuary Drape is relatively unknown to most metalheads. Introduce the cult of Mortuary Drape, please.
Wildness Perversion: First of all, thanks for the opportunity to be here. Talking about yourself is never good because if you exceed with words there would be a risk of misunderstanding, then if you say any less you always come last. I invite all your readers to visit our websites (official site, Facebook) to find information to know more about our band’s history, know about all releases and take a look to all concerts we made around the world.
Where does Mortuary Drape fit in the overall timeline of black metal? I gather most people don’t realize the band’s importance.
Wildness Perversion: We exist and this would be enough. We play our music since 1986, we have fans all over the world that still follow us. And we gained some new fans during the last 10 years. This is a great result for us. We play music and fans repay us with good feedback, a lot of bands, some more famous than us, respect and talk about us, this is enough for us. Then, if someone will help us to reach a higher step, we will be ready to accept the challenge. But unluckily ]it] all depends by who keeps the reins.
How are Mortuary Drape and Italy related? Are there distinctly Italian attributes in the band?
Wildness Perversion: [To] live in Italy and play metal is not easy. Vatican and average man are quite against this kind of music, average Italian prefers mainstream music or singer-songwriters. I don’t feel to describe our music and I don’t know if I could find distinctly Italian attributes. I think that listeners have the last word about it. Despite this, we have a passable metal scene with a lot of good bands which (it happens to us, too) not all could find responses outside this fucking Vatican-infected country. Nobody, or only few bands, are prophets here in Italy.
Tolling 13 Knell was released in 2000. That was 13 years ago. What do you think of the album now?
Wildness Perversion: Tolling 13 Knell is an experimental album for sure; maybe too ahead of time, but it surely fits the Mortuary Drape’s sound. The new reprint under Peaceville will have a new artwork, unpublished photos, and in addition a new cover. We talked with the label and decided to add some bonus tracks to make it more interesting and different from the original release (2001). I created the artwork myself and then gave everything to Peaceville to reprint it. We remastered all songs at Authoma Studios in Alessandria (Secret Sphere, Death SS) and I can say that they sound more powerful than before. You have to check it out, at least once, even better if it will be brought rather than downloaded.
There’s a lot of praise for the tempo on the record. It’s largely mid-paced. Do you recall the songwriting sessions for Tolling 13 Knell?
Wildness Perversion: Yes, I remember we tried to write songs without following any scheme or convention, everything was freely created and composed. We gave the drums the right space and other instruments [the right space]. It’s better to remember that we recorded [with] two basses, so the rhythm section was more complex.
Do you remember how it was received?
Wildness Perversion: I remember various positive interviews and reviews in Italian and international magazines, and a lot of people wrote us compliments about our music. We played several concerts to promote the album, but to be true, I think it could be done more if we could be under a better label. We wanted to play more, do more promotional tours, but we couldn’t find the right support from the old label.
Peaceville is reissuing Tolling 13 Knell. What will metalheads think of it now?
Wildness Perversion: We have a lot of fans, some new, some old and the older ones never left us. What else? I think we are still competitive and people could like us even now. It isn’t the typical expected black metall everybody could imagine sharp guitars, a lot of screams, noise. But this isn’t Mortuary Drape, this doesn’t represent us. We have our style and who listens to us wants it in this way. It could be a “must have” record because [it’s] different from others, always intended as black metal record. We own our style and don’t want to copy or follow other cliches. Maybe, it could be a reason to listen it, if you would buy it you could judge by listening. So, enjoy the music.
What separates the Peaceville reissue from the Iron Pegasus reissue from 2001?
Wildness Perversion: I’m sure you are talking about the LP record. Well, this new reissue will have a more well-finished artwork. Peaceville works good and wants only high-level products. Furthermore, as [I] said before, it will include unpublished photos, a new cover and a better sound quality thanks to the new remastering. If I would choose, I would definitely buy this reissue. Then you don’t have to forget that this distribution will be better then the old one and we allow to reach a bigger diffusion than the previous 1000 limited copies.
You’ve been around in one form or another since ’86. Is putting the band to bed a reality?
Wildness Perversion: We want to advise all that we still have a lot of shots to fire with our instruments, so put your mind at rest. When you will rest in peace, we’ll keep on writing music and, at that time, we’ll come to demand for your souls too.
What’s next for Mortuary Drape?
Wildness Perversion: Besides the reissuing of Buried in Time under Peaceville planned for July, we will also release a 7″ split with the Swedish band Shining; Niklas [has] followed us since 1986. I couldn’t say no to the proposal to combine our experiences in this record. Two selected tracks for the occasion. This song was recorded during the new album’s recording session. It’s a pleasure share this release with them. Furthermore, the new album is finished. Some people have listened to the new tracks said that they are good songs and these years of silence at the end were useful to produce an album in pure Mortuary Drape style. During these last days we completed the mastering session, then we will start looking for a good label to print it, publish it and promote it. Actually, we received some interesting proposals, but now I can’t speak up about it. Our mission is to do a lot of promotion which means play a lot. We are negotiating with two promoters to schedule two tours, in Europe and in USA, but at the end everything will depend by the record label we’ll join.
** Mortuary Drape’s Tolling 13 Knell is out now on Peaceville. Order it HERE or face the pope with your pants down. Trust us, the ruler to the bum won’t be the only hurt he pontificates on your succulent flesh.