When you think of Italian black metal you’re sure to conjure up bands like Mortuary Drape or Forgotten Tomb; bands which are deeply embedded into their own personal spirituality (or lack of) and aesthetics. Italian metal has long been one of the more interesting yet less investigated of the scenes in Europe, which has lent it more of a sense of mystery, a sense of magic in a way. Sangue Nero are no different in the lineage of Italian bands which are passionate about their craft, presenting a deep listen filled with intrigue.
On the trio’s debut full length, Viscere, they present a challenging listen of expressive and dramatic black metal. We had a brief discussion about black metal and what it represents to the band. “The meaning of black metal and the form of it we know and recognize in our life is firstly an inner attitude, an in depth research of the true self, but also a superficial mirrored image of the ordinary conditions of the human life which, usually, are accepted as absolute dogmas and are unquestionable whatever they are.” came the nameless response. They continued “The religious feeling of it is an important and primary aspect of the genre, an ideal and fundamental point of research for the true self, it’s a tool which must be mastered in order to take the individual to finally appeal to reason and understand that the only way to ‘evolve’ is by taking the distance from the actual religious aspect of it.”
Black metal in its contemporary form has split into so many styles and subgenres it’s become incredibly difficult to find the patience to sift through the morass to find new recordings which reach out and speak to you. I asked them what they felt their record had to offer to discerning listeners who are exhausted with the mediocrity that surrounds so much of modern black metal. “It’s in our interest to install a state of ‘research,’ of direct listening, of descent in the own depths and interiority, to create a shock aimed to bring a change, to create a contact with the inner self in order to understand its language, learn it and step by step recognize it as a fundamental part of the being. That language talks of something completely different than what humanity believes to understand, to listen, or to accept as reality on daily basis. It’s an organic language which talks about the complexities of the existence as a unique process of multifarious and infinite parts changing and evolving and not as a static and defined structure.”
They continued “We could say that what happens to any of us isn’t truly lived as we are in a state of perpetual sleep. With what we do, we aim to create the extreme conditions in which a listener could go over the reason to let the body react and try to discover arcane forces through imagination, by guiding him/her to edge of chaos, ready for the next move.”
One of the first things you will notice upon sinking into the world of Viscere is its unusual treatment of vocalization, more a primal emotional reaction to the music rather than a regimented and disciplined expression. The explanation to the bands unique and disconcerting sound? “It’s fundamental to accept the imprevidibility of what we do and keep it safe as a treasure instead of considering it as something that needs to be fixed, or changed, as if thinking of it as a mistake. Sudden changes and anything happening in an unorganized way are something which we truly live and when we play it can happen that differences from what we had previously planned are then considered as some kind of universal blessing not to be wasted. For this same reason, the vocals are pure improvisation, recorded and left as they are, never rehearsed before the recordings. Due to this kind of ideas we wish to take care of the entire creative process (including recordings and mixing) even if this means that the outcome could be extremely far from some kind of standard which might have been previously discussed in order to play the music in a ‘nice way,’ with precision and a certain feeling.”
Viscere will be released through Third I Rex and is one of the more unusual and interesting releases in the black metal sphere this year. Those who enjoy music which challenges your senses would be missing out if they didn’t give this stream a listen. I’ll let Sangue Nero play us off:
“Basically we do what we want without really worrying of who is going to like it or not. It’s all really simple and we believe in it. We know there are people out there which could understand what we do and we are glad to share with them our output.”
You can buy Viscere here. It will be released on July 23.