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Italian Gothic/Doom outfit Invernoir's debut full-length, 'The Void And The Unbearable Loss', seeks to blend old and modern sounds into an accessible melancholy. Co-founder Alessandro Sforza elaborates on their vision to Comrade Aleks.

Interview with Invernoir.
"Invernoir, from Rome, was founded four years ago by guitarists Alessandro Sforza and Lorenzo Carlini, with Valerio Lippera on bass. Originally, the band included drummer Luca Soldati and vocalist Sami El Kadi, but both left the band after the release of debut EP 'Mourn'. Andrea Boiani, then later Flavio Castagnoli, took over the drumstool, while vocals were split between Alessandro and Lorenzo. Drawing on the Death/Doom legacy of the early '90s, Invernoir add to this sound a few elements which allow use of the tag "Gothic Doom" to cover their music. So, full-length debut 'The Void And The Unbearable Loss' was co-released by Funere and BadMoodMan Music - the Solitude Productions sub-label focused on "not totally clean Doom" music. Here, we dig deeper into the essence of Invernoir's vision, with Alessandro Sforza."

Invernoir new line-up: Flavio Castagnoli (drums) Valerio Lippera (bass) Lorenzo Carlini (guitars and clean vocals) Alessandro Sforza (guitars and harsh vocals).

Hail Invernoir! How are you? Who's online today?

Hello! This is Alessandro and I'm really happy today to be here to answer your questions.

I see that all members of Invernoir play or have played in a bunch of other bands, what made you join your efforts under the Invernoir banner?

The main reason is probably the love that we have for this kind of music, an influence that doesn't always come out in the other projects (except Ars Onirica that is a doom project too).

How do you see the creative alchemy inside the band?

There has always been a kind of magic since we started with this project and this alchemy is still here despite the various line-up changes during the years, we are very lucky! I'm the main composer but the sound of the album is also the result of the recording abilities of our great guitarist/clean singer/sound engineer Lorenzo Carlini who captured the right sound for this album at his Blue Ocean Recording Studio here in Rome (he also wrote with me two songs of the album). For the lyrics we had a special help from our friend Valerio Granieri (Rome In Monochrome / Aurora Nowhere), who wrote five lyrics for the album and appears as a guest singer on the track "The Burden".

Alessandro and Lorenzo, with Valerio Granieri (centre).

Alessandro, being a guitarist you've also switched to vocals not long ago, how naturally did it happen?

I've been involved in this double role since 2010 with my previous band Lykaion, it's always been natural for me. When we parted ways with our first singer Sami me and Lorenzo naturally thought to replace him dividing the duties between us (me on harsh vocals and Lorenzo on clean vocals), I think that we've found our dimension.

Can you name the guitarists who helped you to shape your style of playing?

Sure! I love a lot of guitar players but I think that there are four musicians that really influenced me in my style: David Gilmour, Greg Mackintosh, Daniel Cavanagh and Zakk Wylde. Everyone of this four musicians really impressed me for different elements, Gilmour and Cavanagh for the deep introspection ability using few notes, Mackintosh for his dramatic sense of melody and Zakk Wylde for his power on the penthatonic approach.

God bless Metal-Archives! They kindly hint that Invernoir's lyrical themes are Apathy, Pain, Decadence and Anguish. Would you agree with such a description?

Absolutely! Probably they kept this description from our very first bio.

Of course, of course… Who would think the opposite considering Doom Death of this kind! So is Doom metal a way for you to transform inner negativity, and how much space and freedom for art do you see in these territories?

Music in general is total freedom of expression, but for me doom metal is the main way to express myself, is the the kind of music that brings peace to my soul, it's really spiritual and deep, nothing gives me the same sense of quiet and reflection. The negativity can become something beautiful through this kind of atmospheres... what I really love in this genre is the sense of immense it transmits to the listener, I love to listen to it during the sunsets...

Live, 2017. (Photo: Alessio Chiappalone).

Italy is one of those countries with HUGE cultural background, did you think to draw an inspiration from that source? You know - just how your countrymen said: "The well of thoughts is never dry. / Just use a bucket and ideas will come out".

Beautiful aphorism! I really love my country, it's full of great art everywhere you go and this is really inspiring, a lot of parts in the album are in our mother tongue and in the future I would like to write more stuff in my language, maybe a full album… who knows.

I've just quoted Septic Flesh from their 'Revolution D.N.A.' period. But yes, I would mention Plateau Sigma who did approach Latin culture in their songs, and The Black, of course, even though it's another side of doom. Well, how did you get involved in Doom? Did you start from local bands, or from the UK Three, or more traditional bands?

I was involved in doom metal in the 90's with the UK Three: Pentecost III by Anathema, The angel and the dark river by My Dying Bride and Icon by Paradise Lost... but my life changed forever with The silent enigma... for me it's the best doom metal album ever. The only Italian band that really impressed me at the time was Novembre but now we have a lot of great Italian doom acts such as Plateau Sigma, The Foreshadowing, Shores Of Null, Rome In Monochrome, Ghosthearth Nebula, Tethra, (Echo) and many more, I'm really proud to be part of this scene.

By the way, your music is labeled as "Gothic Doom", though songs I've heard remind me rather more of old school things by Katatonia and Anathema with a bit of a Paradise Lost touch. What do you think concerning putting a "Gothic" tag on Invernoir?

I think it could describe well our sound, we have always been influenced by these bands (leaders on this genre). I think it could describe our sound as well.

Invernoir - 'Suspended Alive' (Official, 2020):

There's new video for the song 'Suspended Alive': was it your idea to shoot it specially for the album or did the label ask you for that? How do you collaborate with them?

The song was chosen by the band, it's probably our favourite track from the album; the concept of the video was created by our video-maker Adhiira Art (Sergio Monfrinotti), he just read a fast description of the emotions and the colours suggested by the lyrics and he made all by himself. We are in touch with the labels (Funere and Solitude Productions) almost every day, they believe in the album and in doom music, we couldn't ask for more, we feel like part of a big "doom family".

So your debut full-length album 'The Void And The Unbearable Loss' should be out on the 9th of October. What's the situation with gigs in Rome today? Will you be able to perform the album live?

Due to the Covid the situation is not good for live gigs, we planned a release party for the end of November in our hometown but no one can predict the situation from here till then… we will see!

Early 2020 line-up, with Andrea Boiani (drums).

How do you see the strong sides of the album? What kind of Doom qualities did you aim to put in this material?

The strongest side for me is that this album can be appreciated also by a non-doom metal fan, the sound is very accessible for everyone without leaving the main features of this music like funeral parts and depressed atmospheres. We tried to blend the sound of the '90s with a modern one and I think we've reached our goal.

What's the most important thing you'd like to point to in 'The Void And The Unbearable Loss'? How do you see this work from your own point of view?

This album is the result of years of hard work, you will find there all the feelings that has been part of my life on these years. I think it's an honest work wrote with the heart in hand and I'm really proud of it. I've used doom metal music to purify myself and "The void and the unbearable loss" is the result of this process.

Thank you for the answers Alessandro! I hope Invernoir's next album will take less time! Good luck!

I hope too! Thanks for the interview! Doom on \m/

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Invernoir bandpage.

Interviewed on 2020-10-26 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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