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It's been several years, and little obvious news, since Comrade Aleks last spoke with L'Impero delle Ombre, but the Italian Dark Sound doomsters are back with their third album, 'Racconti macabri Vol. III', and vocalist John Goldfinch was happy to discuss it.

Interview with L' Impero Delle Ombre.
"Italian band L'Impero delle Ombre were never fast: formed around the mid '90s, it took until 2004 before they recorded their first, self-titled, album. It took seven more years to finish the concept album 'I compagni di Baal', an epic masterpiece with a recognizable Italian prog touch and lyrics based on a mysterious old French TV series. Their new album, 'Racconti macabri Vol. III' was worth waiting for and here the band has returned to their darker roots. What made the band go into deeper sonic catacombs in search of the Italian Dark Sound? Giovanni "John Goldfinch" Cardellino knows the answer."

Talking to Comrade Aleks today: vocalist John Goldfinch.

Hi John! How are you doing? What's new in Florence, considering the quarantine?

Hello Aleksey well found! I have not lived in Florence for years, only my brother has remained there, I now live with my family in the province of Reggio Emilia in the region a little north of Tuscany, in Emilia Romagna. What do I have to tell you? This is not a good time in general, there is a lot of pessimism and exasperation around because of this health emergency.

Did this whole pandemic situation change your attitude towards heavy music? It seems suddenly all of us got more important things to care about.

As far I'm concerned, all this negativity poured into the lyrics of the new L'Impero delle Ombre and the upcoming third Witchfields album. People are scared all of us, but you know that artists feed on their anxieties to pour them into their works, especially in these dark genres.

I didn't expect Thomas Chaste to return with Witchfields. Who took part in this recording besides you? How soon may we expect this release?

We had been talking on the phone for some years with the intention of doing something new, maybe a new project, but then I said "And why not make a new Witchfield with the original line up? ... why? no!!" and so it was! It's just me, Thomas Hand Chaste and my brother this time for the third job, I announce that it's already composed and a pre-performance has been made, and I can guarantee you that it will be the best that Witchfield have ever done... with a devastating sound! !

What's your part in this album? How did you participate in recording?

If we talk about the next of the Witchfields, THC sent me the pieces we chose together with his demos with a sketch of a melody and I adapted my lyrics on top of them... (very hallucinated and negative this time!) Then I'll have to go in person shortly to his personal studio and record all the tracks.

There haven't been any new recordings from the band since 2013, when you did that split with Bud Tribe. Where have you been all this time?

I was a bit busy for work and family matters, I had two children. On a musical level like L'Impero delle Ombre we have re-edited and expanded the split album with the Bud Tribe you were talking about, participated in official tributes of Strana Officina, Death SS and little else.

I released HumanasH's debut mini LP, my first horror speed metal project, guest for Enio Nicolini (The Black) solo project, Malauriu etc.

L'Impero delle Ombre - 'Il Sabba' (Official, 2020):

Do you think you could promote your music more effectively if you would focus just on one band? I'm asking this, but I can't calculate how "effective" and "popular" proper Doom may be nowadays. We can take for example your neighbours Abysmal Grief and Doomraiser, and we both know - these bands are "big" for us, but it's hard to tell how much deserved recognition they have.

We are notoriously not very prolific, you know! And we do some projects only when we really have the inspiration, that of doom metal and the like is really a difficult world, but we like it that way! As you said in Italy we have really big musical personalities, and we are proud of it!

Truth to tell, I didn't find much information about L'Impero delle Ombre's current line-up. Who's in the band now?

Now the stable lineup is: Rob Ursino guitar, Vins Ceriotti bass, Michele Ercolano drums and occasionally Tatyana female voice all of them from the pagan doom band of Milan - Sidhe, in addition there is the keyboardist Davide Cristofoli great musician many bands of different kind of music like IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE.

Line-up: Vinz Ceriotti, John Goldfinch, Andrea Cardellino, Dave Cristofoli, Mickey Ercolano, Rob Ursino.

Your new album 'Racconti macabri Vol. III' differs stylistically from its predecessor 'I compagni di Baal'. It's stricter, less progressive but still it's very Italian. What led you to these changes?

Exactly, right observations! I was tired, pissed off, depressed, and I wanted to vent my frustrations away from the baroque of the super arranged hard prog, it was necessary to return black, direct and dark, mysterious and esoteric ... as in the first record!

How were these recording sessions organized? What was most difficult thing during this session?

So the recordings took place in two detached sections, drums, keyboard, bass, second guitar and female voice were recorded on their own ... all arrived in the FP studio in Lucca of Freddy Delirio (Death SS keyboardist) where I have I did the vocals and my brother the guitar, and I must say that everything went well, it was a great studio experience, we shaped the sound we wanted together with the good Freddy!

'Racconti macabri Vol. III' was released, as I've seen, in a gorgeous edition. Can you tell more about it?

Yes also this time the Black Widow rec. Genoa has surpassed itself by doing things big! the standard versions are the hard cover digibook CD, the LP version with poster and illustrated booklet .... and finally a special limited edition in only 99 copies which consists of a handmade eco-leather box with velvet laces to close it that contains the LP in transparent and green colored vinyl, the standard CD, two posters, a patch, a sticker, the illustrated booklet and last but not least a medallion with the band's logo handcrafted by a friend of ours who cast old copper and bronze crosses recovered from cemetery scraps! Fantastic!! This is the real Cemetery Rock!!

L'Impero delle Ombre - 'Marmo Freddo' (Official, 2021):

Proper illustrations, proper edition... what about proper lyrics? What kind of topics did you raise in these songs?

Of the state of mind that pushed me to this non-concept of the lyrics of Macabre Tales vol.3 and I have already talked about it, I wanted to tell some macabre stories that belong to me, that are part of my experiences of the small world obscure what is in my mind, obviously very Italian and provincial! Analyzing piece by piece… "IL CIMITERO DELLE ANIME" talks about the genius of the Dark Sound, my friend Paul Chain, and a sort of dedication. "IL SABBA" is a hallucinatory vision of a witches' sabbath through the ages with a true invocation in the piece. "IN MORTE DI BUONO LEGNANI" talks about the cult Italian film "LA CASA DALLE FINESTRE CHE RIDONO" by Pupi Avati. For "INCUBO A DUNWICH" I analyzed Dunwich Horror by Lovecraft in the vision of Daniel Haller's 1970 film. "IL VILLAGGIO DELLE OMBRE ASSASSINE" - I imagined a sort of little disturbing tale where the protagonist gets lost in a small village where his life is risked because of the murderous and ritual madness of its inhabitants. "MARMO FREDDO" talks about the atomic delirium that brings death. "VERSO L 'ABISSO" is the sad reflection of a medieval warrior near his earthly end and "SENTIMENTO FUNEREO" speaks of depression, an invisible and subtle evil that creeps into the mind and suffocates it.

Italian cinema has a huge influence upon the local scene, but usually it's all about old horror movies and giallo. Can you recommend some decent modern Italian movies?

Yes exactly Italian horror cinema is our pride, especially in the past. Of interesting recent Italian horror films I liked the return of the legendary Pupi Avati with "Il Signor Diavolo" and then... "The Nest", "Il Legame", "Paura 3d" and "Bed n. 6" by Manetti bros. .. those I remember by heart.

How do you see the necessary elements of L'Impero delle Ombre's sound nowadays?

Always be honest artistically and intellectually! Don't expect a record a year... people don't give a shit about having a million records coming out in a short time (maybe well played and recorded)... people are looking for personality, emotions... even the saddest, the blackest; take a record of L'Impero delle Ombre, The Black, Paul Chain/Death SS, Il Segno del Comando and others and take a mysterious journey to Italy, take the Northwind and you're in France, Candlemass and feel the freezing cold of the north, by Pentagram, Sleep, Trouble or St Vitus and you're mired in a torrid muddy swamp in America etc... these are just examples of course the list would be very long!

What are your further plans for L'Impero delle Ombre? Does the fact of having a still new release motivate you enough to return to the studio?

Who knows?? Only fate knows its incomprehensible trajectories... All I know is that we are in the process of recording a DAGON piece for an important international tribute album to the works of H.P. Lovecraft organized as usual by Black Widow records. Then I believe that another ten years will not pass for a new L'Impero delle Ombre album... We will follow the invisible trajectories. Meanwhile LONG LIVE CEMETERY ROCK !!

Lovecraft tribute! Sounds exciting! I hope we'll get a chance to witness it's coming soon. Thanks for the interview John! Long live Cemetery Rock, yeah…

Heartfelt thanks to you and your readers... We hope to come out with the tribute as soon as possible, maybe this year... And together with other news from the world of shadows!

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Visit the L' Impero Delle Ombre bandpage.

Interviewed on 2021-04-26 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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