Misotheism by Paolo Pieri, Giulio Moschini
Hour Of Penance has steadily been making a name for themselves as one of the most intense, talented and impressive death metal bands around, both in the studio and on stage. Pouring heart into death metal and releasing emotions into what they do, they can easily be described as a beast of a performer; they even have a philosophy around it. “Death metal is more than just music”, states the band. “It transcends such a limited mortal state of mind. Death metal is the aural expression of humanity’s darkest side, of devastation, sorrow and the harbinger of mankind’s own inhumanity and ultimately its destruction. Death metal is not a trend, a fashion parade or a mean to an end. It is much more than that. It is a way of life. A life in death”. What might sound as a litany, is actually related to one of the Holy Capitals, Vatican City, near which Hour Of Penance was brought to life in 1999. Since its formation, the band released seven studio albums, and performed shows in Europe and North America, with the likes of Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Devildriver, Misery Index, Nile and Krisiun. They also went through several line-up changes, that would surely have discouraged less dedicated bands. The present line-up consists of guitarist and longest-serving member Giulio Moschini, singer and guitarist Paolo Pieri, bassist Marco Mastrobuono and drummer Davide Billia (Beheaded).
’Misotheism’ compared to the previous ones has some particular vibes to it, bringing a very dark mood while being raw and aggressive at the same time. It’s like when you create something and the final result is more than the sum of its parts. I am very satisfied with how ‘Misotheism’ ended up sounding and I feel like it was unexpected to have such a good album in our hands. I am always very critic after an album is finished and wrapped up but this time I am unusually happy about everything.
PP: The artwork has been created by Gyula Havancsak, the artist who realized all our album covers since ‘Paradogma’ in 2010. It is very interconnected with the themes and mood of the album and we had a very clear vision about how it should look. Since one of the main themes is the war to bring down all those greedy bastards who live in their ivory towers hiding behind their wealth while everyone else is struggling to survive and live a decent life, we wanted to have a huge tower as the focus of the artwork. The tower itself is crumbling and collapsing into flesh and dead bodies, while people are forced inside to be slaughtered to feed the oligarchies.
GM: I start by recording riffs here in my home studio, working on one song at a time by writing also the drum parts. When I have the structure of the song ready, I’ll send it to Paolo. Then Paolo will record the metrics with random vocals on it, and we work again on the structure of the song if something needs to be improved. After everything starts looking fine, he’ll start writing the lyrics following the metrics. Once we’re in the studio we keep working with our drummer Davide by focusing on each drum part and fills, then our bass player Marco records his own basslines on it. After this process, we go on recording guitars and vocals, and if we feel something could be improved we still keep making little changes until we are happy with the final result.
PP: The lyrics talk about different aspects of the same issue, the endless greed for power and wealth that moves our world, now more than ever. Songs like ‘Ludex’ (Latin for judge) and ‘Dura lex sed lex’ talks about how we should deal justice to those who are into organized crime and corrupt our country, while ‘Sovereign nation’ and ‘Occult den of snakes’ talk about our land not being free due to the interference of political and military interest of other western countries, the US in particular. But everything, in the end, is due to human greed and nothing else.
PP: I don’t consider metal dangerous, not now and not in the past. If I have to be sincere, I think metal has been normalized by being made “commercial” by popular bands after the nu-metal and metalcore wave. Most bands now just write some random lyrics about the usual cliches depending on the genre, and almost no one writes something topical and meaningful. If you think back about the lyrics of bands like Death and Carcass who dealt with real issues, I cannot find anything of interest right now apart from rare exceptions.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2019 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.