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Posted: February 11 2011 at 13:00
Adramelch are formed in 1987 in Milan. The original line-up features Gianluca Corona at the drums, Franco Avalli at the bass guitar and Lorenzo Marconi at the guitar. Later, in Art High school, Gianluca meets Vittorio Ballerio, lead singer of Phoenix - a Hard rock band playing its own music in live gigs in the Milan Area, and asks him to join Adramelch
Initially the band performs solely cover songs of other "HOLY MONSTERS" bands: Queensryche, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. Vittorio will be major influence in pushing Gianluca and Adramelch, to write their own songs.
Two albums has so far followed. I got in touch with the band and they answered my questions.
When, where and by whom was Adramelch formed? Why did you choose that name?
[Vitt] Adramelch was born in Milan in 1986, when Gianluca, in this very beginning as drummer of a cover band performing the metal monsters’ tunes (Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Queensryche…), started instead playing his own stuff.
I was in the band since a few months but singing music written by other wonderful bands was not my aim… so I told them that for me the only way to continue playing together was starting to play our own music. That was the time when Gianluca abandoned the drums to raise the guitar and wrote the song that gave the name to the band: Adramelch.
The origin of this name is in the bible (I should say in the Torah) and it’s the name of an ugly demon, although during the centuries this name has been used in many different mythological contexts. It was discovered and chosen by Gianluca in the far 1987. Still the best explanation of its roots is given by Sig: The word Adramelch comes from the ancient Hebrew, and is composed by the words Ad (Adonai: lord, master), Ra (evil, cruel) and Melech (King). A first translation could be "The king is a cruel master". But there's also an interesting variation, "God is a cruel king", which might give the idea of a tyrant who, in his frenzy of almightiness, sets himself as a living god: fearful visions of men without God (from the song Fearful Visions, opening the debut album Irae Melanox).
To close the argument I want to add that this name was indeed perfect for us, for our music, in those years... probably today, especially considering our current mood and attitude which is gradually turning to the prog side of our soul, might sound a bit misleading... but that's our name, our history and we feel a thin but brilliant red line joining that sound with our today's stuff!
There is some other bands with the same name too. That includes a progressive death metal band from Finland with 3-4 albums. Have this created any problems for you?
[Sig] Somebody may assume from our name that we're playing satanic metal, but who cares about those who judge without reading lyrics and listening to music.
[Vitt] The only thing I know about them, the Finnish Adramelech, is that even thought the inspiring “demon” is the same, they have choosen a slightly different name. I wouldn’t say we had “problems”: maybe just some small bother, as they might have had being confused with a “spaghetti metal band?!” :) In any case, if this has some relief, we were born before them... But we did not copyright the name...
To start with; please give me your (long or brief) thoughts and lowdowns on....... Irae Melanox from 1988
[Vitt] Life of Adramelch has been quite strange indeed: we “died” a few months after the issue of our first album Irae Melanox (meaning we had no more than 3 years lifetime) and reborn from our own dust (but not only from there) some 15 years later. During this “age” each member of the band run different paths and lives… probably the main similarity amongst us was the almost complete ignorance about how our one and only LP was riding across Europe during our lethargy!
Irae Melanox for us was a dream come true… we were a band since a few months and already recording our first demo. This brought us the invitation to take part in one of the first Italian metal compilations and a few months later we were signing a contract with the most important Italian metal label! Our very beginning seen from today's perspective looks incredible.
But frankly speaking, looking at our past, I think that the most extraordinary part of our story does not involve us directly: in fact during our very long absence - 17 years! also considering that most of us were 17 when we formed the band - our debut album, printed in a few thousands copies and so poorly produced and distributed, reached the status of cult album in Europe and brought us the “fame” that our short first life couldn’t aim.
Irae Melanox 2010 de-luxe reissue version
Now, some twenty years later, to pay the due homage to it, a De-Luxe version of such debut album that so much fortune brought to us, has been issued by Underground Symphony, a small but glorious label driven by people who have always appreciated us since the very beginning, (the same label that issued also BH in 2005). This De-Luxe version is composed by 2 cds, the first is a remastered version of the original Irae Melanox, the second contains the demo (also remastered) issued one year before the LP and a couple of black pearls: 2 new-old songs, written in 1988 and arranged / recorded by the current line up, yet unpublished: the very first instrumental tune and the very first ballad ever written by Adramelch.
Broken History from 2005
[Vitt] In 2003 Gianluca, Franco, Luca (respectively the original bass player and drummer) and I, together with a great pianist friend of mine (Davide Doviti) tried to give new life to the band. First aim was to record the tunes written after Irae Melanox before our Diaspora. But it did not work:
Luca lives in Rome, 600km away from us. Also, he didn’t play drums for too many years.
Franco is a great musician, playing different instruments and different kind of music and last but not least one of the most enjoying people I’ve never met in my whole life. But the band was too tight for his nature and playing. Davide… well the piano gave an interesting flavour to our music but per haps it was too far from our nature and for sure it was too far from the nature of the stuff we had in our hands.
So we (Gianluca and I) had the luck to meet Sigfrido (drums) Fabio (lead guitar) and Mau (bass) the wonderful musicians that today made this new dream possible. Yes because the few old tunes written in the late eighties were juxtaposed by new compositions written during the 17 years by Gianluca and the music for a complete new album was ready to be recorded!
Lyrics are a quite important side of this new project for at least a couple of reasons:
first their genesis: just as when in 1987 I asked Gianluca and the other guys to start making our own music or I was going to leave the band, so in 2003, Gianluca told me: write the words for these tunes or the music will remain buried...
second, the contents of this which became a concept album: in fact I faced this challenging opportunity to give life to an issue that I deeply felt: the tragedy of the crusades. The knight is also a typical heavy metal icon so the “game” was really interesting. I really wanted to talk about them but my aim was to show the real face of such deeds. So, in a nutshell, it's about the crusades, seen by the other point of view: it was a time of war and death, time of an impossible comparison between different cultures, different universes… time when the old Europe had shown its worst face.
When Maurizio Chiarello (Underground Symphony), captive fan of Adramelch since a long time, knew about our new life, immediately offered us a contract and in late 2005 our come back album “Broken History” was already in the shops!
Distribution and promotion pitifully were poor and this affected sells but the point is that each and all reviews we know about, were so cool… no vote below 7/10 (or analogue) and so many 9 and 10… ps: on our website we collected all the ones we know about, and it’s really… embarrassing!
There is a seventeen years long break between your two albums. What happened ?
[Sig] One day some of the band members had to go out to buy cigarettes.
[Vitt] many things happened during this... lifetime! I became 4 times father for instance, but probably this is not the main point! (although it surely helps in understanding why my life is so full!). Musically speaking some of us continued in a personal musical path... I pursued different musical projects, some quite interesting some definitely not... from the pure progressive, with a guitarless project to a Jazz rock band...
Three of us (Gianluca, Franco -the former bassplayer- and I) tried several times to resuscitate the project, in various shades and line up but, until 2003, we did not succeed: it was always something not satisfactory and therefore not made to last.
How would you describe your music and which bands or scene would you compare your music with ?
[Sig] I've always found difficult to classify music (not only our music, but music in a broad sense). I think we succeeded in putting our different backgrounds and experiences in our songs, thus enriching them from the very beginning, when they are composed and arranged. Gianluca gives the "Adramelch fingerprint" to the music because he is the author of the main melodies; but then everybody else from the band puts something into Adramelch's songs.
I would describe our music as a painful work of art which involves five musicians with their creativity (and limitations as well). We try to be honest, to look inside ourselves, to say something with our music.
[Vitt] Yes, I fully undersign Sig's words. And I know it ain't nice but, believe me it is not a matter of arrogance: indeed I can't find a band that I feel similar to us. In the past many names were told to describe our music, to help the reader of the magazines to understand what kind of “animal” was this strange band (and I must say these were among our favourite) names like Queensryche, Warlord, Fates Warning, Crimson Glory and of course a bit of Maidens... I repeat we were fan of such bands but believe me or not, we couldn't (and yet we can't) really find a similarity.
You are currently recording your third album. What is the title and what can we expect from it ?
[Sig] The title is "Lights from Oblivion". For now I can tell you it will not feature electronic drums, voices at the megaphone or similar bullsh*t. It will feature Adramelch's new songs.
[Vic] We are alive. But it’s worth is more than what appears: this is the truest, most mature and longevous Adramelch's line up ever. The music today we produce is indeed the result of a team working and you can hear it, and it really satisfies each one of us. What you can expect from it? … a further growth! I should say that, notwithstanding the above mentioned thin red line, someway this is our first album, because IM was done by another band, 20years ago, BH was born first by our need to give light to the music that had been thought mostly in late eighties and partly mid nineties... whereas this is the first time that the band worked on the rough material brought in rehearsal room by our mastermind (Gianluca) that has been drawn, shaped, arranged during a long period, to get a final result that indeed represents the band today.
There is an evident bend. I would say that direction is a kind of progressive rock. Today recording and mix are finished. Mastering is being done in the Finnvox studios in Finland. Now we “only” have to find the right label. “Right” in terms of distribution, promotion...
What is your experiences with the music scene and the industry?
[Vitt] ??? provided I'm understanding correctly your question... the first consideration is: Italy is not the right place to live if you want to do music (but in general if you make Art). Notwithstanding an important role played also in recent History of Music (for instance the 70's progressive rock) during the last 30 years we had to helplessly watch to a progressive cultural impoverishment... music industry in Italy pumps the worst bullsh*t and there's no room for good music anymore. And be careful: when I talk about music I don't mean just “prog metal” or similar I mean good music: I'm used to listen to several different musics: a lot of “new” jazz (mostly European but also USA), ethnic music, some death metal, some John Zorn Masada music... By now in Italy only the huge events are still an attraction for people, probably because the day after they can say “I Was There”...
I'm convinced that the biggest fault of this situation is in school system that never gave any importance to music teaching. If your ears are not educated you will hardly be able to appreciate even the good rock/pop music! Think of Dave Matthews Band for instance! Touring from stadium to stadium, always sold out, for months up and down the USA... in Italy they are still more or less unknown...
And so people grows thinking that music is for kids only. Being convinced that you can be a music fan until 18 / 20 y.o. When you're an adult music is... something broadcasted, chosen by a dj, that fills your ears while you drive your car. No will at all to discover... too tiring!
Our adoptive motherland is Germany! Where we are invited to participate important festivals... where our music is known.
Just to wrap this interview up; do you have any regrets in your music career ?
[Sig] I should have studied and played drums more. Much, much more.
[Vitt] yeah, me too! I should have started before! That's the only regret. For the rest I must say I have been lucky: I've had the chance to live various musical experiences that helped me to grow, musically speaking but not only. And I always did only what I choose across the never ending music fields, with no compromise at all.
What is your five all time favourite albums ?
[Vitt] Each time I have to answer this question I must specify that I change my mind more or less every day… it depends on the mood, the period…
Today may top 5 might be:
Porcupine Tree: Deadwing or In Absentia
Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath
Rush: Moving Pictures
Motorhead: No sleep till Hammersmith
Ian Gillan Band: Clear Air Turbulence
Anything you want to add to this interview ?
[Vitt] well, of course a Huge thanks to you for the chance you offered us and for the patience you had with us. I guess that asking you to accept my personal excuses ain't enough... so I'll add a copy of our reissue as a special gift for you and I promise that we'll keep you posted about next steps, also because our forthcoming album will be way nearer to the beloved prog world than ever.
[Sig] Check out our website (www.adramelch.com) and myspace page (myspace.com/adramelch) for updates on the forthcoming new album!
Thank you to the band for this interview
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Joined: August 22 2005
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|Post Options Quote Reply Posted: February 19 2011 at 09:54|
I have downloaded three songs in their official homepage. Good epic prog metal!
A vingança nunca é plena,
mata a alma e envenena
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