Interview with vocalist Roberto Ferri
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: February 24, 2019
Italian metal band Voices From Beyond was formed in 2006 and have released two studio albums, The Gates of Madness in 2010 and Black Cathedral in 2018, the latter the one that caught my attention. The band mixes a lot of elements from thrash to traditional to doom metal in their music, so calling them a "metal band" is more than appropriate.
The Metal Crypt decided to contact the band's vocalist and frontman, Roberto Ferri, to find out a bit more about one of Italy's best-kept heavy metal secrets...
Luxi: Good day Voices from Beyond! How are things in Italy these days?
Roberto: Hey everybody! Thank you so much for this interview! Things are going well here in Italy, and we are super excited about our new album. Unfortunately, as you may know, in our country these are hard times for heavy metal and rock 'n' roll. Despite this situation, we are very proud of our work.
Luxi: Your second album, Black Cathedral, was very impressive. It's just a great mix of traditional heavy metal, thrash, and even doom metal. What went into making this album and did it turn out the way you hoped?
Roberto: The five of us started this project with a lot of ideas and great enthusiasm. From the very beginning, we had a goal in mind that we were aiming to achieve. Working with passion and care, and the precious support of our recording studio, Woodoo Sound Labs, we managed to obtain an outcome that went far beyond our expectations.
Luxi: Like I mentioned, I was very impressed by the songs on Black Cathedral, even if it does have a couple of lighter tracks like "La Valle della Coscienza" and "The Family". Overall the album's vibe is dark, aggressive and even mysterious, in my opinion. I take it like you like writing about darker themes and playing in an aggressive, straightforward way more than exploring the band's "soft side", correct?
Roberto: This album was made without thinking about light or dark. Every track was created instinctively. The fact that we came up with an obscure album was a coincidence. We were dealing with the things we felt inside.
Luxi: When you started the band back in 2006, did you know the musical direction you wanted to take or were you just happy if it sounded heavy and metal enough?
Roberto: The five of us have always listened to heavy metal so we didn't have to think about the album's musical direction too much.
Luxi: This new album has a variety of different elements within the music, which is a great thing, but I think the album's title track is the kind of song you should consider doing more. In that song, early Solitude Aeternus and early Candlemass type of heaviness and mysteriousness are blended perfectly. Can you enlighten us as to what led you to compose a song like that, which is very different from the rest of the material on the album?
Roberto: You hit the nail on the head! The atmospheres in "Black Cathedral" draw their inspiration precisely from the bands you mentioned before. I am a great fan of doom metal. That's the reason we decided to take this direction while composing this track.
Luxi: How did you share the songwriting process on this new album?
Roberto: It was actually I who gave life to all tracks of this album and, after a series of rehearsals and hours of hard work, every one of us contributed to the realization of the product we were dreaming of.
Luxi: Do you work the old school way when introducing new material to each other within the band, i.e. you gather together in your rehearsal place and show what you have, or do you use modern working methods by sending music files back and forth via the Internet?
Roberto: Because the five of us have the same attitude, we take advantage of modern methods to send music files to each other. In this way, while rehearsing, everyone can share his ideas on the themes we deal with.
Luxi: Which bands/albums are influences for Voices from Beyond?
Roberto: Starting from heavy metal, which is the thing we all have in common, everyone put his own influences in this album. These range from heavy metal, thrash metal, '90s death metal and doom metal. We can mention bands such as Death, Candlemass, Testament, Judas Priest, and Metal Church.
Luxi: Your debut album, The Gates of Madness, was released in 2010, and the second album followed at the end of November 2018. Why this gap of eight years between albums?
Roberto: After the release of our first album, we encountered many different problems, both personal and line-up related. Those problems forced us to take a break from activity. Finally, the time came to get back in the game and changing our line-up helped us find a new spirit for this band.
Luxi: How well-known are Voices from Beyond outside Italy? Do you get contacted by fans from other countries asking about gigs, merchandise, etc.?
Roberto: Currently we are working hard to carve our niche both in the Italian metal market and abroad. Although these are hard times for heavy metal, with the release of Black Cathedral and thanks to the support of Volcano Records and Promotion, we have received very positive responses.
Luxi: I imagine playing gigs is vital for the band. What kind of opportunities do you have for gigs in your local area? What are some of the best venues/clubs in your area for playing live?
Roberto: Unfortunately, heavy metal is the last genre Italian club owners want to support, especially here in Romagna, where people prefer discos and DJs. There are very few clubs, and generally they tend to promote other kinds of entertainment. Luckily, thanks to venues such as Wave Alternative Club in Misano Adriatico and others nearby, heavy metal is still alive!
Luxi: What will some of your main goals in 2019 be?
Roberto: At the moment, our main goal is to play as many gigs as possible, both in Italy and abroad, with the recent release of our latest album. We are also laying the foundations for a new album that we hope to start working on by the end of 2019.
Luxi: One last question. If Voices from Beyond was some character from after the decline of the Roman Empire, which historical or non-historical character would it be? Feel free to use your imagination ... ;o)
Roberto: We think that Howard Philip Lovecraft could be the most suitable character because he inspired us in the realization of this album. However, we don't exclude the possibility of choosing Michael Meyers, either.
Luxi: Thank you so much for your time and all the best to you and the band in the future as well. Any last words, curses, whatsoever...?
Roberto: Many thanks to all of you again, always listen and support Voices from Beyond! Otherwise, get ready to descend into the abyss.
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