A journey towards enlightenment, a spiritual journey through rebirth…
Five years after their second album, 13 September 2014 saw Italian black/funereal doom project Arcana Coelestia release Nomas, an album depicting a journey through rebirth into enlightenment matching atmospherics with heaviness and ambience with the darkest of doom and black metal. Vocalist Rob (aka RM) and multi-instrumentalist Marco (aka MZ) took time out to talk to MR’s Jason Guest about the band’s development over the last five years, the changes in their lineup, their changes in style, and the new album and the ideas behind it…
Thanks for taking time out for this interview and congratulations on Nomas.
Rob: Thanks a lot for your support. That’s really appreciated. Glad you liked the new album! Cheers!
It’s been five years since Le mirage de l’ideal. To what extent does the new album mark an evolution for the band? How has Arcana Coelestia progressed since then?
Rob: The band itself went through some real bad situations. I joined in for this last album in order to help Marco and Daniele aka PV-1 to get it pressed. The tracks were ready almost four years ago. The drums have been recorded and also the lead guitars by Ivan Zara from Void Of Silence. Three years later and still the band wasn’t able to complete the recordings, not because of laziness but for all of a series of events I don’t feel like talking about. Eventually Marco asked Kostas to play some additional parts which gave to the whole vibe a real kick! Later last January, if I’m not wrong, Marco asked for my help and I said yes.
Marco, what has Rob as vocalist brought to the band? Why did you choose to work with him?
Marco: Me and Roberto were partners since the first Urna lineup, so we’ve played together for many years and we trust each other. I like his way of interpreting songs and when I had the need to replace LS on this album, Roberto was my first choice. I’m very satisfied with his work and I think that there couldn’t be any better replacement than him.
What was it that you wanted to achieve with Nomas?
Marco: When I wrote the songs I wished to change a bit the general sound of the band. I still love Le Mirage de L’ideal and I think it’s a great album, but at that period I was a bit tired of playing ultra-slow tempos for all the songs, so I tried to keep the same atmospheres that are a trademark on Arcana Coelestia’s previous works and bring to them a different shape, using more heavy riffs and fast tempos. The result of this is Nomas, I don’t know if in future we’ll keep this direction, I only know that I can’t plan anything about the musical path, I just follow the feelings of the moment and try to translate them to a shape who can represent it.
Rob: We honestly wanted to see it pressed. It’s been a long time and a long wait since the tracks were recorded and we couldn’t wait any longer. It was like having a splinter under a nail and being unable to take it out.
When writing for this album, did you have an idea of how you wanted it to sound or did each of the tracks and the whole thing take shape as it was being developed?
Rob: Yes. Marco had a perfect idea of what they wanted to achieve. Once Daniele joined in we all already knew he was going to change somehow the face of the record into a better dynamic vibe. Kostas as well did a great job and when I was called over, I just wanted to perform the best I could to be up to the standards.
Is there a theme, a concept, or a philosophy that underpins the album? And where does inspiration come from?
Rob: Lyrically the whole concept is a journey towards enlightenment, a spiritual journey through rebirth. The inspiration came mainly by A. Odorously “The Holy Mountain”.
All of the tracks are entitled ‘Nomas’ followed by a number. What does this title mean and what does it represent?
Rob: It’s the number of steps followed by the protagonist of the “story” written in the lyrics.
Can you tell us about the artwork, its design, and what it represents?
Rob: It’s an inner dimension. A place hidden inside all of us in the way we would see ours. A place where the protagonist of the story, me or you or anybody, could escape this world’s foolishness in order to find answers coming to birth, once again, like a new I.
Who’s the artist?
Marco: I did the whole artwork totally on my own; Roberto gave me the lyrics as input and then I tried to expose this in a visual work. We always prefer to take care by ourselves all aspects from our bands, artworks and audio production included.
How did you come to work with Avantgarde Music?
Rob: We worked with Avantgarde for our first EP with Aphonic Threnody (interviewed here). Marco didn’t know Roberto but once the album was almost ready they had a chat and Roberto offered to print the album. He did a great job though.
And do you plan to stay with them for future releases?
We don’t know yet. We don’t know when the next record is going to be ready and we’ve got loads of other projects we’re working with right now.
Any gigs or tours planned? And will we be seeing you in England any time soon?
Rob: Not really. Too many complications. We’re not a live project.
Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Rob & Marco: Thanks once again for the great support and the time you’ve taken for interviewing us! Thanks to all of you out there for being so great! We really hope you’re going to enjoy Nomas and all of our other projects! Regards