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Hour Of Penance

Interview von: arne mit Giulio, am: 19.05.2014 ]

Auf ihren Veröffentlichungen präsentieren sich die Italiener von jeher ausgewiesen technisch und zügellos aufspielend. HOUR OF PENANCE gehen in ihren Stücken gerne und häufig in offensive Blastbeats hinein, die als ihr Steckenpferd anzusehen sind. Auf dem sechsten Album der Band aus Rom, „Regicide“, ist das nicht anders als auf den Vorgängern.


Musicscan: What was the biggest and the most primary reason you got into heavy music? Has this reason changed over the years? How do you stay motivated with what you are doing?

Hour Of Penance: I got into this music when i was really young , around 10 years old , i was fascinated by the power of the music and by the shocking art that some of the 90’s album had - everything was forbidden for a young kid as me and breaking the rules was something very captivating as you can imagine , it was like an invite “come to the dark side“ .. I remember i had to hide some of the cds i bought because of their explicit artworks. Growing up and listening to this music brought me to buy a guitar and start making my own music - my own death metal : Hour of Penance is basically the reflection of what i would like to hear from a death metal band. The reason i play and listen to this music is not changed at all , i’m still hungry for extreme music , i always want more - it’s purely an addiction.. maybe i’ll be diagnosticated with some kind of “music illness” someday

Musicscan: Being around for awhile, does it bother you when you see or meet kids who ignore or have a different understanding of what metal means to you?

Hour Of Penance: Not at all to be honest , i don’t find anything strange or wrong in that and i understand why some of the “new generations” would not approach Hour of Penance or the bands likes us - is the same for myself, i ignore the new music they listen and i’m not really interested in it. I’m not really close-minded when it comes of music or any other art but if there’s something i don’t like i’m not there to point my finger against it or i’m not the kind of guy who tries his best to force people to understand his view on things. What bothers me of the new generations is that they lack of respect for someone else work , they can type whatever they want on their keyboards and shit on your work as much as they want but that is something you can get used with.

Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the metal scene as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the metal heroes you grew up with did before HOUR OF PENANCE were around?

Hour Of Penance: Nice question , i never thought to that . I think that the quickest answer i can give you is that we’ll keep trying to write and record good death metal album and contribute with our work to keep this music alive !

Musicscan: Looking on extreme metal in general you can find lots of sub-scenes and styles, the metal underground is changing all the time. Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar agenda to what you have with HOUR OF PENANCE?

Hour Of Penance: I feel like we have more in common with bands as Cannibal Corpse or Hate Eternal , Immolation , old Morbid Angel more than with the “newer” bands , probably i feel closer to them because we grew up listening to their albums and we’ve learned to play this music thanks to them.

Musicscan: With the extreme sound that you guys have does it give you a lot more freedom when you're going to record new material to go in a different direction and not be constrained?

Hour Of Penance: Absolutely , especially with the new album Regicide we’ve decided not have any brake in terms of songwriting , i recorded whatever came up in my mind and we left everything pretty much untouched , we wanted the album to sound the more spontaneous way as possible - that’s how also we managed to write and record 14 songs this time. Having that kind of freedom is something priceless , and listeners can definitely feel when you’re being honest with them or you’re desperately trying to make your music more “appetible” - There’s no point to do that with death metal .

Musicscan: Regicide finds separation through passion and honesty, something you are not hearing too often these days. It's well balanced, brutal and having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting. What is your attitude towards metal in general and towards being HOUR OF PENANCE?

Hour Of Penance: thanks a lot for your words ! If there’s something i have to complain about metal nowadays is that it lacks of ideas - with that i don’t want to sound like i would like bands to go the Morbid Angel way and make a weird industrial metal album - i’m talking about bands that once they’ve found their sound with an album they simply copy and paste from their albums - from a listener point of view is like eating the same meal every day - with the time eventually you get bored with that . So with Hour of Penance , album by album , we always try to progress and bring something new and at the same time stay true to us and our fans.

Musicscan: How do you guys make sure to develop as musicians and songwriters? Is there something you do on a constant base beside going to the rehearsal room and practicing at home?

Hour Of Penance: Besides practicing we listen to a lot of music , not only death metal or extreme metal . Everything can inspire your songwriting , from watching a movie to go on tour with the band . We’ve spent the last two years touring with bands that we love and inspired us like Cannibal Corpse or Behemoth, those are events in your life that really can inspire your songwriting and motivate you. From a strict musician point of view playing live it’s the workout you need to do , the stage is your gym , it’s the place where you grow up and you become a better musician.

Musicscan: With Regicide you created a record that consists of different layers and extremes. On the one hand side, it consists of rude arrangements, on the other hand side there's this epic touch to create an incomparable atmosphere. Do you think that this diversity makes Regicide a stronger record? It takes some time to get to the point and people have to invest time in discovering the songs…

Hour Of Penance: I don’t know to be honest , i never plan things to make an album sound like this or that - Regicide it is what it is , i reckon it’s a different album from our previous works so at first some of our fans could be disoriented by that but i’m sure that it will grow up after every listen. It’s different from our album Sedition which was straight forward , short and catchy - to some extent it doesn’t reflects any of our past works while at the same time you can tell it’s an Hour of Penance album. One thing that helped me a lot with the songwriting of Regicide was clear my mind and stop listening to death metal for a while , it was like putting myself into starvation for music , thanks to that , ideas started flowing really fast and we were able to write 14 songs in a couple of months without any moment of stress.

Musicscan: Regicide is a pretty aggressive and self confident record. It's intense and stands somehow outside competition due to the fact you are not following trends. What is your view on the album?

Hour Of Penance: That’s exactly what i wanted for this album - not following trends and at the same time record an honest death metal album. I think nowadays bands are too focused on the technical side of music , they’re completely forgetting about music being something that can communicate feelings - it’s like a match where a band tries to be more technical , more fast than the other band - Regicide is meant to be the opposite of that. We gave the album a vest , a main theme that is different than the overused antichristian - satanic - gory lyrics , an artwork that is not goat and blood or a corpse that stabs another corpse in the back - while i loved all of that back in the days and i’m still in love with that i think it’s time to give this music something more .

Musicscan: It seems to me that the new record has a bit more structure, groove and melody to it. Is this part of the evolution of your band? The record offers partly different sounds and textures. Would you agree to this?

Hour Of Penance: Yes i do agree with that . We’ve recorded 14 different songs tied up with a main lyrical theme , each song has its own “personality” , we have 3 slower songs this time , and even the most fast song on the album it’s not just blast beat. It’s definitely our most varied record so far . Every Hour of Penance album is like a snapshot of the status of the band , we grew up album by album , perfected our music and we’ll keep doing that.

Musicscan: Do you still have to deal with limitations when it comes to the songwriting or are you in a position to realize all the ideas you have?

Hour Of Penance: I never had to deal with limitations to be honest , i work on the songs in total freedom. Technology actually helped us a lot with that , i can record in my home studio pretty much what you hear on the final record, as you can imagine that makes things a lot easier.

Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with Regicide?

Hour Of Penance: Well , this is kind of a concept album having a main theme that guides the lyrics through all the songs , to quote our singer Paolo : "Regicide revolves around the theme of destruction and rebirth, the killing of the king, be he your own fears, prejudices or dogmas that you built inside yourself to cope with reality. Only by letting go of those illusions and tearing down the walls of ignorance and fear that society, religion and every form of dysfunctional authority you introjected during your life, you can start to rebuild your own path of life as a free man that has no need for a king.” My suggestion is just to let you go by the driving force of the music and listen to the album a couple of times - as you said this is not an easy album to digest for sure but i’m sure that you’ll find yourself going back and listen to one of the tracks a couple of times.. oh and buy the album so you can read the lyrics !

Musicscan: Why do you think Regicide is an album being worth to be listened?

Hour Of Penance: For those who are looking for an honest death metal album there’s nowhere else to look - get Regicide . Our fans we’ll like the album without any doubt , while it’s different from our previous works it definitely sounds like an Hour of Penance album but as an improved version of our previous works. We always work and give our 1000% on our albums and there’s no exception this time. Production wise we recorded the drums in a different studio this time to achieve a more natural sounding of the whole kit , and our friend Stefano at 16th Cellar Studio really worked his ass off for a killer production. Also our label Prosthetic Records is giving our fans the opportunity to pre-order the limited edition of the album in digipack and Lp with 14 tracks in total ( 11 + 3 bonus tracks ) , the packaging looks great with the artwork done by Gyula Havancsack , it’s definitely a cd/vinyl that shouldn’t be missed in your collection !

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