Abeyance: Auditory Portraits of Melodeath
Abeyance: Auditory Portraits of Melodeath
Based out of the historic Italian city of Milan, Abeyance is ready to unleash their intensive brand of melodeath upon an entire world. Portraits Of Mankind is the name of their latest magnum opus on Sliptrick Records, featuring five explosive thought provoking tracks. Fans of the almighty At The Gates and early In Flames reveries may just discover a new favorite band when exploring the sonic tapestries of Abeyance. Highwire Daze recently caught up with the Abeyance batallion to find out a whole lot more about this compelling new band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Abeyance, and how long the band has been together.
Hi, and thank you so much for the opportunity of this interview!
The group was founded in January 2016 by Michele Adami, the former drummer and composer, and vocalist/lyricist Jacopo Marinelli. The intent was to recall the approach to melodeath that made the genre popular in the 90s. We think that kind of style still has a lot to say and is still great to play and listen to. Of course we also wanted to shape our own identity as a band, with our own sound and music proposal that could bring something new and interesting in today’s melodeath scene.
We consider songwriting and lyrics very seriously and this is why it took about 3 years for a 28-minute album. Lyrics in particular are built so that they tell a story and bring a real message, and not just simple words to combine with this kind of music.
We had several lineup changes but each member helped to create what you are listening to now. However, currently the lineup is more close-knit and ambitious than ever and new material for a future record is already a work in progress.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
The project was born and raised in northern Italy, in the city of Milan and its surroundings. About the local metal scene, we cannot say that’s inconsistent, on the contrary there are a myriad of talented bands and artists who, however, have little chance of making their music known. Some clubs that host metal gigs are in crisis or closed, and the public is shrinking. We think that metal is slowly returning to a niche genre, at least for live shows in Italy.
In our area there are several melodeath bands that in one way or another have even managed to get considered in the international scene: Mechanical God Creation, Crown of Autumn, Haddah, Necroart, Black Rage (this one in particular can also be considered following the old school style).
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Portraits Of Mankind EP title?
The title of the record refers to the many facets that mankind own both as an individual and as a race. In the title track, for example, it’s told how every action, intention and consequence regarding the vertices of mankind power can be summarized in a deplorable portrait with selfish and uncaring features. The song in fact speaks of the wicked exploitation of the planet and the fake good intentions that are shown as a mask of this face.
But there are obviously other portraits that can painted looking at the face of humanity. As many as the masks that it possesses. You can look at them as a whole or as a single. In the latter case some tracks, like Innerscape, venture into the profound introspection of the individual, investigating in “places” that probably no one would like to know, even if it’s a matter of themselves.
How many masks would we find ourselves wearing in this case? And how many different portraits of us could we represent? The album tries to suggest these concepts.
Select two songs from Portraits Of Mankind and what inspired the lyrics.
We think that the two most explanatory songs in terms of lyrics are Portrait of Mankind and Innerscape. For the first song we were inspired by the climatic emergency and the reckless pillaging of our planet. It tells of how the powerful men are totally indifferent about the safeguard of Earth and the health of humanity, and even toast before their own portrait of wickedness for the outcomes obtained.
Innerscape is an allegorical journey into the growing depths of human introspection. We thought that just as Dante Alighieri metaphorically ventured into Inferno, so someone could tell with the strenght of music in addition, what places and landscapes lie within what we call mind or soul. Innerscape is actually a journey through something that embodies both, as a single vital entity of the human being. What lies therein terrifies many of us and for this reason it may not be so different from a long walk among the infernal circles.
Who did the cover art for Portraits Of Mankind and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was created by the talented Russian artist “Xelistroll“, and was part of an archive of concepts he had already finalized. It is a photorealistic collage on which we have made only small additions (such as the masks in the puddle and the lantern on the path) because it was already almost perfect for us. We were lucky to find this piece of art because it fits very well with the concept behind the album and its themes.
How did you wind up signing with Sliptrick Records?
As in most cases in which a band has a finalized work to publish, we have been looking for a label that could convince us and offer us a valid and accurate publication path. As it’s known, aspects of an album release are many to consider, and once the right opportunities are presented, it’s important to focus on what will benefit the band as a whole and not just its records.
What could one expect from a live Abeyance show?
A short but intense journey in the darkness of inner diversity, as in the songs of the EP. We will try to convey an even stronger emotion of anger and bewilderment through a performance based on trenchant riffs intertwined with melancholy and disdain. The aim is to give the audience a show that leaves something inside them, as these songs did for us when we shaped them.
If Abeyance could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Old In Flames, Death, At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity are among the influences and appreciations of each member. I mean, who hasn’t grown up with their songs from our generation of metalheads? But if we wanted to wander in lesser-known names, but who were able to influence our musical lives maybe even more, we would probably talk about Gates of Ishtar, Eucharist and A Canorous Quintet for example. Among more recent melodeath bands also Insominium would be a dream come true.
Has Abeyance ever played in the States or plan to do so in future days?
As a young band we have not yet had this great opportunity and we do not hide that we aren’t ready for the international stages. In any case, bringing our music to the death metal audience of other countries is one of our long-term goals and we will work hard to fulfill this objective.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Abeyance?
Almost every one of us also plays in other groups: Giacomo, the drummer, has an Alternative Metal project called Parabola which released a single with music video in November. The lead guitarist Gianluca is part of Cyrax, a Progressive Metal band that is about to release its third album. Vocalist Jacopo is a member of the Doom/Death Metal quintet Esogenesi, whose debut album was released in October under Transcending Obscurity Records. Another of his projects in development is called Eurynome and is a Funeral Doom Metal duo. Apart from these “official” projects, each member actively participates in collaborations and musical experiences of various kinds and genres.
What’s up in the New Year for Abeyance?
We are focusing very much on writing tracks for the next album, which will certainly be more substantial in terms of running time. At the same time we want to take “Portraits of Mankind” on stage in the italian scene and for this reason we are working to plan shows and possible mini-tours. For us 2020 will surely be a very important and challenging year both for the growth of the project and for making it known worldwide in the melodeath scene.
Any final words of wisdom?
With this debut EP we hope to bring good metal music and interesting food for thought to the melodeath fans out there!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Thanks so much for letting us know more about us and our music. Until next time!
Jacopo Marinelli – Vocals, lyrics
Gianluca Fraschini – Guitars (lead), songwriting
Andrea Mantelli – Guitars (rhythm), songwriting
Giacomo Boffi – Drums
Matteo Galdi – Bass
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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