In early April of 2023 we published a review of “Cassini – Huygens”, the new EP from Italy’s Death Metal four-piece INTO DARKNESS, which all in all wasn’t very positive. Our staff writer Rick talks about “uninspired doomy Death Metal”, “the worst cover artwork of the year” and also that the band “completely lacks in terms of musicianship and originality.” Well, honesty is of course always very important and therefore I totally respect other opinions, but in this case I can’t relate to it at all. Ever since INTO DARKNESS released their self-titled demo in 2012, they have always been a great band to me, with the right feeling for old school doomy Death Metal and up till now their underground attitude hasn’t changed at all. I think “Cassini – Huygens” has all the elements that you would expect from such a band: it’s crushing heavy, offers brutal, yet hateful female(!) vocals and I’m pretty sure that like-minded bands like ASPHYX or PENTACLE would most certainly be praised for the five featured songs. So, to find out a bit more, we hooked up with the only remaining original INTO DARKNESS member, guitar player / vocalist Giulia (to some probably better known as “Doomed Warrior”) for the following in-depth interview…

Greetings Giulia… or do you prefer to be called Doomed Warrior or Giulia D. Warrior when it comes to INTO DARKNESS? By the way, how did you end up getting this name? Was Giulia D. Warrior inspired by a certain Swiss musician maybe?
“Hello Boss Stöver!!! First, let me thank you for hosting INTO DARKNESS once again in Voices From The Darkside. You already know how much this means to me – to us! The monicker… Well, could sound weird but no, it doesn’t come from Tom Gabriel Warrior. I was just searching for something really Death Metal that could fit well on me. The “Doomed” word surely comes from my big passion when I was very young for a certain kind of Doom Death Metal – as ETERNAL DARKNESS, CRYPTS OF KERBEROS, early ASPHYX, early RIPPIKOULU, SYMPHONY OF GRIEF, NECRO SCHIZMA… The list is long. Anyway, I loved the “Doomed” 7″ from ETERNAL DARKNESS in particular. And I liked that word, Doomed. And Warrior… Well, I do really feel as a Metal Warrior after all, who doesn’t???”

INTO DARKNESS has been around since 2011 by now, but before that you personally have already been active in the Death and Black Metal bands EXTERMINATE and SIGN OF EVIL… Were those your very first bands as a musician ever? Why did you split up with both of them and what actually lead to the origin of INTO DARKNESS then?
“EXTERMINATE were a Death Metal band based in Varese, near Como, were I lived when I was younger. I joined the band before SIGN OF EVIL if I am not wrong, but I can assure you I didn’t make that much, maybe two rehearsals. And if I am not wrong, they didn’t that much, maybe one demo. They forced me to leave for inner troubles, I don’t really remember why, but it was not a big deal for sure. SIGN OF EVIL is a totally different story. We were three – the power trio, as we used to say – but we were three guitarists. The laziest kept on playing guitar – and he was really good in that – and Magico had and still has a natural propension for the drums… so I took the bass, and I was the least shy of us, so I was also the singer. We made something that matched more or less our common tastes in music, VENOM, BULLDOZER, CELTIC FROST, MOTÖRHEAD. I was the only one into Death Metal at that time, and the guys used to joke at me for that. “Here comes the Deathster” they used to say. We splitted up after the first “tour”, and recorded new stuff that has never been released. After that awesome experience – because it was, we played a lot on stage, we were close friends – I really wanted to do the music I like the most, without compromises. I tried once when I was still living in Como, but it was a bad idea – an all female Doom Death Metal band. Then, when I moved to Milano, around 18, I found someone that wanted to play Death Metal with me!”

Tell us a little bit about the original INTO DARKNESS line-up… how did you get to know AnguiciouS and Nor and why was this line-up so shortlived that both only have been involved in your self-titled debut demo?
“I already knew Nor because we went to some gigs together with other mutual friends, and I knew AnguiciouS because he was the drummer in MEFITIC. The very first INTO DARKNESS line-up should have been an all female act, but I can assure you that women in Metal are fake in 85% of the cases. Anyway, I kept in contact with Nor and we started rehearsing at her place, and in a few weeks we asked AnguiciouS to join the band. After the demo recording I planned our very first gig together with MEFITIC, BLOOD OF SEKLUSION and NECRO, but a month before the show I had problems with Nor, cause I told her I didn’t want her in the band anymore. I wanted to keep our friendship alive but I needed to play with someone as motivated as me, and she wasn’t focused enough on the band. AnguiciouS left both INTO DARKNESS and MEFITIC, and Metal music in general, so in less than a month I built up a new line-up to play the show!”

When it comes to your music and also the vocal delivery, it seems to me that you were (and still are) heavily influenced by Dutch Death Metal bands in general and ASPHYX in particular. Is that the case? And if so, which is your alltime favorite ASPHYX release and why?
“I feel always so proud when someone tells me “Your music is really ASPHYX inspired or Dutch Death Metal inspired”. It is my favourite band after all, together with PENTACLE and the first SOULBURN release, which is a milestone to me. And Dutch Death Metal in general… I want to do this! I am not here to invent something new. About my favourite ASPHYX release, it depends on periods to be honest. I’d tell you “Asphyx” and “On The Wings Of Inferno” in this period. I listened to ASPHYX that much in my life that I’d tell you a lie saying that I am objective!”

Your vocals are pretty impressive, especially considering that you are a female, so was it tough for you in the beginning to pull them off? Did this type of singing had any effect on your voice? For example, have you often been hoarse after rehearsals, gigs or recording sessions?
“Every time! Until I started to take singing lessons. I started last year, and the result is great. I fear less to do a mistake on stage than to loose my voice. The last show we did, I was full of energies and this didn’t happen. The same for the last recording session. Now I’m invincible, more or less!”

It seems that your debut demo was pretty successful, considering that it got re-released rather quickly on 12″ vinyl and CD via Iron Bonehead Productions and Hellthrasher Productions respectively… Tell us a bit more about the four featured songs. Were those the only songs you had written as a band up to that point or did you already have more to choose from?
“Thank you for your feedback about the first demo, especially because, in hindsight, I’d have liked to do something better. I like it, but I am convinced I could do better about the songs’ structure, the lyrics and some riffs choice. Anyway, songs were written appositely for INTO DARKNESS. I had to discuss this many times because I wanted a certain sound and influence, in the end this was the result. I’d cutted the ending part of ‘Nemesis’ to make it more varied with two more riffs, and the title track is definitely too long in the final part. But I feared the songs could be “contaminated” by compromises I didn’t like, so once they were ended, I kept them as they came.”

Who came up with the idea to use completely different artwork and band logos on the different release formats of it?
“Me and a dear friend of mine, that always gave me good advices, since he’s an old and wise bastard, and helped me with the visuals many, many times. I have to admit that I didn’t care that much about the visuals until today, that I really want people to catch a bit of the band starting from the cover. However, back in the days I assumed we would come out with a different cover for every release, even because the drawings were not made for the band, I took them from the web. I still have thousands of folders with images, I miss the courage to delete them!”

I gotta confess that I personally liked the logo the most that was used for the CD edition and it seems that you shared my opinion, since you continued to use that on the follow-up demo “Cosmic Chaos”, the “Transmigration Of Cosmic Creatures Into The Unknown” EP and the split 7″ with GHOULGOTHA… Who created that logo and why was it replaced with the rather shortlived (but also great) logo on the split 7″ with PROFANAL?
“That logo – that I still like a lot – was created by this friend of mine I mentioned you in the previous question. His name is Andrea, as well known as Fava. I would never replace that logo, but he made me a present… and asked Daniel Corcuera to draw a logo for INTO DARKNESS. He told me he didn’t like the logo he made, so I had to accept the present. How silly of him! Things were done, since he showed me a sketch from Corcuera. I wasn’t satisfied in the end, but I had to use that logo, since it was a present. Just for one time at least!”

How did you find Ken Hunakau (bass) and Pide Guts (drums) as new INTO DARKNESS members and how much input did they have in the songwriting process of your second demo “Cosmic Chaos”?
“I don’t remember exactly how I involved Pide and Ken in the band. I know Pide since I was 16 more or less, when I started to play with SIGN OF EVIL. We were living quite close each other. He used to play in a very cool band that I always supported and admired, called NECRO, a Death Metal act in the vein of AUTOPSY, IMPETIGO. I’d strongly recommend you to listen to “Power From The Grave” and their song on the 7″ split with UNCREATION “Trapped Into (Self) Destruction”. I immediately thought about asking Pide to play in INTO DARKNESS when I splitted up the second line-up. But I won’t tell you about them, it doesn’t deserve any attention. About Ken, I used to see him at gigs back in the days, but I don’t remember exactly when I asked him to join the band. I remember he was excited about the idea of being part of INTO DARKNESS, and me too, because he seemed really motivated to go on. I wrote two entire songs – ‘Shifted To The Red End Of The Spectrum’ and ‘Transmigration Of Cosmic Creatures Into The Unknown’ – in the second line-up period, while ‘3C 273’ and ‘Dreadful Omen Of A Dark Millennium’ came later, with the third line-up (Ken and Pide). We used to rehearse in Pide’s place, he turned his grandma’s bedroom into a rehearsal room, to play with NECRO and his Hardcore band, ZONA D’OMBRA. ‘3C 273’ is probably the only song I didn’t write alone with INTO DARKNESS, and it is definitely audible. Pide got some IMMOLATION – like riffs that were really good. ‘Dreadful Omen Of A Dark Millennium’ is one my favourite old INTO DARKNESS tracks, but I don’t like the way we recorded it. We were downtuned, and Pide played so fast. And you know, when you tell a drummer “slower… slower… fuck, go slower please!” the only answer you’ll get is to go faster. I never used a click in the studios – besides on “First Encounters” for logic reasons – until we recorded the last EP this year. I remember that maybe the only input Ken gave to me was to go downtuned. It was a big, big error. Ken’s listenings were really far from mine, I mean: I’ve always been into Death Metal and Doom Death Metal, but he was into something I didn’t and I still don’t like. Not my cup of tea: slow and downtuned bands that I couldn’t even hear a single note or melody. But tastes are tastes, and I wanted so much to play that I didn’t gave relevance to this topic. At least, we entered the studios and recorded four tracks, and I’m grateful to them for the help. Problems came out when they started to write without asking about my opinion. I mean, if you guys want to play together completely different stuff, just put on a band and I’ll be glad to lend you my hands and my guitar, and I’ll follow the line, until my opinion isn’t required. INTO DARKNESS is my band, and I don’t want to play anything different from what I write with my band.”

On that demo (“Cosmic Chaos”) you printed the following: “Here you can find 4 “rough mix” and unedited songs that will also be released on different vinyl EPs in 2013 and 2014 with improved (heavier!) sound, completely different mix and vocals, hence the limitation to only 60 copies.” So, if you weren’t completely satisfied with the recordings at that point of time already, why did you release them at all? I mean, even if only 60 copies of that demo were made, you could easily have waited for the better versions and then release those instead?
“”Cosmic Chaos” was printed by Unholy Domain for Killtown Deathfest, where we played in 2013. We didn’t have much merchandise to sell, so “Cosmic Chaos” was made to have something nice to bring there. It was sold out in two hours I remember… I personally like the sound on that tape more than on the 7″ EPs. Andrea “Fava” took care of drawing the cover and the layout: it’s a bit out of topic, but still a cool draw!”

It seems that you already had serious interest from labels at that point of time to release those 4 songs on different EPs shortly after… Is that correct? Tell us a bit more about that whole process, like what you changed on the songs, who decided which song would appear on which EP and also how you decided on the bands that you shared the split EPs with (GOULGOTHA and PROFANAL)?
“When the four songs were complete, the intention was exactly to release them on 7″: it seemed the best choice since we released only a demo, and it was too early for me to think about a full length. I considered to release the tracks also as an EP, but to release three 7” EPs on three different labels could have given the band more visibility than doing a single release for one label. I was wrong in the end, but I don’t have any regret about that! Anyway, I got in touch with Pech from Unholy Domain first. I knew of that new band called GHOULGOTHA, not sure if it was thanks to Pech or someone else. I am a big fan of DECREPITAPH, one of the millions bands owned by Wayne Sarantopoulos aka Elekrocutioner. I admire him, I own other stuff from his bands like ETERNAL SUFFERING, ENCOFFINATION, FATHER BEFOULED… I still remember the first time I listened to “Condemned Cathedral”. Andrea, that I mentioned to you many times, close friend of me and Pech from Unholy Domain Records, asked me if I would be interested in that CD with the “technicolor-like cover”, haha! I totally loved it. It was so close to my musical tastes, my way of seeing music. So you can imagine, when I knew there was a chance to release something with Wayne Sarantopoulos, I was like “Ok, we should do it right now!”. I chose ‘Shifted To The Red End Of The Spectrum’ to be released in the split because it was my favourite track, together with ‘Dreadful Omen Of A Dark Millennium’. The split with PROFANAL came more natural. I already talked with Luca from Iron Tyrant for a possible release. He liked the demo – and I am proud of this, I always thought his tastes are difficult about music, even if I never told him – and some years before he released PROFANAL’s first album. I am good friends with Rosy, the singer of PROFANAL, and Daniele, their bass player. I can’t remember exactly who asked who, I’m quite sure Luca made the proposal, but in the end we made it. The only thing I really don’t like about that split is the cover: the worst cover ever drawn by Mark Riddick. Not his fault of course, an artist must do what the clients ask for… and I was not alone in this choice, so we couldn’t make him start from the beginning at every sketch. The last two tracks were released for Doomentia Records, and if I am not wrong, Lukas wrote me an email. The cover artwork of “Transmigration Of Cosmic Creatures Into The Unknown”, unuseful to precise it, was made by Moyen. I wanted at least one INTO DARKNESS release with a Moyen artwork, something that could look really old school and Death Metal. I considered also of tattooing the cover on my arm, but I’ve never done that. But since my half arms are full of SINISTER and ASPHYX, I feel no regrets. I didn’t change anything between the releases on the songwriting, I chose to keep the “Cosmic Chaos” tracks just dirtier by the sound, without backing vocals, as it came in the end. A bit of mix maybe, but that’s all. And it sounds definitely better than the 7″ tracks!”

What is the story behind the rather strange songtitle ‘3C 273’?
“‘3C 273’ is the most shining quasar ever discovered, and the one closer to the Earth, situated in the Virgo constellation. Its energy is produced by accretion of a supermassive black hole hidden in its centre. I thought it was a great Death Metal topic to write about for a song, isn’t it?”

It all looked very promising for the band, so what happened then? According to Metal Archives you took a break from November 2014 to 2017, but still performed one liveshow in 2016… Tell us a bit more about all this… Was the band just on hold or did you really split up at that time? What have you done during that period of time?
“Well, I never considered the band splitted-up. I wasn’t able to find anyone else to play with in that period, so I was focused on other things. In 2014 I started a Grindcore band with Giovanni, ex – CORPORAL RAID drummer, called MINDFUL OF PRIPYAT, with whom I recorded the first EP. The MINDFUL OF PRIPYAT experience has been something instructive for me, musically and technically. I improved my skills on guitar and vocals, and I learned to play faster. I never played so fast in my life! And then, not much time later, I joined a Doom Metal band called ENOCH, an Italian act from the late ’90s. Once again I experienced something different and completely new, and even if things were sooooo slow – not only in music, haha – I focused more on guitar solos and melodies. I played live with INTO DARKNESS in 2016 with the help of Pide and Maso (BLACK OATH, FUNEST, VOMITVULVA, owner of Macabro Bunker – our rehearsal room). I am really grateful to them for their help, we made only two rehearsals together. During that period I kept on playing my stuff, but I feared to raise up a full line-up again. I already knew that, once I’d have been ready, I could write the best stuff I ever dreamed to do in my life. And so it was!”

What exactly did fuel your fire to write new music again that would be released as INTO DARKNESS, how long did it take you to finish the songs and why did you record the new demo “First Encounters” completely on your own? Weren’t you able to find any new members? Which instruments can you handle and are you all self-taught?
“I decided to write “First Encounters” alone because I was convinced to do better alone than with a full line-up. Music has always been for me – as for many people – the first big motivation. In every moment of your life, music is always on your side. In the “First Encounters” years I found someone else to play, but I am not the kind of person that is able to drive one hour and back once a week after twelve hours of working. I played for a short period with Okrim, the current drummer in EXTIRPATION, and with Nicola from ERODED, also session live guitar in MORTUARY DRAPE. Nicola is a mad genius behind the drums I have to say. While rehearsing with Okrim the two songs were not completed yet, I ended our collaboration cause we were really far from each other, and he wasn’t even free every week to rehearse. I was using guitar pro to write guitars and drums: the drums took me months, but it was funny in the end, I learned something I was not able to do before. Once I ended the tracks, I started learning to play them. Then I got in touch with Nicola, to try raise up a full line-up again. He learned the whole first track, ‘Eta Carinae’, and I was really impressed by him. I always thought the drums on “First Encounters” were not that difficult, but they’re varied and I guess it is really complicated to remember any passage. I stopped rehearsing with him for a matter of distance once again, cause Nicola lives in Alessandria, one hour from Milano, and we were rehearsing there. In the end, “First Encounters” to me is the best INTO DARKNESS release after the last EP “Cassini – Huygens”, cause I didn’t make compromises about anything and with anyone regarding the music. I also draw the “fake” logo for the cover, I even tried to write the credits and info inside the booklet by my hands, but my handwriting definitely sucks, haha. I played classical guitar for six years more or less when I was a child, I was around seven years old or something like that. I stopped because I really wanted to play electric guitar of course, but I am self taught. The same for the bass. I started to play the bass cause in my first band, SIGN OF EVIL, we were three guitarists: the laziest one kept on playing the guitar, Magico (EXTIRPATION, BLACK OATH, MORBUS GRAVE, THE RITE…) has always been good with the drums, so he took his place with that, while I was able enough into coordinating voice and music, so I started to play the bass. I learned to play with fingers and not with pick, because it was easier for me, like a classical guitar. I am not that good with the drums in the end, I only learned to write it in the “First Encounters” period. I would love to learn play drums, one day. My father started to play drums five or six years ago. I asked him to start a band, but he told me no, hahaha.”

That demo also featured your first ever recorded cover track, ‘The Flame’s Masquerade (Her Sun Is The Moon)’ from the mighty PENTACLE… Was that your number one choice as a cover or did you have any other options in mind as well? Did you send Wannes of PENTACLE your version? If so, how did he react on it?
“It was definitely my number one choice. I started listening to PENTACLE with the “The Fifth Moon” EP, and ‘The Flame’s Masquerade’ has always been one of my favourite PENTACLE tracks. Wannes not only listened to it… I needed the lyrics, cause there are no lyrics in the record’s booklet. So Wannes helped me, writing me the lyrics. And I will never share these precious words with anyone. He was so kind to me, I will never forget it. It seems the guys from PENTACLE liked it. At least, I hope so!”

You also already shared the stage with PENTACLE several years ago… any cool memories on that?
“The coolest memories I have of that gig are two: PENTACLE’s gig and Wannes singing with us a cover from the only album SOULBURN ever made. He sung with us ‘Hymn Of The Forsaken’. No one else except the people attended that gig will ever hear such a beautiful remembrance of a glorious past, today. It is something that I will keep forever in my heart, you can’t imagine how much it meant to me. And we’re gonna play together with PENTACLE in September, near Milano. After ten years! Oh Frank, try to dress my clothes: I am so proud we’re gonna do it! The APPARITION guys from Spain were with us at that show with PENTACLE, they are close friends of us, and I really wanted to give them the opportunity to play and to see a great gig. Edu and Ivàn from APPARITION were there, ten years ago, seeing PENTACLE in Milano, with us as support band. The best opportunity to let the Ancient Feeling rule, UUUUGGGHHH!!!”

Talking of live shows… I noticed a flyer of what was supposed to be your very first gig ever, which took place on January 05, 2013 together with BLOOD OF SEKLUSION, NECRO and MEFITIC. How did that gig turn out for you? Were people already aware of INTO DARKNESS then?
“I planned the show with the help of that close friends, Andrea “Fava”. Not sure people already knew about INTO DARKNESS, but the venue was full! We were the second band, since Nor asked me for BLOOD OF SEKLUSION to be in the bill. It was a super show, I enjoyed all the bands and I had a lot fun that night!”

Any other live shows that you have good memories of?
“The last one, almost ten years after the first one! We played at the two days festival “A Journey In Darkness” owned by Terror From Hell Records, with DEATHSTRIKE, NIHILI LOCUST, BLACK OATH, NECRODEATH, ASPHODELUS, CEMETERY FOG… and I really have to say that our show was super. It’s hard to believe that we started to rehearse all together with the new line-up less than one year before the gig.”

Most recently you released a new 5-song EP entitled “Cassini – Huygens”… why did it take you five years to come up with a new release or was the band inactive once again during that time?
“I wasn’t that ready I suppose, even if I was playing a lot at home. Five years ago, so almost suddenly after the release of “First Encounters”, I and Eros (guitarist of INTO DARKNESS and EXTIRPATION) got engaged, but we went through many difficult years because of our work, of our home – we moved three times – and last but really important there was Covid since late 2019 since… 2021? The Covid situation was so bad here. I can’t remember how long we were, after the lock-down, only going to work and then back home. No rehearsals, no late night drinking at the pub, nothing. Between the Covid period and the following months I was also studying for my job, and I can assure you that start to study again after many yeas without focusing on a book to learn something is really hard. We could consider the band inactive maybe, but I never had the intention of putting an end to INTO DARKNESS. It’s one of the best things I made in my life, for myself, by myself.”

Please tell us a bit about the lyrics… it seems to me that all songs are connected lyrically, so is it a concept EP?
“You got it, it is a concept EP about the Cassini – Huygens mission, a probe that was launched in October 1997 from the Earth to Saturn, to study the planet, its rings and its satellites. I always dreamed to write a concept album about planet Saturn – I was so obsessed by that planet when I was a kid. I used to wear a dental appliance – a blue one of course, my favourite colour – and there was written “Saturno” in it. I got also a beautiful birthday cake when I was seven or eight with a big Saturn drawn on it. Anyway… I choose to divide the Cassini – Huygens mission in five symbolical steps. We could write an album, but after a long pause from the last release, it seemed too much to me. So I wrote four lyrics, respectively about the launch of the probe, reaching of Jupiter, arrival on Saturn and descent of Huygens lander on Titan, and the Cassini’s Grand Finale, so the end of the mission. The fifth step, that has no lyrics, is an instrumental track that symbolically represents Cassini leaving the terrestrial planets area and its entry into the jovian planets’ realm!”

I must say that it always feels a bit strange to me when Death Metal bands write lyrics about astronomy, the universe, sci-fi and stuff like that, because to me that futuristic aspect I personally associate a lot more with electronic stuff and synthesizers than with raw, old school Death Metal… So, where does your fascination regarding these topics come from?
“I fully understand your point of view. But I am not really able to write about, well… gore, satanism, splatter, or inner feelings, emotions. I don’t know, it is not my cup of tea. I am into Astronomy, at an amateurish level of course, since I was a kid. Once my father came back home with the first VHS of an Astronomy serie, I spent my childhood between music and science. When I grew up I kept astronomy a little aside, but when I started the band there was no question for me what the lyrics should be about. I also tried to write about, uhm… satanic stuff in the VENOM way, when I was playing in SIGN OF EVIL, but if I were the listener I’d prefer to avoid the lyrics!”

So, I suppose the strange digital noise in the beginning of the EP’s title track isn’t a manufacturing error, is it?
“Hahaha, no, not a manufacturing error at all! I wanted to give the listener an immersive experience into the probe’s journey, into the Cassini – Huygens mission. I spent several nights searching on the web and YouTube anything useful to this purpose. What you listen to, are, in order: the Cassini – Huygens countdown, the rocket taking off (but this one stolen from the Saturn V lunch, cause the Cassini – Huygens one hasn’t a great audio quality), a storm on Jupiter, Huygens frequencies sound descending on Titan, Huygens reaching Titan’s soil and the crew speaking about the ending of the mission in real time. I think Caro Meroni from ADSR Studios made an excellent job, considering that my requests weren’t that simple.”

The new EP finally features a full INTO DARKNESS line-up again, so please introduce the new members a bit more to our readers?
“You said it, finally! I’m proud to introduce you Darak (bass and backing vocals), Santo (drums) and Eros (guitar). I know all of them since we were really young. A little before the new INTO DARKNESS line-up, Eros and I joined a Santo’s project called ARAPHEL, a Black Metal act inspired by the coolest Greek Metal acts, ROTTING CHRIST, NECROMANTIA, VARATHRON, ZEMIAL… Some time after we joined ARAPHEL, like six month earlier, I pushed Eros in INTO DARKNESS with a guy called Silvio behind the drums. Silvio played in a cult Black / Doom / Death Metal band in the ’90s called RAS ALGETHI. As every respectable veteran in Metal music, he had his vision of music, that didn’t match with mine in the end, so I put an end to a collaboration once again. I suffered a lot from that, I was without a drummer for the hundredth time… and a morning, while I was going to work, I got a call from Santo. I never asked Santo before, cause he switched from the drums to bass in his other band, THULSA DOOM… check them out if you love MORBID ANGEL! I knew very well he didn’t want to keep playing drums anymore in a band. But I was surprised he spontaneously offered to join the band as a drummer. Then I involved Darak, singer and bass player in EXTIRPATION. All of them, Eros, Darak and Santo, brought to the band a sort of freshness. Eros is a very talented guitarist, really far from my way of playing, and I love it. He’s so skilled with messy solos I deeply love, à la Trey Azagthoth. Talking about Darak… he presents himself just singing: his particular voice gave INTO DARKNESS something really different. We usually listen to downtuned backing vocals, for the most at least. His backings, that could be compared to those of DEICIDE in my opinion, are something I was looking for in years. His background in music is different from mine – he’s also into Hardcore, Grindcore and a lot of things that ends with “core” that I am not able to remember and that I don’t know – so when he proposes something about stops, reprises, a little variation from the melodic guitars parts, is just gold to me. Santo is a totally different matter. I knew he was good with the drums, but not that good. Maybe it’s even because we started another project together, all written by him, or perhaps it’s just me that I ask him the impossible or unthinkable sometimes, but I cannot imagine another drummer for INTO DARKNESS. They all fully comprehend in the end, how important it is for me to guide them, but still needing their approval, advices or proposal. Uhm, can I advise you to listen to the latest EXTIRPATION release? You’ll never find another band like this. I swear. Want only a title to listen to? Check ‘Electrocution Strike’ or ‘Mislaid In Total Nothingness’!”

You also use a new logo once again… what was the problem with the previous one that you didn’t use that anymore?
“Darak (bass) and Santo (drums) are both into visuals / graphics: Darak is a tattooer and draws – he made the last EP cover – while Santo is a designer, so he took care of the CD layouts. Once Darak suggested a new logo to Santo, and I found it a good idea since they were working on the visual part. I’d say the old logo wouldn’t fit that well with the EP cover style, but we will use it again for sure!”

Do you have anything planned in support of its release? I noticed that you will play a gig with PENTACLE and Spanish APPARITION in September… any more shows coming up maybe?
“Yes, and I cannot wait to be there. Me and Eros (guitar) planned that show. We aren’t used to plan gigs or similar. But damn, I needed a show like that. Can’t wait. I’m almost sad that me and Eros planned it and not someone else, because I’d really like to enjoy the bands and nothing else. Something else is moving on… I think we’ll play in Spain in December. Then we will see!”

So far you have only released demos and EPs with INTO DARKNESS… are there any plans for a INTO DARKNESS full length in the near future or will you become the next SADISTIC INTENT?
“Who knows? But I can tell you: we are working on new stuff! But hey, let me take “Ancient Black Earth” from the shelf: SADISTIC INTENT are like café: it’s always the right moment to listen to SADISTIC INTENT!!!”

Ok Giulia, before I let you go, I’d like to hear what’s your five current favorite releases… thanks for taking the time and all the best for you and INTO DARKNESS.
“I want to thank you for this awesome interview, I had a lot of fun doing it. But about the favourite releases… well, I cannot assure you they will be five, hehe. Not in order: PENTACLE – everything, ASPHYX – whole discography until “On The Wings Of Inferno”, SOULBURN – “Feeding On Angels”, SINISTER – “Diabolical Summoning”, “Hate”, “Cross The Styx”, INFERNÄL MÄJESTY – “None Shall Defy”, RAZOR – “Violent Restitution”, MORBID ANGEL – “Formulas Fatal To The Flesh”, MYTHIC – “Mourning In The Winter Solstice”, SWAZAFIX – “Anthems Of Apostasy”, ACROSTICHON – “Engraved In Black”, MORGOTH – “Cursed” and many more… Aaaaand, just to complete the thing, here are my best latest listenings, old ones and new discoveries: ARES KINGDOM – first two full lengths, FUNERAL ORATION – compilation from TFH Records (check it, old italian stuff), IN RUINS – “Four Seasons Of Grey”, MALEDICTION – “Chronicles Of Dissention”, MISERY – “Revel In Blasphemy”, BLACK OATH – “To Below And Beyond”, PROFANE – “Pain” and many more!!! Thank you Frank for your time, and thanks to Voices From The Darkside!!! And many thanks to everyone who supported this band, in one way or another!!!”,

Live pics (1-7): Nicolette A. Radoi (Abhorrent Void Photography)
Interview: Frank Stöver

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