Cagliari, Sardinia’s STIGMATIZED was born in 2015 from the urge to create a band with which to play an old school grindcore with more straight-forward hardcore punk influences. Today, four year after their debut EP, the quintet seems to be on another level, being a creative force that brings a wave of relentlessness, abrasiveness, and brutality. Today, we’re giving you a closer look at their story, “...a Wall Of Falseness” LP, its lyrical content, as well as the band’s take on Coronavirus lockdown, their local music scene and top metal records worth a solid check in 2020.
Comments the band:
We started to write our first songs with two small amplifiers in the living room of Leonardo’s (guitar) house and during those sessions, we can say that were born the songs that formed the skeleton of our first EP “Slavery“, released in 2016 but that we could conceive only after finding a singer and a drummer. Since then we played on various dates all over the island and we faced two mini tours in Italy, the last of which together with 217, an hardcore punk band from Pescara.
In 2019 Lorenzo Balia (Vultur, Iato, Moorais, etc..) joined the band on drums and immediately recorded the new album, and, a few months later, Matteo Perra (Quercia, Deceived) joined us on the second guitar. From that moment on we continued with concerts and composition until the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic.
“…A Wall Of Falseness” is our first official album. After a too long gestation, the album (recorded, mixed and mastered by our dear friend Alb Bandino/Cut Fire Mixing Studio) finally sees the light in 2019 and was born from the desire to describe the dehumanization and brutality of war, in all its psychological and physical aspects.
The cover artwork was made by the dear Francesco Curreli ( ISLTN ), who has always taken care of the whole graphic aspect of the band since the beginning, except for the logo made by the legendary View From the Coffin. From whom concern the musical aspects, the influences have been varied.
We all listen to a lot of different music and this record, unlike the first EP where a more classical punk Hardcore influence prevails, wanted to be a cohesive mix of all our various personalities, accompanied by a more modern evolution of our sound, moving a bit more on the raw and sharp sound of the Scandinavian death grind.
Track by track commentary:
Let’s say that the whole record revolves around a single concept, which is that of war and its brutality. Obviously there are exceptions in which we detach ourselves slightly from the theme in question to deal with others.
In “Hidden Behind a Wall of Falseness” we talk about what we can define as the ideological justification of the worst military operations that are conducted mainly, but not only, by western powers in the rest of the world. They talk to us about the export of democracy and human rights, they talk to us about peace missions but what we see is war, destruction, the export of an economic model that does nothing but create enormous profits for a few and extreme poverty for most people.
“Man is war” moves along the false line of “Hidden..”. Man is war above all and history unfortunately teaches us this very well. In spite of everything one cannot accept all this in a simply passive way: in the lyrics the fundamental “thesis” is that the only “just” war, the one worth fighting and really necessary, is the one that is conducted by those who are systematically oppressed.
“Stigmatized Corpses” is a sort of manifesto of the group, a text that tries to explain what our own music represents for us: a way to provide our vision of the world, to highlight what we think are the contradictions of the reality that surrounds us, but also a way to feel alive in an “urban quiet” that often and willingly holds us close.
“Mass Graves” speaks in a slightly more general way, compared to previous texts, of the brutality of war.
“No Control Over our Identity“, “Slaves of Ourselves” and “Life Sucks..” are a bit detached from the war theme, as well as “One Who Suffers”.
In “F1” we go back to talking about war and the industry behind it, while in “Parasitic evolution” we talk about the relationship between man and environment. Here, too, we tried to send out a rather strong and provocative message, comparing the evolution of human beings to that of parasites.
We close the album with “Apathy“, in which we talk about the effect of media on people’s lives and on their way of thinking in general.
Plans for 2020:
We have some good projects in mind for this 2020, apocalypse permitting, wich we hope to be able to implement soon. Among the things that press us the most is certainly the desire to bring the album live and return to the stages, hoping that this situation of impossibility of movement will not last much longer. While we’re waiting for some dates in Italy and a European mini-tour we’ve been working on for some time, we’re trying to take advantage of this lockdown period to focus on new pieces of music. For now the idea is to compose as much stuff as possible in these months, and then divide it between some splits and maybe a future full-length, but for now we’re just sucking in the rehearsal room.
Coronavirus pandemic and impact on live shows
Obviously, the Covid 19 pandemic has blown up a whole series of projects that we had in mind. After the release of the album we wanted and had to take care of its promotion through an intense live activity, but unfortunately we had to adapt and at the moment we’re trying to compose something new in the rehearsal room, since we don’t know when we could go back on stage. The same situation obviously applies to all the other bands on the island, I guess. It’s definitely a very complicated moment, especially for those who deal with music, there’s no doubt about that. Unfortunately, the same venues where to play are also affected, which here in Sardinia were already few before the fateful lockdown, but now they’re closing one after the other due to the impossibility to respect the distance regulations, revealing the real risk that every possibility of playing live will collapse.
Cagliari and Sardinia’s local music scene
Although the concept of the scene is rather ephemeral, we can happily say that, lately, an embryonic but cohesive idea of scene is also taking hold on our small island. Unluckily, the obstacles, geographic as well as ideological, both anagraphic (unluckily, there is still no noteworthy generational turnover, where the “extreme” generes remain the genere of the “oldest”) and physical, are many. The approach we are trying to take, in our small way, is surely that of building and not destroying, trying to create an enthusiastic, cohesive and inclusive community, but above all, we’re trying to eliminate those useless feelings of jealousy which, unfortunately, are still rooted in the common approach to music. To pursue this goal there are many local realities, fanzines, distros, bands, labels, collectives, which are trying to achieve the union that remains our only chance to fight the geographical limits that divide us from the rest of the world.
In this regard we feel compelled to mention not only our team, the Deadship Crew, but also the wonderful guys of the Home Mort collective from Alghero, our brothers of Sassari Hc scene and our friends Delirio from Olbia, the guys of In Your Face! Fanzine, Luca and Ganamala Productions, Il Mare di Ross, Regrowth, Riflesso, LastBreath, Down The Line, Dawnbringer, Keep Complaining, Quercia, Vultur, Ganondorf, Waste Away, Abduction, Raw, Mexoff, Blacktones, Dogmathica, IATO, Shardana, Backflow Corp, No Way Back, Miscredente HC, Cotard, the overseas brothers 217 and Vibratacore with all the PEHC Crew, MUD and all the THC Crew, Respect For Zero and Scar Of Rage Crew, Thorn, O, Ste and Disastro Sonoro, Short Fuse, Blair, No Look city, Second By Default and all the Till Death Roma Crew, Overcharge, Santo and all the Tifone Crew. All those mentioned are realities that definitely deserve to be heard. Total support to all these guys, to all those we unfortunately forgot to mention and to who continue to approach music with humility, support and passion.
TOP 15 2020 albums so far
in no particular order
1) Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still
2) Code Orange – Undernearh
3) ACxDC – Satan Is King
4) Westside Gunn – Pray For Paris
5) Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin Kynsi
6) Caustic Wound – Death Posture
7) REVENGE – Strike.Smother.Dehumanize
8) Young Lean – STARZ
9) Thundercat – It Is What It Is
10) O – Antropocene
11) Katatonia – City Burials
12) Feastem – Graveyard Earth
13) Pop Smoke – Meet The Woo 2
14) Xibalba – Años En Infierno
15) Vader – Solitude In Madness