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Blackened, pagan laced epic metallers SHARDANA discuss new album “Milli Annos”

Sardinia island has stolen my heart long ago and I keep falling in love with this amazing destination more and more each year, missing it real bad during the pandemic. On IDIOTEQ, we have already featured a bunch of great bands from its capital Cagliari, but we somehow missed the strict metal genre, focusing mostly on hardcore bands and heavier styles like grindcore and dark metalcore. Today, we’re adding some fresh blood to our catalogue, with a multi-faceted metal band SHARDANA. Celebrating their 12th year as a band, the powerful sounding quintet was formed with the intent of creating a metal band with epic and battling sounds, merging heavy metal with some viking-themed blackened inspirations. Historically speaking, Shardana was the name of the Sardinian pirates who sailed the Mediterranean sea in the second millennium BCE, and their  stories inspires the songwriting of the band to a large degree. The lyrics are about the glorious courage and legendary pride of those people who contributed so much to increase the influence of Sardinia at the times of pharaoh Ramses or during The Roman Empire. Today, we have teamed up with the band to unveil more detailed stories behind each and every song from their new adventurous album “Milli Annos”!

Milli Annos” by SHARDANA is out now digitally and via Rafchild Records from Germany.

Comments the band: “When we started, we were mainly inspired by Black, Viking, Epic and Power Metal. Our first covers were songs by Primordial, Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, Turisas, Doomsword. Through the years we drove the band to a more extreme path, trying to mix black metal riffs with dark epic lyrics, and this brought to Milli Annos.”

Milli Annos” (“Thousand Years” ) represents the years of tiranny that sardinian people lived under The Roman Empire.

“Our record is made of two parts. In the first part, there are five songs not related to each other, and “Death Of Amsicora” four songs about the fight of Sardinian people against romans, the death of one of their leader and his son, and the futility of war.”- explains the band and dives deeper into each and every song from the record:

Shardana cover

Echoes (7:15)

Black metal riffs and a melodic chorus. Echoes is a song about the loss of a musician friend of ours, who decided to depart from this world much before his time. What does remain of him, in the mind of his relatives, friends, and the people who heard him scream on the stage? Just echoes we don’t want to let fade away.

Bastard Blood (5:02)

An epic one. Starts slow just to explode right after. in its history Sardinia was always a land conquered, sold or given, from a Ruler to another. We are the sons of so many cultures that is impossible to define our heritage, our roots. We are the bastard blood, one and none. So, it’s useless to try to find the right ancestors to identify yourself, you have to go forward, proud of what you are now, not before.

A World With No Gods (5:05)

A black/death metal song about the sardinian metal scene of the last twenty five years: the total absence of big names in our stages, the hungry for music that rise the need to create something on your own. The central part is the calm before the storm.

Shardana band

S’Arruina de Is Deus (5:07)

S’Arruina de Is Deus (5:07): A strange one, inspired by the rhythmic style of Iced Earth. I remember dreaming of the main riff one night and saving the morning after whistling on the smartphone, before forgetting everything. It is the first song in Sardinian language, the title means “Doom of Gods” and speaks of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. He suppressed poitheism in Egypt, created a new henoteist religion (based on Aten, the disc of the sun), and ruled for nearly twenty years. After his death, the clerics and nobles restored the old pantheon and destroyed all of its statues and records on him. Nice story, and no undead mummy was involved in this process!

Tanit (4:19)

Back to english, Another weird one. The lyrics are inspired by ““Il mistero dell’inquisitore Eymerich” by Valerio Evangelisti. Evangelisti is a very cool italian writer, between King and Lovecraft, but with more esotheric elements and historical accuracy.
Bellum Sardum (6:40): This is the start of the mini concept, from now all the songs are in sardianian language. Between July and August of 215 BC, there was a war of two battles in sardinia between romans and sardinian helped by carthageans. The first song is about the preparation of the first battle, the need of freedom of the sardinian people from romans. Ath the end of the song, distant war drums announce the battle to come.

Shardana live

Josto (6:41)

Josto was the son of Amsicora, the most important sardinian cities lord that start the rebellion against romans. Josto is a young warrior that led sardinians to victory in the first battle, while his father was searching for help from the Ilienses, the people who lived in the mountains. The song has furious riffs that perfectly fit the drums. An angry chorus introduces the truth to the listener: Josto is killed, the battle is lost.

Reus Pater (5:57)

“Guilty Father” in latin. Amsicora fled after the death of his son, left his companions alone and went to the forest. Here he poisoned himself, and in his visions imagined to talk with Mot, the god of death. This is the darkest song of the album, with growl vocals upon black metal riffs. The chorus is half spoken and sung, representing the delirium of a dying lonely crazy man, in the middle of the forest.

Inghitzu (5:06)

means “The begin” in sardinian and yes, it’s at the end of the album. Contains all the thoughts about the futility of war, when the blood is spilled so much that the soil can absorb it no more. Clean and angry vocals mixed together on folk and epic riffs to brought the listener to the end of the album.

Shardana

Extra: 10 Cover Songs Shardana are really proud of

Doomsword – Resound the horn: one of the first cover rehearsed in 2008. Pure doom epic metal, that record is their absolutely their best. So minimal and obscure.

Blind Guardian – Valhalla: Another old one. We love blind guardian and this hit of their second album is very fun to play and sing. We played it at every early concert of our begin career.

Slayer – Big4Tribute: someone comes with the idea to set up a Big4Tribute, with 4 local bands to take the chance to cover one of the bigs. We played 9 Slayer songs, and was a blast!

Grave Digger – Rebellion: this German band wrote among its career three killer album: Tunes Of War / Knights Of Cross / Excalibur. We played this classic from the first one show, with its catchy chorus and strong main riff.

At the GatesSlaughter Of the Soul: In the second part of our history we slowly tuned down our power/heavy influences in favor of more black and death metal. We always loved at the gates, their songs, the acid voice of Mr Lindberg and his smart lyrics (check it out here).

Dissection – Where Dead Angel Lies: Storm of the light’s bane was a mindblower in the ninenties and we pay tribute to it still playing this dark epic piece at our shows

Iced Earth – Pure Evil: Another tribute night occasion, years ago we played five songs of this power thrash band, known for the granitic riffs of John Schaffer and the power vocals of their most known singers, Barlow, Ripper and Block. Pure Evil is an awesome song, with its changes of moods and powerful chorus.

Rotting Christ – Non Serviam: we saw Rotting Christ at a show in Dublin and this song strike always us for its strongess and semplicity.

Primordial – Empire Falls: The first song of To The Nameless Dead album, and it’s a masterpiece. Lyrics, riffs and angry and raw melodic voice of Mr Averill made this song one of our favorite.

Kenze NekeBoghes De Pedra: Kenze Neke was a sardinian punk folk rock band that sang in a specific sardinian dialect of their region, that played and toured in europe in the nineties. Please check their original version here

Blackened, pagan laced epic metallers SHARDANA discuss new album “Milli Annos”
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