Following my recent interview with German post metallers RED APOLLO, it’s my pleasure to unveil another chapter of the Moments Of Collapse Records artists presentation series. This time I’m bringing you more atmospheric soundscapes by Milan based instrumental progressive post metal act RISE ABOVE DEAD. “Heavy Gravity” , a follow up to the band’s 2012’s Stellar Filth” full length and 2010’s Human Disintegration” EP, gives RISE ABOVE DEAD an overall harmonious and heavy sound, resonating with contemporary progressive and post rock inspired genres. My only little complaint about this effort is somewhat of a lack of diversification, but still, this is a solid record for all fans of ambient / post rock inspired metal journeys. Anyways, you be the judge! Play the full album below and dive into my interview with the band’s guitarist Stefano Bigoni!
In other news, RISE ABOVE DEAD stopped at Effort Studio a few weeks ago to do a live recording of a couple of songs from “Heavyu Gravity”. They ended up filming the whole process and you will be able to see the final result very soon. Stay tuned as IDIOTEQ will be spreading the word about the new video release as soon as possible!
Also, the band is currently seeking more touring opportunities. Contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a show!
Live photos by Stefano Marotta.
Congratulations on your newborn album guys! How are you? Are you satisfied with the final effect you managed to deliver on “Heavy Gravity”?
Stefano Bigoni: Yeah it’s been quite a ride, we have have been through a lot of changes, but I’d say it was all worth it in the end because we are extremely proud of this record. “Heavy Gravity” makes the perfect statement of what the band is to this day.
Is recording something that is really continuous for you guys? Could you walk us through the writing and creative process and let us know how your approach ends up being converted into these specific sonic textures?
SB: We started working on the new songs right after Andrea (ex singer) moved to London. We were still playing shows as a five piece at that time, but writing new material without a vocalist kinda brought us to manage the songwriting in ways we never actually tried before, focusing on the music exclusively. The result was a lot more room for improvisations, that brought us to experiment new things, trying different sounds as well. Even if I usually write songs ideas at home, it’s only when I bring those riffs in the practice room that a song come to life. Everyone contributes in the arrangements, adding riffs, textures here and there to make it sounds more interesting. We often take advantage of long jams to define the natural evolution and progression of a single song. Sometimes it’s just the easiest and most natural way for us to get the best result.
How did this atmospheric nostalgia come about? What influence your sound?
SB: You can say that our songs are conceived with the purpose of creating soundtracks to outer space journeys. Or at least it’s the representation of our vision of it. That’s pretty much where we get the inspiration from. Most of our atmospheric parts are born from jams, so you don’t really have anything planned when you start playing the first chord. Sometimes we grab our instruments and we start messing around a little… and then we see what comes out.
Can you tell us more about the artwork and the concept idea behind the record?
I have always been obsessed with all those great sci-fi album covers and movie posters form the 70s. That stuff has always been a big influence in my work and I think you can kinda see it when you look at the album cover I did for both Stellar Filth and Heavy Gravity. It just fits the sound of the band perfectly. For Heavy Gravity in particular, I decided to put a human figure in the center of it, kinda suspended in between two different worlds and floating like his inner spirit is pushing the boundaries that confine him to his terrestrial existence. Thats what I like to picture when I think about the concept of the record.
How do you feel about the instrumental nature of your music? Do you find it to be an advantage? Would you consider adding lyrics to your art?
SB: Like I said, the songs you hear in Heavy Gravity were all written and arranged without vocals because Andrea was living in London at that time so he couldn’t contribute to the creative process. After his definitive departure we tried a few other singers but with all the arrangements done, the voice seemed too much out of contest and we decided to simply leave the instruments do the talking. Maybe there might be some vocal parts in the future, we don’t know yet, but these days we are just satisfied being an instrumental band.
Outside RISE ABOVE DEAD, I’m the one who gives to the lyrics a lot of credit. If you take artists and songwriters like Hark Williams, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty, their lyrics are far the most powerful element in a song. You can see some pretty serious talent there, because the words and their singing are capable to turn a simple good tune into something really special.
Ok, so let’s learn more about your background buddies. Where were you born and raised and what local music scene have influenced you as artists?
SB: We come from different small towns around Milan. Actually Diego, our bass player is the only member who were born and raised in the city. We started going to the same bars and sometimes to the same concerts since forever but we got to know each other well only when we started playing together in this band. Even if we never had the pressure to fit into an already existing “scene” in our town, I think both the hardcore and metal scenes were the two closest underground movements to the music we were playing, so they gave us the first chances to play live and give to the whole project both an hybrid and tighter identity.
What live music experiences have expanded your views and affected your ideas for making music?
SB: I don’t know. It’s very hard to say. We are all in our thirties now and we all attended several hundreds of shows in our whole life. I can’t recall a single event or concert for being particularly influent in the way I make music today, so let’s just say that every single one, no matter the genre or the venue, was at least worth it to get here today.
What are your touring plans?
SB: Right now we are focused on playing shows and promoting the new record here in our country, but we will be back touring Europe again this fall. If anyone is interested in booking us, please write to email@example.com
Ok guys, so let’s wrap it up. What are some of your future projects for this band? What else can we expect from RISE ABOVE DEAD this year?
We also have recorded/filmed a studio live performance which features two songs from Heavy Gravity with the help of our good friends at Effort Studio in Milan. I’ve heard they will put the footage online in days so go check ‘em out.
We are discussing the idea of shooting a brand new video for the song “The Last Migration” with the same director who did our previous video for the song “Scattered And Forgotten” back in 2010, but we are still in the brainstorming phase.
Thanks so much for your time. The last words are yours! Cheers from Warsaw!
SB: You are welcome, and thanks for the interest in our new record. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did writing and making it.
We played in Warsaw for the first time a couple of years ago and it was beyond amazing. Really looking forward to bring the new songs back to your town soon. Cheers y’all!