Premiere: Sentiero dei Principi's Bittersweet Black Metal Harshness
Back again with The War Inside My Head interview series, our exploration of the musical obsessions and inspirations behind some of the best and most exciting in contemporary extreme music. This time we're privileged to be talking to with Italian raw black metal project Sentiero dei Principi and also exclusively streaming a track from their brilliant upcoming debut album, Lustmord, due out next month via Xenoglossy Productions and Esercito della Chiesa Dorata.
More specifically we're happy to present the track "Dove muoiono gli ulivi," a blinding mix of harshness and beautiful, melancholy melodies. It almost, to my weird ears, sounds like the rawer version of an almost symphonic impulse in black metal. Kind of Revenant Marquis crossed with early Dimmu Borgir, if that makes sense. No shortage of emotions, a beautiful clashing of ugly and etherial sounds, and an almost hardcore/screamo edge to the whole thing. Unique and highlight recommended (obviously, I'm streaming the freakin' thing, but sometimes the obvious needs stating).
So enjoy this wonderful piece of music (above) and while you're at it you can read below about the music that makes Sentiero dei Principi tick. Enjoy.
Before we get the interview this is just to say that you can check out our other interview series (Albums of the Decade, Pillars of the 90s) and, you haven't already, please follow follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and now also on TikTok (basically me fondling my tape collection) or support whatever it is that we do on Patreon, and check out our kinda-sorta podcast, MATEKHET (YouTube, Spotify and all that). On to Sentiero dei Principi.
What was the first album you bought with your own money, and where did you buy it?
I remember that the first record I bought with my money was Ugra Karma by Impaled Nazarene in a shop in Bergamo, I was about 18 and knew very little about black metal, but the melodic bridge of "The Horny and the Horned" has affected my brain for years. Even if currently this type of black metal bores me a lot (especially for political ideologies), that record has something special. I remember that even the cover had intrigued me. I'm fond of it.
What 2-3 albums did you hear the most growing up?
Excluding the thousands of hours spent listening to rap music (I come from that environment), I can say that the album NOLA by Down and Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls by Coven were two records that I tore as a teenager.
Along with those there are certainly a myriad of bands that I'm forgetting, I have varied a lot and still continue to do so, many groups are "my absolute favorites" for a month, then I get annoyed and discover others I say again that are my favorites. I have a very childlike relationship with music, like a child with toys.
What two albums taught you the most about making music (mixing, production, performance)?
I thank every day for having discovered Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger because it taught me that if you want to express suffering you can do it the way you want, even with lo-fi productions. To this, however, I add a great passion for the Darkside drum sound of Mgla that I often try to reproduce when I mix my songs,
What is the last album that absolutely shocked you?
Eons by Neptunian Maximalism, a Belgian band founded in 2018. I have never heard anything like it, a mixture of drone and avant-jazz, two hours of psycho-estoteric trip.
The cover seems to come out of a Tibetan temple, the music is an alternation of dissonances, brass and vocal interventions, 16 songs, I bought the vinyl edition the day it came out. I never made a more sensible choice. I learn a lot from every listen. [Read our interview with Neptunian Maximalism here]
What album relaxes you or centers you the most?
Every Deathspell Omega record. The dissonances make me feel good and the sad and satanic atmospheres inspire me. In addition to the chaos of the DSO, certainly ambient music. I often work on illustrations that require a lot of time and concentration, then I put on Seraphim by How To Disappear Completely. The atmosphere immediately becomes pleasant with that sound in the headphones.
What are the 2-3 albums you’ve listened to the most recently?
Lately I listen to some Italian Screamo bands that kind of intrigues me a lot, I feel an affinity with their suffering mixed with a certain predisposition to good (I don't know how to explain it differently). A good example is Prima Che Tutto Bruci by Ojne. At the same time I am rediscovering music I was listening to passively as a child and which influenced me without my knowledge in the production of the record, the group in question is Baustelle with the record Sussidiario Illustrato Della Giovinezza. Plus I'm listening to Tetragrammacide's Primal Incinerators of Moral Matrix a lot.
What album is grossly underrated?
Certainly Product of my Environment by Jarhead Fertilizer, a work so careful and chaotic at the same time. It stands up to most of the death\powerviolence bands in the world despite the fact that the members are very young (members of Full of Hell), instead I have heard of it speak very little, I do not understand why. I have a lot of respect for the new school, also because I feel I am part of it. I would like to start a similar group one day. I feel the need, the logo is brilliant and both it and the band name refer to Dystopia, another band which I respect immensely.
What album would you recommend from your local scene?
Definitely Supercontinent by my friends Thecodontion, original and caustic as I like it, also they have proved very close to my project and are helping me push it a bit, they are good people and I owe them a lot. I also highly recommend the latest by Cosmic Putrefaction and Bedsore.