Italian Death Metal masters HOUR OF PENANCE have recently announced a brand new album titled- Cast The First Stone set to be out on January 27th via Prosthetic Records. We recently interacted with the bassist Marco Mastrobuono and the guitarist Giulio Moschini about the new album, idea behind this new record and fellow bands like ADE, Fleshgod Apocalypse and much more!
MJM. Hello greetings from MJM. How you doing?
G: Hi , everything fine here , thanks for having us. We’re booking some shows for 2017 and we’ll soon start to practice the new songs together, we’re very excited to bring the new stuff on stage.
MJM. Hours of Penance formed in 1999 and went through many line-up changes. It’s quite impressive that the band has made it through seven studio albums and has always released some brilliant music. How do you feel about it?
G : We feel great, line up changes are inevitable for a band, especially for an underground metal band where everything is moved only by the passion. I’m the one behind the songwriting since The Vile Conception that’s why we’ve survived through all this line up changes.
MJM. The band’s lyrics are quite strong and hold a message which is so relevant to the current world. Do you think it does make some difference when it’s reaching the mass?
G : Well, maybe it could if it would be shared to a larger community, death metal community is small and is made of intelligent people, so I think they’re already aware of the topics we’re talking about.
MJM. How excited are you about the new album? Can you tell us some insights about the album; may be any specific theme or goal behind the record?
G : We’re very excited to let you guys hear the new stuff , like every Hour of Penance record, Cast the first Stone will sound different for many aspects from the past albums. We’re going to a different direction, many death metal bands nowadays are all about displaying how good they’re with their instruments, most of the albums have so many riffs that sometimes it’s hard to focus on a single song, Cast the first stone on the contrary has a good replay value in my opinion and some of the songs will be definitely going to be stuck in your head. We usually don’t set any specific goal when we’re going to write and record and album though this time having Marco behind the mix we wanted to achieve a more natural sounding record, infact this is almost a 100% plugin-technology free record. Marco will tell you more about that.
M: As a producer i love keep everything more natural as possible, especially for the drum, drum is for me the soul of an album, and will tel you the “color” of what are you listening…if you like this kind of view on music production i’m pretty sure you’ll like our next album.
MJM. ‘Regicide’ was an insane album and I guess took you guys at a whole different level all together. Does that boost you guys to work with a different attitude on the current album?
G: Thanks a lot for your kind words – It’s kinda hard to say because I started writing Cast the first Stone even before Regicide was out , but Regicide and what we’ve achieved during the last couple of years definitely made us stronger as a band.
MJM. Tell us about the new album and the idea behind it. The artworks were released a few days ago as well.
G: The battle on the album cover is the clash of two cultures deeply influenced by religions, the christian and the Islamic religion, humanity had seen this war going on forever and even if progress, philosophy, history, technology made us “better” human beings we’re still facing death, terror and acts of violence made in name of religions and ignorance. That’s the whole theme behind the lyrics of the album and the album cover.
MJM. How does it feel to a part of a band where the original members are no more a part of it but the legacy is still being carried forward?
G: It doesn’t means much to me at least , since I joined the band in 2003 and except for the very first album of the band Disturbance I wrote and recorded all the other albums of the band. Most of our fans are not even aware of our first 2 albums as they used to know Hour of Penance thanks to The Vile Conception , that was the album that made the band known in the death metal scene.
MJM. What are your influences as a bassist. What goes into the writing? How do the things take shape during brain storming sessions?
M: Many bassists influenced me during the years, and i played many different music styles ale very different from death metal. As death metal bassist for sure no one influenced me more than Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse, and discovering that he’s also a very nice person just increase my respect for him. I don’t like to change a lot of stuff when i write my bass line for the new songs, I always start from the guitar riff and see what i can change just to fix me better with the drum. I don’t like bassist that try to play in a very high range just hoping the someone will notice more the bass. It’s bass, go LOW.
MJM. You got bands like ADE, Fleshgod Apocalypse back in Italy. How is the scene back there? Have there been any political or religious setbacks for Heavy metal music back home?
M: We are very happy to have such a lot of good bands here in Italy, it’s very nice to think that the world think about Italy like a good place for death metal.
MJM. The last two albums released via Prosthetic Records and the next one is all set to release via this label as well. How has the label pushed the band’s music? How is it to work with them?
G: I think they did a good job with the past albums, they helped us a lot also when we toured for the first time in the US, it’s very hard to find dedicated people as the guys at Prosthetic Records.
Watch the song ‘Reforging The Clowns–
MJM. How does it feel to play songs from the older records?
G : There are a lot of songs that we still enjoy to play live but having 7 records out and no more than 1 hour to play live our stuff we most likely play songs from our most recent albums.
MJM. Any last words for your fans here?
M: Thanks a lot guys, it was a pleasure and thanks for this interview.
G : Thanks again for having us , Cast the first stone comes out January 27th and we really hope you give it a listen !
Connect with the band-
Smashhead (Metaljesus Magazine)