Genre: Epic/ Progressive metal
Irae Melanox, Full Length 1988
Broken History, Full Length 2005
Light From Oblivion, Full Length 2012
Vittorio Ballerio- vocals
Sigfrido Percich- Drums
Gianluca Corona- Guitars
Fabio Troiani- Guitars
Current label: Pure Prog (subdivision of Pure Steel Records)
Official site: http://www.adramelch.com/
1. Congratulations on your third full length album!!! How do you feel right now?
Thanks Ioannis! We feel damn great. You know we’ve been working on it for the last 5 years so, we were dying to see it finally ready, packed (very well packed) and for sale… we were, and of course we still are extremely interested in seeing how our fans, the press and the “newcomers” will welcome our new chapter!
2. When was the band created? How did you come up with the band’s name?
The band was officially born in 1987 (so we are celebrating our 25th anniversary, although our life was frozen for some 14 years!). In 1986 Gianluca together with Franco (Avalli), put together a band playing covers from BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN and QUEENSRYCHE… during the same year I was invited by Gianluca to join the band. We played some shows but I needed more: I wanted to sing our own compositions… so Gianluca (who initially was the drummer of the band, abandoned the drums, took on the guitar and wrote “Adramelch”, the song. The band was born.As far as the name is concerned it’s an old story and today we are wondering how it came to name the band like that… ah ah. I’m joking. The real story is that Adramelch was the name of a Phoenician King, of a biblical demon… also its roots plunge into the ancient Aramaic: Ad (one of the names of G-d) Ra (the evil) Melch (King)… Its various possible interpretations were the basis of our choosing it!
3. Which were your main influences as a band and which were your influences as a musician?
As bands are concerned probably the main metal ones (those times) are: IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, QUEENSRYCHE… but also “minor” bands like WARLORD, FATES WARNING, MERCYFUL FATE… and then the Baroque music (A. Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Monteverdi…). As a singer I should say that in those times my “lord” was Rob Halford together with Ian Gillan…
4. Tell us some things about the others bands that the members of ADRAMELCH have played like ANATHEMA.
Fabio was one of the guitarists of ANATHEMA, a band playing its own stuff who was looking for a singer to sing songs that were already done…I liked them and we did it! And in 2004 when we, ADRAMELCH, were just re-formed and already looking for new members (since Franco, the original bass player who initially had joined the project and Andrea Volontè the guitar player that came with us to the HoA had abandoned us) I thought of him… and he liked it! Apart from that, in the early 90s, I joined a very interesting guitar-less progressive project, sounding a bit like… YES. Its name was ENTER and we recorded a wonderful 6 tracks demo, unfortunately lost “into oblivion”!
5. Which of ADRAMELCH’s stuff is commercially available right now? Can you tell us if the band has an official site from where the fans can buy your stuff?
Today just music! You will tell me: OK, it’s your core business! Sure. But it ain’t enough. We are preparing new T-shirts and more stuff, also to celebrate the a/m 25th anniversary.In the meantime the music is there to be caught, so: the “Irae Melanox” deluxe 2 CDs reissue edition is the first really official CD version of our debut album and it contains also the 1987 demo that, among the rest, features a “proto version” of the hit “Was Called Empire”. Moreover it contains a couple of tunes originally written in the late 80s being both in a way our first two: the first ballad and the first instrumental tunes ever written by ADRAMELCH, both re-arranged and recorded nowadays, with the “Broken History” line-up.Then the well known “Broken History”, our 2005 comeback album for those who loved the magical atmospheres of “Irae Melanox”, this is the perfect step two, being all old stuff (composed in late 80s/early 90s) ready to be on our second LP that didn’t come till 2005 due to our disbanding! And of course the brand new “Lights from Oblivion” that might be defined as a new debut album, since this is the music we, this band, has written and arranged! We were not following the mainstream metal in 1988 and we’re not starting today: it’s once again something out of schemes, coming straightforward from our hearts and souls. Being exactly what we were willing to do, nothing more nothing less.
6. Why did it take you 7 years to release “Lights from Oblivion”? Have you started writing some new material?
You are right man. 7 years are too long a time. Unfortunately the time to be “in the music” is always too little and as you know our music is not pretty simple. We carye a lot of arrangements and sounds and feelings… and it took a very long time.I guess that the next chapter will not take as much. We are already working on brand new stuff since the core of our core business is writing and arranging music!
7. How were the reactions of the fans and the press up till now for “Lights from Oblivion”?
Well, it’s surely too soon to commit into strong statements but, as far as we’ve seen reactions are indeed positive! The fans who already know it, love it!And the first reviews I’ve seen are really positive. And the good news is that they all point out that although different, the thin red line, linking the 3 episodes of our story is well marked! ADRAMELCH’s footprint is damn evident!Nevertheless, I’m sure that “Lights from Oblivion” will raise also some bad reactions, it’s definitely normal when a CD is out of schemes… It happened with “Irae Melanox” and now it will happen even more with “Lights from Oblivion”, since some listeners who were waiting for the new re-proposition of the same style may remain frustrated / disappointed. In this case… we’re really sorry for that but what must be bright clear is that as usual our music comes from our heart and soul: it’s the fruit of our passion, it’s the mix of our personalities and personal sensitivities.
8. Are you in general happy with the work that Pure Underground has done till now for the promotion? Are you satisfied with Undergound Symphony which released “Broken History” and re-released “Irae Melanox”?
Yes, we are definitely satisfied with the deal signed with Pure Prog – Pure Steel. They have believed in us and in our songs much before the final recording was done, simply listening to a part of the home made preproduction. They fell in love with it and did all what was possible to convince us to sign with them. And afterwards they’ve been fully committed in doing the final product at the best of possibilities (see the limited edition in metal box, with the original patch). And they again were fully committed in finding the right paths to promote it at its best. Yes, we are fully satisfied for we
have signed a deal with a label that perhaps is small but -just like us- truly believes with passion in what they do.Underground Symphony is also a small label. We are surely grateful to Maurizio, an extremely loyal guy, an ADRAMELCH fan since the beginning, for having believed in us, for having issued and produced our comeback album “Broken History”. My personal p.o.v. is that unfortunately promoting their own stuff is not their “driving force” and I fear they often lose chances / possible business (which nowadays means chances to remain “alive”).
9. Tell us some things about the lyrics of ADRAMELCH and about the cover of your albums!! I really like your logo, so tell us some things about that!!!
Well the covers of our albums are an important part of them of course… we chose Gianluca’s paintings for both “Irae Melanox” and “Broken History” (Gianluca is an incredible and emotional artist) but for our latest CD we preferred another style that was more adequate, more fit to the music played… It’s completely composed by Alberto Andreis operas which are incredibly suggestive, dreamy… the artwork of “Lights from Oblivion” has been managed completely by Fabio (who is a professional graphic designer) and the outcome is tremendous!As far as the logo I can tell you that it was prepared in 1987 by Gianluca, together with his father and… yes indeed: very well done, I do agree with you!
10. Describe to us one of your lives!! Is it difficult to perform your stuff live? Is there any chance to see you live again in Greece??
Let’s start from the end: there is more than a chance, it’s almost a certainty! See you in Athens in March 2013, for the 8th edition of the Up the Hammers! …As you know, in 2007 we participated in the second edition of the festival and it was an unbelievable experience, so we are extremely happy to come back! Yes it is difficult to perform our stuff live especially because too often there is not the right / necessary audio on stage and if you do not hear what you and the rest of the band is playing (or even worst: if you do not hear what you are singing…) the risk of getting lost is very high!!! And the quality of performance is affected! But the festival time is always too short and you never have the time for the normal sound check…
11. Describe to us the differences between “Lights from Oblivion” and your previous two albums? I would say that the new album is more straightforward than your previous ones.
You are right. There are some catchy songs, the average length of the songs is shorter and the main change I feel is the less metal and more prog… although the word prog should be handled with care: it brings to mind GENTLE GIANT and DREAM THATER… QUEENSRYCHE and CARAVAN… completely different universes! And this is right “by nature”! If it wasn’t progress we couldn’t call it “progressive”, isn’t it? This being said, which kind of prog influenced “Light from Oblivion”? I should say that is a “70s prog” but with no keyboards! (and this sounds already strange, isn’t it?). A very good definition was given by one of the first reviews I’ve seen, that more or less was: it’s not progressive metal… it’s more a metal version of progressive rock, with more teeth! (and it makes a hell of a difference…)
12. Do you think that the Internet has helped the bands by making their name known and “offering” samples of their music or has it harmed them because of the free downloading of whole albums? If it is true that both happen, where does the balance hang out more?
I should say that today it is much better than before! Of course many of us, who lived those times, before the Internet age, when there was no magazine about metal (but the English bible Kerrang!) when there were the home made fanzines hand written and copied and then mailed… I can remember such times with a bit of melancholy… today you face an opposite problem: through the web you can reach in real time each corner of the earth… and, just like you, everybody can! So the real challenge is being able to emerge, to be visible! And seen from the listeners’ point of view, well the offer is never-ending! The real point becomes the ethic: it’s totally up to you… If you like it you buy it!
13. Tell us some things about the difficulties that ADRAMELCH have come across all these years.
Hard choice but in the end the BIG issue is: the lack of time! So much music in our minds, so many nice ideas and projects and such a short time to realize a small part of them…
14. Have you listened to any new good releases in the classic heavy metal genre? If yes, give us some basic info about these bands.
Classic heavy metal? To be honest I’m not listening to classic heavy metal the last 15 years… I mean: I still love the real masters of this genre for their milestones (JUDAS PRIEST above all) but nowadays when I get to listen to music I usually choose progressive rock, experimental rock, some groove/math metal and then tons of Jazz, mostly European jazz or even USA jazz preferably contaminated… I have just seen Steven Wilson with his band live… well I’m speechless. It was one of the best concerts I’ve seen over the last 10 years: great music, incredible musicians, wonderful musical freedom… songs extended in order to allow improvised solos… you know, like it was normal in the seventies! Wow it was a great show indeed.
15. Tell us your opinion about the rock/metal scene in Italy right now.
Wow there are so many good names, so much good music, from major as well as from smaller names… Let’s start with the band to whom we’ve been often compared: DARK QUARTERER! They are in my opinion probably the best live act! We met them a few years ago, when we played together on
the Legends Never Die festival and we became friends: they are also wonderful people! And then DOOMSWORD, HOLY MARTYR, and a band that I’ve just discovered: FURY N GRACE and again another tremendous live act: Goran D Sanchez… or quite far from these “extreme” acts the good old
hard rocker Giulio Rossi… Let’s say it’s a very “live” scene, with high potential but with a huge common problem: they’re born in the wrong country! Italy is not a good place to grow if you like or play rock!
16. Thank you for the interview. Leave a comment to our readers.
Thank you for your interest in ADRAMELCH Ioannis and Nikos! As already said we know that in Greece we have fans awaiting us… So the only thing I can add is: Guys, wecan’t wait to meet you face to face once again! Stay with us!!!
Ioannis “Knight of the Light” Kaskamanidis