The Foreshadowing – Worlds Within the Margin

Sunday, 31st March 2013

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Blunt elegance in Gothic doom was introduced by My Dying Bride circa Turn Loose the Swans. As opposed to the style’s mostly theatrical bent (see: Candlemass) and death-tinged angle (Paradise Lost), MDB’s caressing black wings were spread via the use of violins, melodic passages, and gusty vocal outpourings. It brought a whole new meaning to the style, and in its wake, bore the creation of countless Goth bands who were very inclined to make the listener swoon, while they doomed (that almost rhymed).

One of the bands not too far from the My Dying Bride apple tree is Italy’s The Foreshadowing, who first broke upon the scene in 2007 with their world-beating Days of Nothing debut. Guided by mournful doom strokes to the nth degree and singer Marco Benevento’s beauteous and poetic clean vocal timbre, The Foreshadowing made an instant impact in the ever-booming Gothic doom scene, only to fade out of view in North America due to their lack of proper distribution. Since then, the band popped out 2010’s Oionos and this year’s stellar Second World, both of which have yet to receive a proper stateside release, but that’s what Internet sleuthing (and high import prices) are for.

Being that we’re always a sucker for a quality Goth metal band, we tracked down primary songwriter and keyboardist Francesco Sosto for a round of questions focusing on North America, the concept behind Second World, and more. Here’s the scoop… You garnered some critical acclaim with Days of Nothingin North America, but your last two albums didn’t receive a release in these parts. Are you bothered by this?

Francesco Sosto: Of course we are. We expected that also Oionos could be released in your country, but for some circumstances it hasn’t been possible. We cared a lot that these albums could be distributed there ‘cause we have a great fanbase in America and lots of American people always expressed their enthusiasm in listening to our music, but it didn’t depend on us. Therefore we tried to find a way to make Second World release there, we talked to our label boss, Martin, who guaranteed us that both this album and Oionos will be released in North America and Canada in the coming months! There will be important news about this in the next weeks. Because you’re an Italian band, will North America ever be a point of focus?

Sosto: In America there’s a strong market in terms of metal music, it’s very different than in Italy, and moreover, artists are respected and well-supported there, so it would be certainly a great point of focus for us. The problem is the distance, and even if we would die to go touring there it would be very difficult to arrange everything. Anyway, if there were the right conditions we wouldn’t hesitate at all to go there on tour. Moving along, Days of Nothing and Oionos have their fair-share of melancholic moments, but most were of the personal variety. What prompted you to create the concept for Second World?

Sosto: Well, surely the fact we talked about apocalypse in the previous two album gave us the suggestion to deal with it for the third time. And this time we talked about the relationship between the man and the nature. The man enters the Planet Earth and destroys it in order to make it at his own image. But then, nature rebels against him and punish and destroys the mankind through natural disasters of all sorts, until the survivors will gave birth to a new spiritual and human rebirth of the world. That’s the reason why we called in fact this album Second World. Obviously, the world is seeing its shares of ups and downs. From your standpoint in Italy, what types of things really make question the state of mankind?

Sosto: Probably the state of chaos we’ve been going through in the past years, that brought to an alienated and decadent mankind. In Italy, it always talks about world crisis, unemployment, corruption, but apart from this, no one wonders what our life is. Everyday we get up early in the morning and run, we come back home and run. We always run to arrive at the final destination in time, as we were rushing for a race, but we don’t even know why we are doing that, and we always do it, even before the crisis. I think it’s time to put an end to this, to change our mentality and start to dedicate more time to ourselves, in a spiritual and more human way, I mean. I recall conducting an interview with you several years ago for Days of Nothing and you being unhappy with the “old guard” in Italy. Do you still feel that way?

Sosto: I do not know exactly what you mean, I have a vague recollection of that interview [the interview was conducted in 2007 for Metal Maniacsmagazine – ed]. However, I remember that I complained about something which had to do with the Italian music scene, probably the fact that there’s always a bit of envy and jealousy among the Italian band, lots of respect and regards when you meet with each other, but as soon as you turn your back it’s poisoned words. I find it very sad and hypocrite, so if you were referring to this, then I can confirm you that nothing has changed yet. Marco’s vocals are one of the defining elements of The Foreshadowing. He has such a romantic, but dour voice. How easy is it for you to write for a singer of his caliber?

Sosto: Marco’s voice is what we exactly were looking for this band. We just needed a deep, profound voice who was able to dig into the roots of darkness. And Marco has got this voice, he’s talented and I guess he deserved a band that gave him the opportunity to fully exploit its skills. How did you rope in Dan Swanö to help with mixing and mastering duties?

Sosto: We had already decided long time ago this album would have been mixed in Sweden by Dan Swanö and I must say we were pleased to have invested in him. Dan has proven to be patient, professional and flawless as usual behind the mixer console, and most importantly, we found that he has a very playful side, which made our collaboration easier and the mixing and mastering process less hard-working. When compared to your debut, your songs have become more linear and complex. Were you quickly bored with the relatively basic, yet very effective approach on Days of Nothing?

Sosto: Days of Nothing was our starting point. And it was a wise thing not to overdo things, since it was a debut album. We decided to start with a simple structure of the songs, considering that when the album was written and arranged we still were in three (me, Alessandro and Andrea) and we still had to find a drummer, a bass player and, most important, a vocalist. In these conditions it was useless starting with a complex approach to our music, so we preferred to start with simple things and evolve later once we would have found the right people to recruit into the band. Do you think Second World will help cast away any notions of The Foreshadowing being a Gothic doom metal band? To me, there’s a much more ethereal and cinematic quality to your music to be called that anyway.

Sosto: It ‘s just what we think. And that’s the result we hoped to achieve with this album. We tried to customize our sound over the years, just because it was our intention to turn away from those bands of reference we’re still matched to. Perhaps this album will return again in the “Gothic Doom metal” category, but we don’t mind at all. All in all we didn’t want to change radically our sound, but only make it more personal and unique. What are your touring plans for the year?

Sosto: Surely we would like to promote Second World on stage the best we can as we always tried to do for our previous albums, but it doesn’t depend only by us, actually we don’t have the support of a serious booking agency so it’s very complicated to find a good tour to promote it. If someone will be interested in our music proposal we’ll be glad to play everywhere. Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2012?

Sosto: An end of the world, maybe?

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