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Black Therapy's Lorenzo "Kallo" Carlini: "We have tried to preserve speed, power and aggression, but among these characteristics we have inserted slower rhythms, dark atmospheres, melodic voices..."

Interview with Lorenzo "Kallo" Carlini from Black Therapy
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 July 2022, 9:44 PM

Forward, onward, never retire from trying and striving to become stronger, better and go as far as possible. The motivation to burst towards desires, come up against obstacles, is not dropped from the sky out of nowhere, it is a matter of perception, to no let go or give in. The Italian Melodic Death Metal band, Black Therapy, might be a small band for the moment, yet their new album "Onward" is a pathway for greatness, to become a stronger entity in their scene and tougher live presence. Steinmetal had a chance to catch Lorenzo Carlini, also known as Kallo, for a talk about the experience of the album and more…

Hello Lorenzo, it is good to have you for this interview with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing?

Hi! I'm fine thanks, at the moment I'm trying to arrive alive in August and finally get some rest after a really busy year.

It hadn’t been easy for anyone out there during the pandemic, which rapidly overturned our lives worldwide, one of the moments in mankind’s lifespan that people would try to leave behind them as soon as possible. Black Therapy remained active throughout the pandemic. What was the sole motivator that kept you guys going? How were you able to find the motivation to work on new songs as this pandemic presented itself as the catalyst of negativity?

I am very sorry for the global situation, for the people who have suffered and for those who have had health problems. Looking at the other side, this forced slowdown has made life less hectic and this has allowed us to have more time to work artistically.

Personally, how were you able to cope with the entire ordeal? I know that on the first and second waves, Italy was hit rather hard. How did it influence you, that period of time?

It was hard to see people suffer, lose their jobs, health, social relationships, it was a period of reflection that often leads to artistic inspiration.

As mentioned, Black Therapy was able to overcome the pandemic obstacle, and your new album, “Onward”, pretty much tells the tale. When I thought about the title, it clearly came to me that you were on the move forward, without looking back, as if harnessing everything you had in order to make this record a reality. Is that the case of the title, simply letting your listeners know that you never backed down or rather something else?

The forced slowdown allowed me to focus more on the Black Therapy project, the name of the album is an idea of Giuseppe (singer) who found the right lyrics for our music. The concept is to move forward and not stop in front of obstacles, to fight to survive.

Let’s dig deeper into the philosophical aspects of “Onward”. Since the record was written throughout the pandemic, how did it influence the lyrical word on the album? Would you say that it came over the material from a variety of angles?

The human being and everything around us are destined to change, change is a universal law to which we are forced to submit, to survive it is necessary to force ourselves and move forward, even if the period is difficult, even if there is a worldwide pandemic.

Other than the pandemic, how did you find yourself connected personally to the songs’ lyrics? Are there personal experiences within the tracks, or hints of stories that happened to other people close to you?

As I said earlier for this album Giuseppe took care of the lyrics, in almost all the songs there are hints of his personal life and of what surrounds him. “Together” and “Behind the glass” are some of the most outstanding examples.

The artwork of the album, created by Simon Bossert, unravelled a form of mystery. Other than being electrifying, just by looking at it, there is something going on here. There are these two giant stone features. One of them is pretty noticeable, and the other far into the horizon. What is it that I am looking at here? Who are these giants? What is going on in this picture?

Simon proposed us some of his works and this one in particular struck us a lot. For some it is difficult to move, walk, go forward, these stone statues express the effort that each of us must take to move and not stay still.

Swimming in melancholy, in your opinion, is there a positive moral coming out of “Onward”, anything that a listener would take as an experience to learn from, or rather heed a call that needs to be answered?

We are very good at bringing our message of protest, our catatonic and melancholy sensations. Personally, I do not consider myself a person who "offers solutions", I rather like to share my art with someone who recognizes himself in my own feelings, who gives me the idea of not being alone and "different".

Being tagged as a Melodic Death Metal band isn’t enough for Black Therapy, from where I am sitting, the enchanting atmosphere, along with the darkened features that sail through “Onward”, I sensed that there is a lot more to discover. How do you find the musical progress going on within the lines of the record?

I'm glad you got this impression, after “In the embrace of sorrow… I smile”, our second full-length album, we tried to take a more personal path, less shaped by the sacred monsters of Melodic Death. From “Echoes of dying memories "onwards we have inserted slower and more atmospheric parts without sacrificing speed and aggression, with" Onward "we seem to have hit the target in full.

Truth be told, there is a variety of Death Metal in melody that has been going on nowadays, in your view, what makes “Onward” as a unique feature, a special kind of form, as it is part of a sea of albums that is in a continued stream on a daily basis?

I believe that the main characteristics of “Onward” are its melody, drama, majesty, and power. We really feel the style of this album as ours and we hope we have found our way.

What were your main influences that ignited the sorrowfulness of the music on “Onward”? How were you able to find that balance between the aggressiveness of the album and its haunting atmosphere?

The anger that contrasted our first works is a reminder of our adolescence, time and maturity have left us a profound spirituality. The slow rhythms of doom and the most disturbing atmospheres that we have inserted with surgical parsimony within the classic "Black Therapy" style almost result in a positive message, life is hard, and pain is part of it, we are not made to give up, it is our job to accept it and endure it.

Drilling down into the songwriting, as we already started itching the process, what can you tell about the entire experience? Would you say that you implemented new things that you took under advisement from the previous record?

"Onward" is an evolution of "Echoes of dying memories", it follows its own path but is probably a fairer compromise. We have tried to preserve speed, power and aggression, but among these characteristics we have inserted slower rhythms, dark atmospheres, melodic voices … it was not easy to make these two worlds coexist, I hope our intent is appreciated!

One of the new names on the band, probably the newest, is Francesco Comerci, who took over the skins last year. I had the pleasure of listening to his abilities on his band Helslave, now that is a pretty great drummer. With Helslave being an old school band, how does Comerci’s style fit with Black Therapy’s in your opinion?

Francesco is a war machine! He is precise, fast and powerful, a drummer like him can really play anything! He listened to our new material and immediately liked it, we are very happy that he has joined our cause and that he has joined the team, he is a name to trust!

Your vocalist, Giuseppe Di Giorgio, appears to be on roll in several roles throughout the album, his ability to carry through growl types, and melancholic melodic vocals, is simply amazing. What can you tell about the work on the vocals for this album? What is your appreciation of the turnout?

Giuseppe is a master of harsh voices; he knows how to use breathing and the whole singing apparatus so well that singing melodic lines was technically a fairly automatic step. I personally have been pushing for some years to insert melodic voices, it is in my tastes and in my style, finally in this work I found the approval of the other members, I believe that the experiment is successful!

With “Onward” being the band’s fifth album, what can you share about what this record was able to teach you about yourself, your abilities as a songwriter, as a studio engineer and musician of course? How did the album challenge you in general?

During the first phase of songwriting, it was difficult to combine the classic Black Therapy style with new riffs and darker atmospheres, fortunately we were quite inspired and we managed to do it even with the great help of Andrea (guitar). As for the production it was very hard, I had been thinking about producing a Black Therapy record myself for several years because I have always had a type of sound in my head that with these new arrangements has become more real. The difficulty was in the fact that I wrote, arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered everything, usually we tend to pass some phases of the work to other professionals because after such a large series of plays there is the risk of ending up in a loop and get stuck. I tried to take care of every single detail in a maniacal way, in the end I think I found the right way, but I learned some things that I can't wait to work on to the next one!

One of the tracks that echoed brightly through my ears is “Behind The Glass”. It was a pleasure to grasp the harmonic flavor of this song, its emotive touch, along with its aggressive manner, are one of the examples of a struggle going on. What is your take on this particular track? What can you tell about its creative process?

"Behind the Glass" is the best example of the fusion of these two worlds, one aggressive and fast, the other melodic and dreamy. In this track we have experimented more than the others, I think it is a winning bet, but we must be careful with the balance of the album, we do not want to risk exaggerating both on one side and the other.

Now, with the ability to schedule shows, how will you be supporting “Onward”?

In Black Therapy I take care of the drafting of the songs, live shows are more subject to Giuseppe who interfaces with our Management. From what I understand it is not easy to schedule concerts right now, there are tours from two or three years ago that have been postponed and are starting now, this has slowed down the schedules especially for smaller bands like us. I know they are trying to organize some shows even though personally after this period I would like to do a longer tour like the ones we did a few years ago.

Lorenzo, I wish to thank you for your time and effort on this interview, many thanks for maintaining the spirit of the band, and letting yourself slide into darkness with such finesse. All the best

Thank you for the space you gave me and for taking an interest in Black Therapy. I am very pleased that you enjoyed our work! For our part we will always try to fuel the fire of the band and keep it alive!


 



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