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Following the release of the Dionisyan sophomore, 'Delirium And Madness', Mike spoke with founder Tregor Russo in some detail about his vision of intricate atmospheric baroque Doom.

Interview with Dionisyan.
"One of the more technical bands currently operating in the Doom scene, Sicilian outfit Dionisyan's sophomore full-length was recently released. 'Delirium And Madness' had all the complexity and more of debut 'The Mystery Of Faith', overlapped in some of the classical and compositional techniques, yet took the band in a completely different direction. I thought I'd have a second in-depth chat with composer, multi-instrumentalist and founder, music teacher Tregor Russo, to find out some more about the new intricacies involved."

Dionisyan creator Tregor Russo (composition, arrangements, orchestration, lyrics, all studio instruments).

Hello Tregor, and welcome back to Doom-metal.com. Thanks for talking to us again. How are things with you?

Thank you for the new interview. Let's say that's a fine, full period for me as I'm dedicating to an old project of mine that I have exhumed GATES OF EDEN, here I propose a very powerful musical invention, progressive metal with Mediterranean music.

I saw you mention some medical issues with your guitar playing on Facebook recently. What were they, and have they been resolved now?

I have had serious problems with my left hand, which I have been carrying for 16 years from an almost fatal car accident, I broke my hand and the index rebuilt it, you understand that for a Virtuoso Guitarist like me it could mean if I had lost the use of my hand. now after a homeopathic cure I have almost completely solved the problems, I can do virtuosities from classical music to jazz without any problems.

So, hopefully, you're back to full health and fitness now?

I am good now , Fortunately, thank you. Sure I'm very careful not to make any effort, I only play the electric guitar twice a week to avoid problems, but being that I play a total of 9 instruments, 4 of which on a Virtuosic level, I do not think much about it.

Dionisyan - 'Guardian Angels':

It's not actually that long since we spoke over debut full-length 'The Mystery Of Faith', but you seem to have shifted DIONISYAN's direction quite considerably since then. What was your primary motive to make that change?

Two years have passed since the last interview you made to me, to talk about the first album "The Mystery Of Faith" by DIONISYAN.

With "Delirium And Madness" I wanted to give a strong and impactful identification with Spirituality coupled with philosophy, completely switched to female opera and modern Vocals.

Certainly it is a pioneering album of a new genre; the atmospheric baroque doom metal.

Absolute melody, harmonies from the first to the last note of the opera, lyrical and modern female singing alternating, baroque music with progressive metal and ATMOSPHERIC DOOM METAL in my original and innovative blend

Though you've used female vocals for DIONISYAN before, they've not been the primary focus - what did you want to achieve by putting them as a core part of the sound this time?

For “Delirium And Madness” I wanted to recreate a true Concerto Grosso in real Baroque style with the female chants, but revisited by Me in a Metal key and I wanted to recreate the typical Italian counterpoint polyphonic of the late 17 century, contrasting the different melodic vocal lines, using both the lyrical singing that also modern to give a unique brand to identify my musical proposal on all.

Dionisyan line-up for 'Delirium And Madness', with Alessandro Basso (bass) and Federica Croce (vocals).

And what are the differences in working with Federica, as opposed to Ignazio? Do you take a very different approach in your compositions knowing that the vocals are going to be on a completely different plane and with a very different relationship to the music?

The first work had as its structure the melodic progressive death doom metal as the main matrix and then I had composed and arranged the music for the cantata harsh and growl, instead for the second great work that is totally structured in baroque music recontextualized in atmospheric doom metal, I created all the music for the female singing and the result was amazing

On both the full-length DIONISYAN albums, I've commented, as a personal opinion, that I'd like to hear more made of the classical/orchestral instruments. But there's clearly a compositional reason why you restrict them to shorter, more distinct segments of their own: what shapes those decisions?

What you say, they did so many bands in their albums that do not name, it did not seem to me to do it too as I wanted to do something totally different from what they did , so my intent was to create something of unique and innovative, that no one else had yet done with Metal. And in "Delirium And Madness" my goal has been achieved.

I played, composed, arranged and orchestrated 9 baroque acoustic instruments, both for the intros, outros and during the songs to blend with the baroque structure of all the songs.

Speaking of the composing process - how does that work, in practice, with this level of complexity? Do you develop just one of the melody lines to begin with, or do you have a clear vision of all of them, and how they will interact, from the very beginning and develop them simultaneously?

My composing style is from classical music to jazz, I have been composing music professionally for over 20 years as a music teacher and for “Delirium And Madness” I had a general view of the whole opera initially that I then started to develop individually for each song on a melodic line carrier.

Normally I start working on more melodic lines that interact with each other so the two harmonized electric guitars and then develop all the other metric lines for the other instruments that are spot for my natural way of composing extremely detailed, intricate, complicated and complex.

Current line-up, with Silvia Balistreri (vocals).

On a related note, perhaps we could learn a little from your experience here. When you describe DIONISYAN's music as being based on contrapuntal polyphonics is there an easy way to explain what a listener should be looking for to really understand and appreciate your works?

My second DIONISYAN Opera Magna "Delirium and Madness - Concerto Grosso Opera °2 in G Minor", in which I reinvented and renewed the polyrhythmic counterpuntic polyphony of baroque music in metal style.

It's my 6th career album and it's my absolute masterpiece, where I've surpassed myself, in every detail, compared to the first album of DIONISYAN "The Mystery of Faith" which is already very complete and intricate

As always, we're open to criticism of whether we've both understood and fairly represented a release, so this is what we said about Delirium and Madness - Concerto Grosso Opera No 2 In G Minor. Do you think those are fair observations, and are there any you'd want to respond to?

For sure “Delirium And Madness” be much more complex musically regarding the compositions, arrangements and orchestrations from the first album "The Mystery Of Faith" that already anyway presents his musical innovation at the forefront for the contrasts of genres that I mixed between them, but in the second album I'll move to other genres of music not to fossilize DIONISYAN only to what I've done so far and go beyond the boundaries with other musical styles to get ahead in my evolutionary path as Composer, multi-instrumentalist and Teacher of Music.

I concluded the underlying concept essentially seemed to be a man mourning his dead love, and slowly drifting into insanity as a result of loss and grief, but there were other and more ambiguous interpretations for at least some of the tracks. Is that roughly correct, though, or are there other layers of meaning to it that I'm missing?

I wrote a novel for the Opera "Delirium And Madness" talking about the sacred concept of human beatification, the earthly life of a man who receives from God the gift of stigma and then become saint, but must grieve, make many sacrifices and renounces, including suffering for the love of his own woman who is dying and he cannot do anything to save her.

Dionisyan - 'Delirium And Madness' (Teaser):

How well has 'Delirium...' been received, generally? Have you had positive feedback and reviews from other sources and music outlets?

The second Great Dionisyan Opera day by day is more and more appreciated, listened to and known by many fans all over the world, many come close to my innovative artistic proposal for various original elements that characterize it. Both digital and physical sales are fairly good but I still do not know how many copies have been sold. The album was released on October 3, 2017 and the Sliptrick Records' first appearance is still on record.

How easy was it to arrange the deal with Sliptrick to release it? I seem to recall that there were lots of delays and difficulties in getting the CD of 'The Mystery Of Faith' organised through Beyond... Productions - did things go more smoothly this time?

In 2014, when the first album "The Mystery Of Faith" was released, the record company of that period, Beyond Productions, gave me some problems during the post production phase, both to realize the graphic design and the final print of the album. wait for a few months. In the end it was worth it. As for the second Opera Magna, Sliptrick was no less than Beyond Productions. They made me lose a lot of time because I had a lot of bands, they slid the release of the album from June to October 2017, for charity, they did something more than Beyond, for example to create the postcards of the Album, two video lyrics and an audio video to promote the Opera.

And, perhaps more to the point, how satisfied are you with 'Delirium...'? Did it achieve everything you set out to do with it?

You know, having created a masterpiece, light years compared to what exists in the trade of metal music in general, people are still not culturally and musically prepared for this type of Opera that is so structurally complex, intricate, complicated and full of details. Normally only another music teacher who studied classical composition and orchestration could understand it.

All in all I am satisfied, both of the very beautiful and crystalline production, of which I meticulously edited the Sound of the album, exalting every single note of every single musical instrument.

Discography: 'Land Of Dreams' (Demo, 2012), 'The Mystery Of Faith' (2014), 'Delirium And Madness' (2017).

And is this a direction you intend to explore further? Have you found a sound and a line-up that you're completely happy with, or will the next DIONISYAN release be as different an incarnation as the change between 'The Mystery...' and 'Delirium...'?

In the third Dionisyan Opera, I will change for the third time musical genre, I do not want to fossilize myself or even cradle myself on the tortuously beautiful articulated styles that I have amalgamated in the two Dionisyan albums.

In the first album I explored progressive metal, melodic death metal, traditional Arabic music, classical and medieval songs, always with atmospheric doom metal.

In the second album the baroque music, the opera and the progressive metal, always with the atmospheric doom metal.

In the third album I will realize exclusively Atmospheric Doom Metal, very linear, without any contamination of other styles and musical genres, it will be 100% DOOM METAL.

The sound has satisfied me, after different mixtures and post productions to arrive at the optimal final result in the master.

As for the line up, I only keep bassist Alessandro Basso, I will change the singer to get a male singer this time with a clear and clean Epic style.

Dionisyan - Tregor performing 'Delirium And Madness' live (opens in new window):

Obviously, though, the core will remain your own vision and work. How important is it to you to include the extremely technical and virtuoso playing aspects? Could you ever consider recording something more basic, simplistic and visceral, or would that be completely against the vision for DIONISYAN or for yourself?

Both for "The Mystery Of Faith" and "Delirium And Madness" the technical, virtuous and complicated extremes were my business card to create my style that is a pioneer of new musical genres and identifies itself on all the others.

As I answered the previous question, in the third album of Dionisyan I will opt for a simpler, direct version, easy to understand from the first listening to the album, but without lacking originality and elegance that distinguish the first two Albums.

It would not be at all contrary to my Vision of Musical Artistic Conception, but this does not mean that I would make a Work without any artistic meaning.

Have you got anything underway towards a 'next release' as yet? Any clues as to when we might expect to see a follow-up?

Actually I have some draft of some composition and arrangement of some song in the pipeline, compared to the first two, will be direct and exclusively Atmospheric Doom Metal or Epic Doom Metal, still to be seen, this will be a surprise that I will reserve to all true fans of DIONISYAN.

One thing is sure, there will no longer be any classical or baroque acoustic instruments. Only visceral electrical instruments

In the shorter term, do you have any plans - touring or live shows to support 'Delirium...', for example?

In practice they are under the Music Faktory booking agency management and are trying to organize the first European tour to support and promote "Delirium And Madness".

We are waiting and I can not wait to bring this magical work to life, which will give the impression to all colors that will come to see us, to make a leap in those Baroque eras, when Music was the highest religious expression and spiritual, combined with the artistic vision of the composers who proposed it in the aristocratic halls.

Actually, just as an aside, how do you feel about live performances, as opposed to studio work? Do you have a preference, and do you get different things out of each?

When I perform live, unlike when I'm in Recording Studio, I feel different emotions that I let see in the execution of every instrument that I record.

In my concerts, however, my innate manifestation comes out in showing my theatrical side, involving the spectators with the Electric Guitar, becoming one with all the other instruments, capturing the sensitivity and attention of the fans.

I think that covers all my questions for now, thanks again for your time. So if there's anything you'd like to say, please feel free to have the last word and add any comments you like...

I take this chance to thank you Mike and the large community of Doom Metal .com for the kind interview and the opportunity to make known both me and my DIONISYAN.

I also invite anyone who wants to know the second album "Delirium And Madness - Concerto Grosso Opera°2 In G Minor", can see “Blood Prophecy” and “ In The Mirror Of My Soul” lyrics video and the last audio video “Guardian Angels” with Sarah Eick as Special Guest from FUNERAL.

Our album is still available for sale.
Anybody willing to buy a copy please contact me at castellus@tiscali.it and with the copy, I will do an autographed postcard.

Thanks again for everything.
Tregor Russo.

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Dionisyan bandpage.

Interviewed on 2018-04-02 by Mike Liassides.
Rotten Copper
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