Italian death metallers Hour Of Penance are making their way to Australia for the first time in October, but they’ve got a lot to do before then. They are currently preparing for their 15-date tour of Europe supporting our very own, Psycroptic.
Drummer James Payne will travel from his home in the north of Italy, to meet the rest of the band in Rome before the Inheriting The Sickness tour begins on Friday, 20 September in Belgium with the English death metal outfit, Dyscarnate.
“We usually meet [in Rome] a week before and practice for the whole week as much as we can. Of course, we individually practice on our instruments every day so we’re always ready to rock,” says guitarist Giulio Moschini.
There really is no rest for the wicked; as soon as the European tour finishes, Hour of Penance will spend a couple of weeks recording their new album before coming to Australia alongside polish legends Behemoth.
“We’ll start tracking the drums in October right before the tour in Australia, and we’ll finish it in November,” says Moschini. “We will be recording the drums and bass at our bass player’s studio (Kick Recording Studio), and we’ll do the rest at the 16th Cellar studios where we recorded all of our past albums.”
With no original members remaining in the band, bassist Marco Mastrobuono is the latest recruit to the Hour of Penance line-up. It will also be the first recording with drummer James Payne, who joined after the release of Sedition in 2012. Moschini, who has now been in the band the longest, says overall the changes have been in the best interest of the music.
“They’re both great musicians and they definitely contributed in making the band stronger,” says Moschini. “Our line-up changes allow us to improve and enrich the sound of the band album by album. I have always taken care of the song-writing alone so the ‘core’ of the band remains the same.”
With 15 songs ready to be recorded, Moschini says it has been hard narrowing the album down to just ten tracks, as it is the most challenging material Hour of Penance have ever produced. Typified by anti-religious lyrics, Moschini told HEAVY that the new album, yet to be named, will again draw on the themes of religion and death, with plenty of recent controversy within the Catholic church to inspire vocalist Paolo Pieri.
“It will be a more mature approach to our previous themes,” says Moschini. “The new lyrics are focused on the relationships between the Vatican and Italian society. Paolo is actually still working on it and he’s doing a great job – it will be the first time he’ll be handling the lyrics alone, so they will all be tied up as one big concept.”
Laying to rest any questions about how Australia fares on the world death metal stage, Moschini effuses a sincere appreciation for our sunburnt blend of brutality, and says they are eager to descend upon our shores.
“There’s definitely something about Australian extreme metal,” says Moschini. “Psycroptic are great musicians – they’re one of the most precise and technical bands I’ve ever seen – but they also have a very distinct and personal sound. The Amenta too, with their industrial touch. Both bands can be easily recognized by their own stylistic approach to this kind of music, which I think is great in this overcrowded scene.”
Hour of Penance will be showcasing their new material in October when they tour Australia for the first time alongside Behemoth. In the meantime, fans and drum aficionados should roll on over to James Payne and collaborator Alessandro Lombardo’s YouTube channel for The Drum Brother project.
It’s not so much an instructional video, as a studying documentary featuring Payne and Lombardo as they practice together and share what they have learnt at fortnightly intervals. They also interview well-known drummers ranging in genres from death metal to jazz. The latest subjects include Joey Jordison, Roy Mayorga and Steve Gadd and you can check it out here.