Merging the fury of iconoclastic Black Metal with the refinement and experimentation of the clarinet sound, Vittorio Sabelli infuses his project with culture, tradition, folk, and extreme Avant Garde black metal to imbue life and vitality into the music and heritage of Dawn of a Dark Age. It is a continual evolution that continues with the new album Transumanza.
"Transumanza" was the first album I started composing when I decided to start the saga on the Samnites. The first draft dates back to 2016 but for various reasons many years passed until the release date scheduled for December 8, thus becoming the third chapter after "La Tavola Osca" in 2020 and "Le Forche Caudine" in 2021. It had a very difficult and troubled path, but now that it's all over I can say that I'm 100% satisfied with this 8th Dawn of a Dark Age album.
The idea of the lands that you are crossing.
‘’That's it! It's a record that talks about my ancestors, my roots, the place where I was born and where I live. You can smell the fresh grass and the village festivals, essential elements without which it would not have been possible to address such an intimate and profound discussion, but at the same time so rich in the charm of other times.
Dawn of A Dark Age continues to grow and progress. Is the new album the zenith of that goal?
‘’To be honest I never think of an album as a goal, but as a small brick of a bigger project. I try to give the highest quality possible in each album, and rather than growing and progressing I always think of an evolution of sounds, timbres and colors based on the concept covered.
For all its extremes Transumanza feels like home? An earthen embrace that is both welcoming and harsh?
‘’Yes, there are these very opposite feelings in Transumanza, considering that in order to safeguard the livestock, the primary source of community sustenance, the shepherds with their flocks had to stay away from their homes and loved ones for about seven months a year. This brutal detachment is described in detail in the introduction 'La Scasata', and these feelings on the part of those who leave and those who remain are one of the main ingredients that return often throughout the album.
The inspiration for the folk aspect of ‘’I Regi Tratturi’’ and the path that it leads?
"I Regi Tratturi" were the main roads that led from the icy mountains of Abruzzo to the milder areas during the winter months. It was important to bring the listener into contact with these green roads, the sheep tracks, traveled for centuries by shepherds with herds of sheep, cows and lambs. It took months to move to the Tavoliere of Puglia and my personal vision is a metaphor for the path of life, which however does not lead to a specific place but towards eternity.
Jazz and more importantly clarinet are not associated with extreme music much less black metal. What was the original idea to combine them?
‘’Since I was a teenager, I have had the dream of inserting the clarinet into extreme music and after several (not very satisfactory) experiments I found the path I was looking for with DAWN OF A DARK AGE. The idea was to insert my musical experiences (i.e., classical music, jazz, marching band, folk) and above all my instrument, the clarinet, into the music I love (extreme metal). And I didn't want to give him a secondary role but rather a main actor, and after several years finally even the public who initially mistreated him now appreciates him, and this makes me doubly proud.
Was it intentional to combine 2 genres one steeped in history and respect and the other new in terms of history?
‘’I use the various genres that I have studied, and which are part of my musical experience depending on what I want to express. I have recorded jazz and avant-garde records, the latest A.M.E.N. between brutal death and grindcore, while in DOADA I have always thought of Black Metal as the fusion of extreme music with popular music, traditions, and folklore. And this is wonderful, because it allows you to start from your origins and go beyond any musical barrier and beyond.
The importance of following musical desires rather than normal expectations?
‘’I don't ask myself too many questions about it, what interests me is making my ideas real and creating music without limits, without obstacles and interference. This is the way I approach my projects and from each of them I manage to find new energy every time to continue working in a stimulating way.
‘’I thank you and The Coroner’s Report for the interest in Dawn of a Dark Age. I always add that the best way to keep the underground alive is to totally support artists who create music outside the usual clichés! On the Dawn of a Dark Age Bandcamp page there are all my projects, as well as on the My Kingdom Music page.
Top 6 albums of all time
‘’Of course, the list should be discussed widely, as each of the albums represented something for me that pushed me to explore and study different genres for years and years. But above all they are albums that, decades later, continue to give me that feeling as if I were listening to them for the first time, even after thousands of listens.
1 Led Zeppelin – II
2 Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
3 Beatles – The White Album
4 Pink Floyd – The Wall
5 Satyricon – Nemesis Divina
6 Black Sabbath – The Headless Cross