Summon: How did the band get started?
Animæ: Darkend’s genesis was nebulous as Hell: we started with a completely different line-up somewhere in the past and it took some years to reach the present, definitive form. Only our drummer, Valentz, survived from the very first incarnation of this project, and he was also the one who handled the vocal duties on our first work, recorded and delivered in times when even I was not present there.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Animæ: We try to transcend the simple concept of music, in order to create a unity of sounds, words, visuals and, above all… Spirits. We define this unity by the concept of “extreme ritual art”.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Animæ: Extremely good. And ever-growing.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Animæ: “Darkend” derives first of all from an artifice commonly used in the esoteric tradition either to conceal the truth or to convey to the reader a message that transcends the written text: the Anagram. The band name (which we have slightly changed by stitching together “dark” and “end” just to remain faithful to this principle) symbolizes the Abyss, the Unconscious opening its doors to mystery and to the regions of the Elsewhere, while anagrammed and stripped of its appearance, the very same name reveals its REAL meaning: it is a key term used in an ancient Aramaic transmigration prayer that will be unveiled in some of my upcoming lyrics.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Animæ: Darkend consists of me on vocals, Ashes & Nothingness on guitars, Specter on bass, Antarktica on keyboards and Valentz on drums.
Summon: Where do the lyric ideas come from?
Animæ: From my inner Abyss, exclusively… even if, in the past, we dealt with some more “earthly” topics such as murders and decadent poetry.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Animæ: They harbor some truths and some lies, as every other philosophical or religious discipline. The main problem related to Satanism and Occultism is that humanity usually approaches such topics as if they were “instructions” to reach something higher in a concrete/material form, while, in my opinion, they should be interpreted as individual “points of views” capable of suggesting to one where to find the keys to the gates. But once you’ve crossed them, you have to wander alone, there… clinging to your very instinct and senses, like a newborn child. As for myself: I am quite into everything that lies beyond the veil of Shadows and that’s usually described as “invisible”: there’s a vast world out there.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Animæ: A demo and two full-lengths, so far.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Animæ: Personally, I decided not to have any side-project, to fully concentrate my energy on Darkend. Some of my band mates, by the way, play in other entities as well: Valentz & Ashes have a death metal band called Hatred and Antarktica has his own solo project of symphonic, instrumental music, Nightbreeder.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Animæ: Our main influences are our Souls and the vibrations that we receive from the earthly and unearthly spheres. It’s the impalpable mist that bleakly wraps the Ghosts and that sulphur kind of Black, Obscure, Dark & Heavy litanies that pervades everything, it’s the lost graveyard laments echoing of funereal chant and the Grand Guignol himself with his miserable cult of Death, the fascinating, bleeding, corrupting Thorns and the secret rituals performed in the shadows.
Summon: Which current bands?
Animæ: No particular bands… we walk our own Path and we are devoted to what we feel and experience, deep inside.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Animæ: For us, live shows are proper and real rituals: we live them as ceremonies of Darkness and Light where every suggestion and feeling is amplified with the use of elements such as massive fire, esoteric symbols, human bones, candles, masks, incense and dead branches, where everything is placed with a precise meaning and intention.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Animæ: Yes, we played in almost every European country, touring with bands like Cradle Of Filth, Rotting Christ, Samael, God Seed, Melechesh, Keep Of Kalessin and taking part in some great festivals alongside Immortal, Kreator, Sodom, Mayhem, Destruction, Shining, Taake, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani and many others.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Animæ: It depends, this varies a lot from country to country: some engage physically in our live show, with a lot of headbanging, circle pits and other outward displays of energy; others prefer to participate in a more silent and contemplative way. In some cases, I even witnessed some people crying during some very intense moments: and when it happens, when I realize that our Art can really penetrate the inmost depths of other people’s souls, well… then I feel that my mission has been accomplished.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Animæ: Your Death Metal scene speaks for itself: there you have colossi such as Morbid Angel, Obituary, Death, Incantation, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Immolation… bands that ignited the whole movement and that I like very much. As regards the US Black Metal, well… you have two of my favorite bands there: Absu and Black Funeral: I’m also in touch with Michael Ford and I consider his research on inner vampirism & lycanthropy very suggestive.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Animæ: We are currently working on our new album. 4 songs out of 7 are already completed and the others are on their way. Probably we’ll enter the studio in late autumn to record the new material.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band?
Animæ: A lot of live rituals, and a new opus.
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