Tiziano “Hammerhead” Sbaragli talks about the sophomore album of Angel Martyr: NOTHING LOUDER THAN SILENCE
Interview by Cristóbal Torres
Angel Martyr is a heavy metal band from Italy which recently released their second album called: NOTHING LOUDER THAN SILENCE, which keeps the same spirit as its predecessor BLACK BOOK: CHAPTER ONE.
We contacted Tiziano, singer and guitarist of the band; a great Bible reader who grabs many of his ideas from that book even without being a religious person. He talked about this sophomore album and how it’s like being a heavy metal underground band in Italy.
Why did you decide to name the band as Angel Martyr?
I always loved theology readings also, although I am not religious at all, I always loved the character of the martyr, someone who yet knows to lose his own battle but he never gives up just for bringing ahead an ideal. In addition I was sure about talking several times about religion and its sick ideas, so I thought of the icon of divine justice, the angel! Than I called the band Angel Martyr.
Your debut album was very well received by the fans, however, do you think that something changed in the band’s environment or everything remained more or less the same in terms of popularity?
It’s a bit early to reply to this question since we are on the verge to release the new album, we received so much attention from people and zines, this could disguise our judgment about it! We will see in the near future how the situation will be to compare the past and future!
A few years ago we spoke with Laura Coller from the Italian band Sign of the Jackal and she told us about the difficult environment that is the Italian scene as there is little support between bands; what is your perspective on this, do you think there is support or does it depend on the area?
Yes, I think that it’s very hard to make a huge circle of lovers and fans in Italy. I think the situation it’s a bit better around Milan, Rome and big cities in general. But comparing our scene to other European countries… well, you can realize that it’s not good at all.
How was the writing process for this second album, did you recover old material or is everything new?
We recovered “Climbing The Walls Of The Abyss” since it was written several years ago and it took part in the second EP we recorded in 2015. The rest is all new stuff!
Did the positive response to your first album make you work differently for this second album or did you keep the same approach?
I think working in different ways year after year it’s part of evolution, an old saying goes: there is nothing constant except change. We have more experience and knowledge, we organize better ways to practice songs in the studio, we will try to push more on promotion, on social networks and on streaming platforms, that’s what we did and we will keep on doing!
This new album includes a new drummer, how did you decide to make that change?
In 2018 Francesco Taddei, for personal problems, and since he lives in Spain, sadly told us about his decision to leave the band! We understood his reasons and our friendships it’s stronger than before.
As soon as we lost our brother, another brother joined our family! Niccolò Vanni really appreciated our offer as “skinripper” in Angel Martyr, and we started practicing together. It worked well and it’s still working!
How was the experience in the studio compared to the first album, do you think the experience worked in your favor?
Yes, I think so! The job was easier, faster and with much more feelings though all members.The first time was very confusing, bad managed and the final result didn’t satisfy us at all.
How was the guitar recording process, how many guitars did you record on each song?
I recorded 2 guitars for each track, in some of them I reached 5 guitars, but just in orchestral and introduction parts! I recorded almost all songs lying down on a sofa since I was recovering from a surgery, which was not the ideal way to play (laughs).
Do you think being a trio can affect the sound of your live music just by having one guitar?
I think power trio is the best formula for Angel Martyr for the moment! I mean in live and recording sessions, maybe in the future we will make different choices, never say never.
In which formats will you release this new album and where can people get it?
Of course in physical copies, and in all streaming platforms. Iron shield made many CD copies, but I really would love making some vinyls!
Why did you decide to call the album NOTHING LOUDER THAN SILENCE, are there clues in the lyrics of the song?
Not in explicit form! The title is the result of a reflection about the sense of guilt, or shame, that we often feel towards some life circumstances! I created a character by attributing unacceptable characteristics to the conscience, obviously in an extreme form! The question I asked myself was: how heavy can silence be for a person who has lost his humanity only to find it again in some moments of mental clarity? How painful can it be for him to deal with his own silences and inner voices? I think that in some cases silence is a very heavy burden to bear, because it is precisely that moment when the voice of your conscience can mercilessly slam the truth that you have denied for too long in your face!
“My Name is Legion” is a fascinating song, how did you come up with it and what do you embody in it?
I would say that this song represented a challenge for us in the band! It all started when in the Holy Scriptures I read about the possession of Gerasa, regardless of one’s creed I recommend reading it to everyone, it is very interesting!
“My name is Legion” is the sentence pronounced by a man who carried within himself a legion of demons, once he found himself before Jesus. This episode for believers is an evident example of the power that the son of God exercises over evil … but is it really so? There are no other points of view of this episode? Examining everything with extreme rationality, some questions cannot fail to come to mind, such as: is the life of a single human really worth the life of 3000 sacrificed pigs? Why should a legion of demons ask for permission to enter the body of pigs when they have managed to enter the body of a man without any concession? Really this passage represents a proof of the infinite divine power, or maybe it was the demons who made fun of Jesus? Everyone sees it in his own way. My role here was only to raise the same questions, which I first asked myself, to the listeners!
What are your promotional plans, do you plan a video clip or a streaming presentation?
Well, first of all is surviving to Covid, he, he, then we are going to present a new lyric video, keep on making interviews, streaming and physical copies presentation, later, when this nightmare will come to an end, recovering all the gigs we lost during the first wave!
Thank you very much for your time! Any final words for readers?
Thanks for this amazing interview and thanks to everyone who will go to listen to our music. Enter the Martyr’s force!