Interview with Deathmaster - DoomSword, March 2011

The Eternal Battle features a much darker sound, and an evolution in vocal styles (more gruff, lower toned vocals) compared to My Name Will Live On.
Is this something we can expect to remain consistent moving forward or might there be more changes in the future?

Hi! First of all thank you for the interview.
Nothing is consistent in DoomSword except the will of producing solid epic heavy metal. In fact every time we released an album – despite how immediate or accessible the album may be – it was definitely NOT what the fans expected. The fact that DoomSword fans do not agree at all on DoomSword's best album is index of a generally high quality of all the discography, in our opinion of course.
We know this new album in particular was even more courageous in terms of musical and style choices. As you rightly pointed out the album has a darker sound, because the theme of the album is darker. The vocals are just one of the 4 instruments present in a DoomSword album and given the theme of the album we didn't feel like putting high pitched over the top vocals (which has never been the case with DoomSword anyway), but something more suited to the sense of tragedy and introspection that is the general atmosphere of the album. That's why the vocals are the way they are, to be 100% part of the opus that TEB is. Of course where the music allowed it I inserted old-style vocals for musical coherence, too much change isn't good either, don't you think?
But here's the bottom line: with every album we learn a lesson, we expand our horizons and learn new ways of expressing our feelings. The next DoomSword album will be a monster which will utilize what we learnt on TEB but also the previous albums, plus whatever new form of expression we developed in the meanwhile of course.

What was the inspiration behind the Eternal Battle?

The album is not a concept in the sense that there is a story, but more that all the songs are somehow related to the central theme of the Eternal Battle. The "Eternal Battle" we are talking about is what – in our opinion – is the natural condition of Man. If you think about it, everybody has their own personal idea of happiness, and we all strive to achieve this longed happiness. Getting there is a constant struggle. You have to overcome physical and psychological obstacles, you have to make decisions, always being in two minds about what to do and how to do it. The reality is you're always battling some inner demon or the external world. And if you are so lucky that you achieve your goals, what happens to you? You realize the whole point was never the goal, but it was the "getting there", because before you can even realise it, you have new goals, new dreams. So there you are starting from scratch, or already engaged into some other journey. More psychological conflicts, more demons to defeat, more people to confront yourself with. And what is on an individual basis a confrontation between two people, translates into rivalry between communities, political parties or social classes, and actual wars between nations. Man is always battling something. The Eternal Battle is this condition, which we can never escape. Well, not until humanity grows into something spiritually and intellectually different, not necessarily better or superior. So in the album we explore this theme through different perspectives: two songs in particular, Warlife and Soldier of Fortune, are dedicated to those who gave their lives to fight battles they probably didn't even believe in, living a life which is practically marching to death. The song "Eternal Battle" takes inspiration from Norse mythology and shows how ancient cultures had the idea that they should fight all their life, they would wish to die fighting and what would the reward be? To get to fight eternally in the sky!
Varus Battle is a very important song for DoomSword as the historical consequences have their effect on the present day still: DoomSword hail from Lombardy which takes its name from the Northern Germany tribe of the Longobards who were a part of the confederation of tribes which fought the Romans in the Varus Battle. Had the Romans won the battle the North of Italy would not have been – in all probability – invaded and dominated by the Longobards (and other germanic tribes beforehand such as the Goths) and our culture and language would probably be different.
As you can see in every song the theme of "battling" is very strong.

Why did Geilt end up leaving the band?

A personal choice. Geilt is my brother, we've been working together since 1994, and I don't think our collaboration has come to an end. Very simply put, he enjoys painting a lot, and he's concentrating his musical efforts on his main band Midryasi, so he felt that DoomSword were going down his list of artistic priorities and I respect that, and we obviously wish him all the best with his future endeavours!

You did not sing on the first Doomsword album, as a friend of the band said at the time you weren't yet ready. What did you do in order to prepare to sing for the second album? When did you feel confident enough to do it?

I did nothing and I didn't feel confident. In fact the way I sing on the second album is just as good as it would have been if I had sung on the first, the real problem there is that I found it extremely frustrating to write songs and vocal melodies and explaining how they should be sung to someone else but never really getting the desired result. Not because Nightcomer wasn't a good singer, in fact he's a great singer, but you just can't explain 100% what you have in mind to someone else, it's impossible!
So I thought I'd do it myself! I never considered myself a singer, I'm a guitarist first and foremost, I'm just very passionate about the topics I write about in the lyrics, and I thought passion was going to be enough, turns out most people agree.

I for one find you to be among the most unique and powerful voices in metal. How would you rate yourself in this category? And who would you say you enjoy the most, in addition to anyone who has inspired your style.

Well thanks a million for the compliment! I will never stop getting surprised by people saying things like that to me because I just never think of myself as a singer. I don't have an education in singing, I never took a single lesson, I read some material and got an “interactive” course lately to gain more control but I did it more to preserve my vocals from being damaged by wrong singing habits than for actual singing purposes, and it's something I've done only in the last few months anyway so even if there were results you could not have heard them on any album.

I don't rate myself in the singers category, I would never even dare to compare myself to my favourite singers, such as RJ Dio or Eric Adams. They are monsters of the art of metal singing, I rate myself much higher in the songwriting department. As for who I enjoy, as well as the ones I just mentioned, I love Mark Shelton's voice and JD Kimball of Omen. As for inspirations.. it's difficult to say. The reality is that my voice is so far apart from any singer that it doesn't make sense for me to try and get inspired or imitate them. RJ Dio maybe? Especially for his versatility of going from a delicate whisper to full blown metal thundering vocals. One thing that inspired me to build my singing style was the old Italian folk music singing style, especially the Neapolitan song (Canzone Napoletana) as I grew up in Northern Italy but my father is from Naples and was very much into this music. My mother is from the North but the North of Italy does not have as strong a tradition of folk music.

Describe your philosophy behind signing.

It's more a methodology... if I sing of battles I picture myself in the middle of one, and I sing. It's hardly going to come out wrong! You could say it's a visualization philosophy of singing.


You are currently located in Ireland and Italy. How much time is spent in each country? How are the scenes in each location and what are the differences between each?

The location split between Ireland and Italy is more to do with the fact that I am based in Ireland and the rest of the band is based in Italy. I have been living in Ireland for the last 7 years.
I visit Italy once or twice a year and we take the opportunity for a rehearsal all together. The scenes are very different, apple and oranges in fact. Italians are a lot more extroverted so they appear more passionate than the Irish but underneath it all they all live metal with the same level of dedication. Italy is also a much bigger country so there is a proper scene for each type of metal, Ireland's heavy metal scene is really awakening now with terrific bands like Darkest Era and Steel Tormentor, traditionally the country has always been a lot more geared towards extreme metal, death metal especially. Well this is my impression anyway. It's good to see new heavy metal realities coming out anyway.

Are there any current touring plans? Any plans of coming to the states in the future? Any festivals you are booked for or wish to be a part of?

We're currently booked for the Hammer of Doom in Germany, in October 2011. It's the only show we have planned for the moment. I would really like to come to the states, but we haven't had the opportunity yet, I hope something will come up that will allow us to do so. As for the festivals we wish to a part of I can tell you that Keep It True, Up The Hammers, Bang Your Head were the top of my list and we did those. Hammer of Doom is a really nice icing on the festival cake. I am not familiar with the US metal festival scene so I couldn't name you a festival I'd like to play at, but I'm pretty sure we have plenty of metallers eager to see us playing there!

Could you describe your favorite part of the metal scene?

Going to festivals (as an attendant, not as a musician), meeting all the friends I made during the last 15 years, which is like a big metal family. In particular I love going to Germany and Greece.

Is Doomsword the only current project or are there others you're currently working on?

I have 4 more projects I am working on. Firstly I just finished singing on the new Fury'n'Grace album (a progressive metal band which has been going since 1994, DoomSword's drummer and bass player play in Fury'n'Grace. Secondly, I am working on a solo project which is a more obscure and “evil” type of metal than DoomSword.
Thirdly, I am working on another side project very much in the vein of US metal of the 80s, and finally I am resuming the viking metal project Gjallarhorn (do you remember “Nordheim”?). There is already a Finnish folk band called Gjallarhorn who didn't take the fact that we use that name very well so we'll have to change the name of the project but it will be the same type of music.

Lyrically, there has been a constant theme of battle, within the confines of numerous mythologies (Viking, Celtic, etc.). Is there a particular set of stories you find you most relate to?

I like history and in particular the Middle Ages. That's what inspires me the most. I love fantasy literature and mythologies of all kinds although the European part of mythology interests me the most, not just Viking, Celtic, Greek/ Roman but also later legendary figures such as Fionn MacCool, currently I am reading a lot about history of the Longobards and the historicity/ historicisation of Arthur.

Anything else you wish to share with our readers?

Thanks to everybody that supported us and that will support us in the future. Thank you for the interesting interview and see you at Hammer of Doom VI!

DoomSword - The Eternal Battle

Label: Dragonheart Records
Distribution: Metal Blade




Deathmaster - Vocals
Sacred Heart - Guitar
Nidhoggr - Bass
WrathLord - Drums


2011: The Eternal Battle [Dragonheart]
2007: My Name Will Live On [Dragonheart]
2003: Let Battle Commence [Dragonheart]
002: Resound the Horn [Dragonheart]
1999: Doomsword [Underground Symphony]

Interviewed by The Rev