FUOCO FATUO “Trip Through The Tombstones” 

By Lord Randall

In which Italian funeral doom/death troupe, FUOCO FATUO celebrates its 10-year anniversary with its third full-length, the sprawling “Obsidian Katabasis”, available this April via Profound Lord Records. Lord Randall received the simultaneous blessing/curse of unwinding this shroud with guitarist, Giovanni Piazza..

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Firstly, congratulations on the 3rd album. It shows the band has definitely grown in the past 3+ years. Back when you first started releasing music in 2012, did you foresee being on your third album in just under 10 years? 

GIOVANNI PIAZZA: We founded the band in 2011 and the third album is released exactly ten years later. We’ve always been involved in music and bands. It’s something we’ve constantly been dedicated to, and FF is the main project we have. The music we make allows us to express our creativity without boundaries and these reasons are part of our growth.

WC: I’ve often said that you never really know what a band is capable of until its third. You have you whole lives to write the debut, but the second tends to either be rushed, or you’re using ideas from the same influences as the first. By the time you get to album #3, you’ve played out frequently (if possible), and kept most if not all the same members. You know what you are and are not as a band. Agree? 

GP: Yeah, absolutely. On your third album you have something substantial to look back at, and you know the path the band is going on. The live experience helped us growing too, both on stage and rehearsals. This is the first album that we write with four members, we’ve toured and played at some festivals, and our idea of the band has become more solid. This explains why the sound has evolved on a denser direction.

WC: How have your influences changed over time? I think we all start off as a mixture, but on this album you’ve come into it it seems more confidently as yourselves, if that makes sense. 

GP: The sound has its own character and doesn’t fear to express itself in a confident way. This makes it difficult to associate it with more orthodox bands, but here is where we share our own nature and things become wild. 

WC: You’ve used multiple guitar tracks often, but it seems you turned up the level this time to make the sound almost overbearing (a good thing, when it comes to funeral styled doom). I don’t want to listen to a funeral doom album and feel any sort of energy after it. One should feel drained, emptied, as if almost an exorcism. 

GP: It’s like an addiction for us to make the sound more overbearing while going forward with the releases. If there is still range to make it louder, heavier, more cathartic, while keeping the riffs, the atmosphere and the feels, that's where we are headed. Those who listen to our music need to feel like being absorbed in an arduous journey (Katabasis) and then he needs to recover after that.

WC: As I listen to this, I feel you should know my cat does not enjoy the first instrumental, ‘I’. No idea why as the rest of the album she is fine with. But to the numbered tracks, this is something you hadn’t done before, breaking up the longer songs with instrumentals. In a good many styles, I feel that most people view instrumental tracks as “space fillers”, but not in this type of doom. They are equally important, sure. But was this the way the album was planned from the start, to be broken up this way, separated? People who thrive on this style are used to putting in effort to experience the music, immersing themselves. 

GP: Your cat is an awesome listener. Mine can’t even tolerate when I listen to a certain kind of music, and when I play the guitar she runs away immediately. But we should ask her what’s wrong with that particular track. 

WC: I have noticed the album title is the First word of the first and last word of the last. Is there a theme at work…not a “concept” record, but an over-arching element you wish to conjure? 

GP: The composition can be seen as a ‘narrative’, where the progressions have a specific purpose for conducting the listener ahead. The tracks are in sequence as the chapters of a book and we see this as a continuum. They exist to create a bigger project, the whole album, where they’re connected and not independent. The choice of those two specific words symbolizes this unity and suggests a dark immersive trip.

WC: I appreciate the layers to the sound, especially in ‘Threshholds…’ around the 6-9 minute mark. How were those layers added in the studio, and was it difficult to grasp that feeling of physicality that this sort of music needs, despite maybe not being in the same place when recording? 

GP: In the part you mentioned there are double guitar arrangements, double vocals and some analogue sounds over the rhythm section, for a thick and orchestrated effect. For guitars we chose to track the clean sounds and then reamped them to have more control on the tone. Since there were too many tracks to be recorded it wasn’t possible to execute them in the studio directly. We are satisfied with the result we ended up with, and we had the time to check all things properly.

WC: Plans for the coming year?

GP: Now that we’ve just released the new album our plan is to promote it, but I don't think a tour can happen this year. We adapt to the current global situation, and look forward to better times. Meanwhile we let our minds navigate to new abominable tunes.