Italian gothic rockers Deeper Down bring us an intriguing, mysterious sound that combines doominess, wailing vocals and string instruments.
The quintet of vocalist Elisa Cesarino, guitarist Luca de Cesare, bassist Roberto Alfieri, violinist Alessandro, and drummer, guitarist and keyboard player Giuseppe Parisi hail from the town of Campobasso in southern Italy which, interestingly, shares the patron saint of St George with England.
The band started out a couple of years ago to realise Giuseppe’s long-harboured desire to make music. He combined the classical influences of Elisa, Alessandro and Luca with Roberto’s rock and heavy metal background. And the result is fascinating.
In Giuseppe’s words: “I try to simply play what I love and what transmits me more emotions, I do not pay much attention to labels and musical genres. I also love the combination of classical and electric instruments and it took me a long time to set up this project. In fact, in the composition of this work, this thing stands out and in the next, it will even more. Maybe I can describe this sound mainly as a mix of doom and gothic metal but I leave this task to others. I just try to say what I love in my own way.”
The band takes influence from the likes of My Dying Bride, Opeth, Anathema, Paradise Lost and Katatonia to form a sound full of doom and melancholy, of which our first taster is debut EP The Last Dream Arms, which was released in January.
It begins slow and melancholy, with a light guitar and vocal to opening track The Night Descends. A lingering violin creeps in and soon dominates, before being joined by drums and bigger guitars under Elisa’s drawn-out vocals. The sound gradually intensifies with big high-pitched guitars and huge drums under wailed vocals.
Next track The Time Road begins with jaunty violin, then eerie sounding two-part male vocals before Elisa’s big drawn-out, high-pitched vocals kick in. It’s melancholy and dark with a winding, prolonged guitar jumping in between the vocal sections, and more intense violin parts popping up. The track kicks into life half-way through, with pounding bass drum leading the way along with a driving guitar line, then it drops into the gothic wailing once more. Check it out in the video below:
Silence Kills is my favourite track on the record, opening slowly with a cautious violin intro and distant spoken words. But it kicks into life after a minute with a big distorted guitar riff supporting the continuing violin, then a big kick of bass drum beckons in dual vocals between Giuseppe and Elisa, which end on another cool section of guitar and violin. Then everything drops out except for guitars for a while, before a big return of the pounding bass drum brings the dual vocals back in once more.
The EP is quite unlike anything we’ve written about before, with the mixture of violin, dual vocals and intensely heavy bass drum creating a series of compelling contrasts of melancholic, atmospheric calm and doomy, gothy rockiness.
When it comes to what inspires them to write music, Giuseppe tells us it’s pretty far-ranging: “Everything and nothing, I do not have anything precise. It can be the image of the tree outside my window during a rainy day, reflections over a period of my life, sensations of a moment, an image created by a ray of sunlight that time is transformed, a sound a face, a tear a smile.”
Deeper Down are the latest in a long line of exciting new bands we’ve discovered from Italy, and Giuseppe had this to say about music in his homeland: “Ours is a new project so let’s say that has just started to be known, but thanks to webzines, social networks etc. today it is not so difficult to be known. It always depends on where you want to arrive, we have no pretensions and through our own efforts, even without advertising campaigns, promotion incentives, we are already seeing many positive opinions and this makes me very happy. For me, it’s just a passion, not a job, so if our music manages to reach even a small group of people who can appreciate it and see something good in it, my goal is already almost reached.”