Elysium is a symphonic folk gothic band with female vocals, male violinist, keyboard, guitar, bass, and drums, drawing inspiration from early Within Temptation and Nightwish, as well as from the most popular European rock acts like Anathema. Between catchy and symphonic refrains, melodic guitar riffs and vocal counterpoints on a solid Rock basis, the band makes frequent incursions in Classic Rock (Queen, Muse), Folk and Prog (Eluveite & Pineapple Thief ), occasionally adding opera and R’n’B background vocals. The use of Keyboards and orchestration sequences enriches the songs and adds a symphonic edge to them, duetting with violin and guitar. The songwriting duties rely on singer Daphne Nisi (Baraonna), and Bass player Marco Monetini (Gerico, Nidi di Ragno, Fuorilinea), flanked by Violin player Christian Arlechino (La Tresca). The rest of the band is formed by guitar player Simone Moratto and drummer Flavio Lovisa. Special guest on keyboards and orchestrations on the new album “Labyrinth of Fallen Angels” is composer and arranger Marco Sinopoli.
Elysium was originally formed in Orvieto, Italy, in early 2013 by bassist Marco Monetini, violinist Christian Arlechino, with the involvement of drummer Flavio Lovisa. The core of the group was born out of common artistic interests that the three held together with regards to songwriting style, work-ethic philosophy, and mutual musical desires. Between 2014 and 2015, the band wrote and recorded their debut Ep album, “Symphony of a forest”. In 2016 new members joined the band: singer Daphne Nisi and guitarist Simone Moratto, who definitely have changed the compositions, giving a more powerful and Rock sound to band along the infusion of soulful vocals.
How would you describe the new album musically/lyrically and Musically?
“Labyrinth of Fallen Angels” is a fusion of more styles: a strong base of symphonic rock where elements and influences of folk, prog, and gothic are added, enriched by the use of the opera and R’n’B style background vocals arranged by the singer and the romantic melodies of keyboards which aretypical of the prog music of the seventies.
The human being is such a complex universe, every one is so different by language, mentality, character, and culture. But then in the end what is it that makes us so unite if not feelings and relationships? “Labyrinth of fallen angels” is a journey in the deepest part of our mind and soul inspired by Ulisse’s Odyssey. Like Ulisses in his journey experiences every kind of adventure, dangerous and amazing ones, falls in love, faces death of beloved ones, has to win challenging temptations and finally comes back home and reunites with his family, we are going through our lives, our complex inner universe and relationships, our reached goals and our mistakes and we all can learn from each experience, to finally go back to ourselves and, enriched, be who we really are.
What was the goal with making this album?
The main goal with making this album was to blend together more musical genres, giving life to a crossover style that is not well identifiable, even though it has a strong rock component combined with a strong pop melody, so that it could be heard by a large audience, even by those who do not usually listen to rock music.
Any specific influences towards music or lyric subject?
The musical idea behind this project is to have a symphonic rock where various influences and musical insertions can coexist in a true and new kind of crossover genre. And that’s why we can hear the 70’s symphonic rock of the Queen, the Caravan, the Camel along with the Vivaldi’s classical influences, a real reference point for the melodies of the violin, tied together with a folk vein typical of Jethro Tull or Eluveite . Also you can hear influences of bands such as Anathema or Whitin Temptation especially in the vocal and keyboard parts.
The lyrics are mostly written by the singer and are inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, with particular attention to the figure of Ulysses, who is also found in Dante’s hell: from this reading she started to picture an Ulysses of our times who is facing the various aspects of the odyssey of modern life. Many of the topics dealt with in this incredible story seemed to be in fact extremely actual, proving how this opus, although it is so ancient, remains among the most interesting ever. “Evanescent”. For example, what the mythological figure of the mermaid represents in the Odyssey, that is the risk of being fooled by appearances and be swallowed forever by the sea, transposed to nowadays seems to be a perfect metaphor of what is happening with the virtual world and the social media, kingdom of appearances that often engulfs all of us at the cost of our own time spent in real life that is becoming every day less than before. “Siren”.
Or the question about cunning, the major trait of Ulysses, which can lead to power, but which can also cause a war if used without the exercise of morals – the reason why Dante decides to place Ulysses in hell – made me think of globalization that is entering the world like a great Trojan horse, conforming to a standard model those that are the characteristics that form the individual identities of populations, the general inattention of the great powers towards the problem of pollution and how they use cunning more for their own economic interests than for the well-being of society, and that therefore, if a powerful collective awakening of the human being does not take place, this Trojan horse will end up unleashing again some great war. “Before the end.
“Before the end.
Maybe we are all a bit Ulysses and we find ourselves day after day living our battles, trying to overcome our hurdles, our “sirens”, illusions, fears and sometimes defeats, each facing his own personal journey in this life. Until one day, looking back, we realize the road we’ve traveled and we finally get to say “Here I am”, and we realize that everything we’ve done has led us to be who we are, for better or for worse, just like Ulysses, we come back home.
How have band member changes affected the bands sound and dynamics i.e. what have the new members brought to the band?
The guitarist Simone Moratto has brought a more rock and metal vein to the overall sound of the band. He also started to insert some solid riffs typical of rock and metal that the band did not have before.
The composer and arranger Marco Sinopoli, along playing all the keyboards for the album, added several orchestrations typical of the symphonic genre played by strings, violins, oboes and wind instruments that gave a boost of power to all the songs and helped to create a more homogeneous sound within the whole record.
The singer and songwriter Daphne Nisi, due to her long experience in singing different styles and genres (from rock to soul,from classical music to jazz), surely influenced the composing of the band, injecting this diversified musical background in the composition of the melodies and in the background vocal-arrangements. Her soulful lead vocals, a kind of singing that is not very usual for symphonic rock bands, gave an even more original sound to the album.
Please provide the history of the album i.e. when writing began, recording etc.
2017- 2018. song writing and demo test.
2018. from May to September recording of all the instruments of all the songs.
2018. September to November additional keyboards, background vocals, arrangements and orchestrations.
2019. from December 2018 to February 2019 mix and mastering of the album.
Evanescent Before the End
Fight for all Your Love
Close to You Siren
Higher State Nobody Knows
Here I Am
Vocal arrangements: D. Nisi
Recorded at: K-lab\ K20 Studio (Viterbo) \ Bonsai Studio (Terni) \ Woodstock Recording Studio (Livorno) Mix & Master: Roberto Mascia, Officina Musicale (Roma)
Sound Engeenering: R. Mascia\ R. Stopponi\ A. Ramacciotti
Photos: Fabrizio Sansoni\ Marco Pilia
Graphics: Lorenzo Ceccarelli\ Giorgio Carotenuto
Music: D.Nisi\ M.Monetini \ C.Arlechino\ F.Lovisa\ S.Moratto *except “Siren”, “Evanescent”, “Turn around” and “Black hole” written by Elysium and F. Proietti
Words: D.Nisi *exept “Close to you”, written by D.Nisi and M.Monetini
Composing, arranging and digital programming of orchestral parts: M.Sinopoli\ M.Monetini
Musical arrangements: Elysium
Daphne Nisi – Vox, background vocals
Marco Monetini – Bass
Christian Arlechino – Violin
Flavio Lovisa – Drums
Simone Moratto- Guitar
Marco Sinopoli – Keys & Orchestra
Special Guests: Roberto Mascia of “Mamma” – scream vocals on “Siren” and Vahimiti – background vocals on “Fight for alla your love” and “Turn around”