Italian symphonic power metal sextet ETERNAL SILENCE is one of those bands that you don’t hear much about. But yet they have been around for 15 years with four full-length albums and three EPs on their palmaris. And they are one of the few bands who have a violinist in their lineup, her name: Katija Di Giulio. ETERNAL SILENCE‘s fourth EP, simply titled “3“, will be out via Rockshots Records on December 22nd. We asked singer Marika Vanni to explain the five tracks on “3“ in a track-by-track commentary.
INTRO BY: HENK VAN NIEUWENHOVEN
Track-By-Track with Marika Vanni
THREAD OF LIFE:
This track is the first, the one that marks the starting point of the whole EP, from which we draw the number “3” that gives the title to this new story of ours. The compositional part is [guitarist] Alberto‘s work, both in terms of writing the orchestral parts and those of the main instruments, including the vocal lines. As is often the case with our songs, the lyrics were written by four hands, and the beauty of writing with Alberto is that we are able to intertwine our ideas, bridging the gaps that sometimes arise and overcoming the snags or ‘writer’s blocks’ that creep between pen and paper. “Thread Of Life” creates the right atmosphere to begin this journey, an intro of strings accompanies the dawning of the lyrics about how at first all is dark among the branches of the great tree of life and slowly the lights begin to filter through, awakening the surrounding nature, while a seemingly human figure, an elderly woman, stretches her wrinkled hands upward, gently grasping silvery fibres that twirl in the air like feathers. The woman is Urd, the first of the three Norns, the one who initiates the life of men and gods, gently winding the thin fibres until they form a delicate thread, then passing it on to the hands of the second ‘sister’, who weaves and knots it, thus creating the tapestry of destiny, that is to say the whole design of life itself, until the end, the breaking point, which occurs in the hands of the third, with a more or less clean cut of the thread itself, thus bringing everything back to the darkness of death. In this passage, then, a picture is given of how life begins, takes shape and ends at the foot of the great ‘Tree Of Life’, in a circle in perfect harmony with nature.
PRAYER OF THE RESILIENT:
As with the previous song, we owe the composition of this one to Alberto, but the ideas of Marika and [guitarist] Martino can be heard in the vocal lines, who, almost by instinct, have intertwined the voices of the chorus, allowing the two protagonists to dance together with great grace. Let us now discuss these two characters: a man, who represents human existence, and a woman, the second Norn, Verdandi. The man, tested by the trials of life, wonders why it is so hard and full of suffering for him, so much so that he addresses to the Norn, who weaves his thread, a sincere prayer that shows how much a man, although overwhelmed by events and difficulties, can find the strength not to give in to despair, but to react by asking only for a little help; in fact, he does not ask that the knots (all the obstacles in life) on his thread be untied, but that they be tightened so that he can use them as a point of support, so that he can cling to them with all his strength and succeed in overcoming them. The Norn, who makes the thread smooth and gnarled according to the runes that appear on her nails, feels the man’s pain and the prayer so intense and sincere that he addresses it to her, and unfortunately, even if she wants to, she can do nothing but listen and accept it, with the sadness that she cannot change this condition dictated by fate, fate that moves its fingers along the thread of life.
Third and last unreleased track on this EP. This time we find Martino‘s stamp on the composition of the song, with a more powerful sound, Alberto‘s hand remains present for the vocal lines and orchestrations, and the lyrics are by the two singers [Marika and Alberto]. This time the narrative voice is that of the third and final Norn, Skuld, the youngest, but also the one with the heaviest burden: to end the existence of men and gods. She is torn between wanting to change the destiny of the souls entrusted to her and fulfilling her own task of ending their existence, a difficult situation that tears her apart, where the sweetness of childhood struggles with the heavy responsibility of her role. Hers is a very important and difficult mission to fulfill, especially given her young age, but it is not possible to escape the destiny written for us.
DEATH AND THE MAIDEN:
ETERNAL SILENCE‘s 2013 track about an encounter between an innocent maiden and Death, a kind of seductive first date in which Death himself caresses the young girl’s skin, inviting her to dance for eternity. We chose this song to celebrate 10 years since the release of “Raw Poetry”, the album from which it is taken, our first work, and 15 years since the formation of the band.
HOW SOON IS NOW:
Well, this time we are talking about a cover, sometimes we like to choose a song that is somehow far away from our genre and play it in our own way, putting all our personality and ideas into it. We wondered for a long time what song to put on this EP, until one day Alberto looked at me and said: “What if we did How Soon is Now?” I immediately liked the suggestion, both because of the meaning of the song, which talks about how the protagonist’s shyness leads him to live a difficult life, almost half-heartedly, and because, among the many versions proposed, this was the soundtrack to a TV show that defined our youth: Witches (original title Charmed). This TV series tells the story of three sisters, the three witches and the people in their lives, mixing fantasy and history, bringing back the magical power of the number “3“ and the circle, which fits perfectly with the meaning of our EP. What made our version special, complete and, in my opinion, very interesting, was the choice to call on two singers who are very dear to me, with great abilities and great personalities: Ilaria Lucille De Santis (Aevum) and Erika Ferraris Aeon Flux (Holy Shire), who lent their voices and their artistry to create this all-female trio. I love the result, how our three voices, so different in register and colour, intertwine and complement each other until they create something solid and palpable.
I hope I’ve satisfied your curiosity and shown you the substance of ETERNAL SILENCE as best I could, just as I hope you enjoy this new work at least as much as I do!