In 2022, ex-Kalidia vocalist Nicoletta Rosellini started ALTERIUM with drummer Dario Gozzi. Of course, we wanted to know her side of the story about Kalidia’s demise. But as one would expect, the focus of this interview is on “Of War And Flames”, ALTERIUM’s debut album that will be out on March 8th via AFM Records.

Interview by: Henk van Nieuwenhoven

ALTERIUM Nicoletta

“ I prefer the past to remain in the past. ”


ALTERIUM logoKALIDIA disbanded following several turbulent years during which the members’ visions for the future and the management of the band had begun to diverge more and more. Actually, my intention wasn’t exactly to dissolve the band but to bring about a clear change in things. Following yet another argument, I realized that there was no hope of reviving a dead band. In hindsight, I should have given up much earlier.”ALTERIUM chapter1xIt didn’t take you and drummer Dario Gozzi very long to start ALTERIUM with Alessandro Mammola (guitar), Paolo Campitelli (guitar) and Luca Scalabrin (bass). They already stood on your doorstep with their instruments.
Paolo had already collaborated as a live guitarist with Kalidia and had also overseen the production of the reissue of the first album, released in 2021, so it was an easy choice. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist and besides that, we’ve known each other for 10 years. He’s my best friend! I had known Luca for several years as well and it was an easy choice. He is an excellent musician, composer and singer. Alessandro, on the other hand, was suggested to me by Paolo and I still thank the day he did it. He’s an excellent guitarist and person. Fortunately, they all agreed to join the project with me and Dario!”ALTERIUM albumYou could say that ALTERIUM is a continuation of Kalidia, as both operate in the same genre. But perhaps you have a different view on that.
“I see ALTERIUM as a new band. Naturally, some of the songs were ones I had written for the previous band, so in terms of sound we can certainly say there are similarities. However, for all the work done and for the future, the approach is definitely different in every aspect. I prefer the past to remain in the past.”

While scrolling through your Facebook page (and history) the first fun note is that ALTERIUM and Xeneris both used producer Lars Rettkowitz for your debut albums. An old shared acquaintance, let’s just say.
“This is because when we split, the production of the third album was practically completed and in the hands of Lars. Let’s say it would have been uneconomical for both parties to turn to someone else at that point. Also, I’ve always appreciated Lars and we’ve always worked very well together. I especially enjoy working on my vocal parts with him – it’s a process that has helped me grow a lot.”ALTERIUM chapter2ALTERIUM DragMeToHellALTERIUM’s very first single and video was a fact on September 1st, 2023. Reminiscing on “Drag Me To Hell”, please share your thoughts.
“It was like showing your child to the world for the first time! A great emotion that began to repay all the months of hard work done before. It’s worth mentioning that the reception from the listeners has been incredible, and this has given us even more motivation.”

“Drag Me To Hell” was inspired by the Warcraft Lore game. Any other games you play that might inspire you to write lyrics about?
“I play a lot of fantasy video games, aside from World of Warcraft, which will always be my favorite, I’m currently heavily invested in Diablo IV and Baldur’s Gate 3. Everything I play, read or watch somehow inspires me to write some lyrics or a melody, and that’s often how my songs come to life.”ALTERIUM NicolettaredYou had your live debut at the KillerZ Fest in Oberhausen, Germany on September 30th, 2023 with only one single out! So the setlist was made of some new, already finished ALTERIUM tracks completed with old songs from Kalidia.
“Even though we are a new band, fortunately many people have shown immediate interest in the project and believed in us enough to book dates even before we released anything. For the Killerz Fest I would like to thank our friend Carlos for giving us this opportunity. It was thrilling to return to the stage with new music. We presented four ALTERIUM tracks for the first time and our cover of Bismarck”. To avoid spoiling too much material, we also added some songs from the old repertoire, which we’ve gradually decreased and plan to eliminate entirely.”

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And then came the second single you just mentioned, a cover version of the Sabaton classic “Bismarck” and a favourite of yours. Is it the song itself or the story of the German battleship that’s behind it?
“The song is really well done, the first time I heard it and watched the video I was very fascinated. I’m not an expert at all, but history intrigues me, so to immerse myself better in the song, I also read some books and watched movies about the sinking of the Bismarck!”ALTERIUM SirensCallStill no sign of a debut album at this point, as “Bismarck” was followed by the third single, “Siren’s Call”, and even a fourth, the title track of the debut album, “Of War And Flames”. Both have beautiful videos with scenes shot in the wild and are very likely a credit to being on a label like AFM Records.
“Together with AFM Records we decided to release several singles before the actual album launch. This decision stems from the significant changes in the music market over the years. While album sales have declined, there’s been a rise in the number of people listening to music on streaming platforms. It’s not necessarily something I’m fond of, but it’s a fact. And it’s precisely these platforms that demand a large quantity of singles rather than full albums. As for the videos, we made sure from the start to maintain a professional and high-quality image, which certainly included producing top-notch videos, all overseen by director Matteo Ermeti.”

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Wait, here we go. The debut album is called “Of War And Flames” and will be out on AFM Records, release date March

ALTERIUM CrossroadsInn8th. But first there’s a fifth single, “Crossroads Inn”. The video evokes memories of medieval taverns with beer, bread and games. A place where we can find you in your spare time.
“The song is inspired by another video game, which shares the same name. We’ve also partnered with the game developer Klabater to release it as the official audio track of the game. It’s a medieval tavern management simulator with a gripping storyline. We’ve aimed to recreate that atmosphere in our song!”

The debut album. We want to know everything about it, but since the time between the publication of this interview and the release date of “Of War And Flames” is very short, we let you do a sales pitch. Please start with explaining the title and then why power metal fans should buy the album.
“The album is a great mix of catchy melodies, fast double bass pedals, beautiful choirs and majestic orchestrations. What more could you want from a power metal album? Jokes aside, we’re very satisfied with the work we’ve done and we’re also reading the first reviews. It seems that the album is quite appreciated by the critics as well. And if you’re a fan of vinyl, we’ll be releasing a limited edition gold-colored vinyl, limited to 500 copies!”ALTERIUM CrystallineBefore the debut album arrives, ALTERIUM released one more single. The beautiful power ballad “Crystalline” that shows your sensitive side, assuming that you wrote all the lyrics for “Of War And Flames”. The lyrics indicate it is either about someone you’ve lost recently or a broken love song.
“I’ve talked about it in several songs in the past, but perhaps the reference was less explicit. This song is dedicated to my father, whom I hope is proud of my journey and continues to live in a certain way through my voice.”

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You are such a busybody. Besides ALTERIUM you’re also in Walk In Darkness, who have announced a fresh new single and video soon, and The Erinyes with Mizuho Lin (Semblant) and Justine Daée (Elyose). So you have three agendas that you have to check every time. Not an easy task.
“Well, actually, both are just studio projects. And furthermore, I’m not involved in the songwriting or management of either of them, so my contribution is very limited, compared to my band. And that’s why I’m still working with both, even though ALTERIUM is 100% my priority. In fact, perhaps some listeners who appreciate my voice in those projects might also end up listening to my band.”ALTERIUM mainpicSee you at the Brainstorm Festival in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands in November, Nicoletta!!
“We can’t wait to return to Brainstorm! And we truly hope you enjoy our album. It contains all of our passion and hard work. Keep on rocking!” 

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