HYPERSONIC bandpicItalian heavy metal/power metal unit HYPERSONIC is one of those bands with a real close bond. Since two years after the formation in 2006 there haven’t been any lineup changes. Except for the vocalist, that is. Their previous singer Alessia Rapisarda recorded two albums with HYPERSONIC, but in 2019 she handed over the microphone to Eleonora Russo. With her, a new album is on the verge to be released on April 12th, titled: “Kaosmogonia”. We had a nice conversation with Eleonora about the new album and the Italian way of life, or as they prefer to say…

Interview by: Henk van Nieuwenhoven

Welcome, Eleonora. There’s a gap of eight years between the last album “Existensia” (2016) and the upcoming album “Kaosmogonia”. During that period you joined the band in 2019 to replace Alessia Rapisarda. Can you tell us how that happened and why it still took five years to come up with a new album?
Hello Female Fronted Power readers, it’s a pleasure for me to have a chat in this interview. Honestly, I tell you that it all happened very suddenly. I was considering a job for another musical project outside Italy at that time, but Salvo Grasso (drums) contacted me in February 2019 asking me if I was interested in the HYPERSONIC project. I really trust sensations and I immediately loved their sound and lyrics. I had to make a choice… and ya, today I’m in the band. I think it was the best choice of my life.Kaosmogonia represents the hard work and collaboration of each member of the band and this obviously took time, but it was time well spent. We paid attention to the smallest details and ya, I’m sure this will be felt. The pandemic period brought pain and frustration and it also slowed us down, but it helped us to perfect the album and make it our ‘masterpiece’.

The line-up of HYPERSONIC has been very stable since both the Caruso’s, Francesco on bass and Dario on keyboards, joined them in 2007 and 2008 respectively. But the vocalists, that’s another story. Besides Alessia, who was in the band for thirteen years, they had two more female singers in the early years from 2006-2007. Did you know this?HYPERSONIC band2With my personal respect, I can say that the band started in 2006 with Maria Rita Randazzo and Vera Romeo in 2007. They decided to dedicate themselves to other projects, giving way to Alessia, who joined the band in 2008 creating the first EP Inspiration Is Transpiration, the debut album Fallen Melodies (2011) and Existentia (2016). In my opinion, at the basis of a band there must always be a principle of humanity and understanding of every single element that is part of it. Each member left their mark on the band and led HYPERSONIC to grow into today’s HYPERSONIC. Life sometimes leads you to choose other priorities and needs and you simply take different paths.HYPERSONIC band3Let’s go through the press info for the new album “Kaosmogonia” and then especially the quotes regarding you. “The album is a testament to the band’s dedication to pushing creative boundaries and introducing new elements to their signature sound introducing their new singer Eleonora Russo whose exceptional songwriting qualities bring a fresh and dynamic dimension to the band’s music”. What songwriting qualities is it referring to?
The lyrics and melodies, of course! Having audiences and some connection makes it easier to create different nuances, because everyone has their own vision and their own way to writing and composing. As I said before, “Kaosmogonia” is the result of the collaboration of each member of the band, this allowed us to wander and highlight every musical influence.HYPERSONIC band4

““Kaosmogonia” incorporates a powerful symphonic orchestra and explores new influences, including elements of death metal, creating a rich and diverse sonic landscape”. You do the grunts too?
This question brought a smile to me. I love all growl vocals styles and I would love to learn more about this technique in the future. I always think: why not? Our grunts are sung live by our guitarist and lyricist, but on the album we have some guests doing growl duets, like Mark Jansen from Epica, Francesco Paoli from Fleshgod Apocalypse and Adam Cook from A Hill To Die Upon.

You already mentioned Mark Jansen and Francesco Paoli. But you also have Francesco Ferrini (Fleshgod Apocalypse), Emma Zoldan and Nils Courbaron (Sirenia), the male choir from Teatro Massimo Bellini and more doing guest appearances on the album. Except for the male choir, can you tell us who did what and on which tracks?
I can’t spoil anything for you before the album comes out, but I can’t wait, so I’ll say something. Emma Zoldan from Sirenia features on “Burning Inside”, written by me. It talks about the strength of women with some connection with women from the past that we took as models. But, I don’t want to go any further and spoil other album info. So, about the featuring of the other guests you will find out everything on April 12th.
HYPERSONIC band5The album cover art was done by Heilemania, who also worked for Epica. Please explain the meaning of the woman and the mask.
The amazing art design was created by Heilemania, the graphic designer who created artwork for bands like Epica, Kamelot, Rhapsody Of Fire, Lindemann and many more. We absolutely love it. Well, the artwork is the fusion between the words kaos and cosmos. It’s divided into two parts. The main figure, a woman, is our Kaosmogonia who guides the world and its fate. You can see the chaos on the right, through elements such as skull, bones, worms and blood. On the left side you can see the cosmos, the positive balance of events in life. You can recognize the shell element above, a clear reference to Fibonacci and his harmonic sequence, and the butterfly. At last, the head of the Greek philosopher Socrates, divided and included in the two parts in a different way. I love the artwork so much!Listening to the instrumental intro “Ápeiron”, it’s not very strange that this album is recommended to fans of Epica and similar bands (and maybe Therion too). Who’s the biggest Epica fan in the band?
Oh, thank you so much, this makes us very happy. We all love Epica and all symphonic and cinematic music, it would be impossible not to. Me in particular, because they are one of my favorite bands ever! I love Simone Simons‘ voice and I respect her a lot.

“Veil Of Insanity” has a nice Arabic touch. Did you create the intro and outro for this song yourself or was it lent from a movie or series?HYPERSONIC single2Well, in this song, written by guitarist Emanuele Gangemi, our composer and drummer Salvo Grasso took care of the arrangements and created the sound of the siren. Salvo has taken care of everything down to the smallest detail to ensure that every single sound reaches the listener and conveys the restlessness and lothe feeling of the song.

“Mother Earth” has two versions on “Kaosmogonia”. An album version and a slightly shorter orchestral version. Some bands release their album as an orchestral version afterwards. Are there plans to do so with “Kaosmogonia” as well?

Well, good question! It depends on a personal point of view. I think that the orchestra is often lost when listening to a song, because the instruments and voices don’t allow it to be fully listened to. While listening only to the orchestral arrangements you can fully listen to each nuance and all the articulation of strings, brass, winds and percussion. Anyway, the only orchestral track on the album is “Mother Earth” and we have no future plans for the moment in this way.HYPERSONIC single1“Mother Earth” is also one of the three singles off the album until now and has a beautiful official music video, including a small string section, to go along with it as well. What’s the story in the video?
Mother Earth” is the center of the whole album. The video talks about agony as the main theme, both cruelty and desperation that afflicts man due to the harm he causes to nature and man himself, to self-destruction. The main message is ‘hope’, after such cruel scenes as the hanging and the weapons. The rose, pure and white that comes from the arid dry ground, has the purpose of making people understand that nothing is lost, despite man’s mistakes there is still hope for a better life. There is too much evil in this world, but good will always find a way to reborn.

Halfway the album we also find My Sacrifice, one that characterizes today’s sound of HYPERSONIC most. But if you disagree, please tell us which song on the album does more justice to the band?
It’s not a simple question for me. Well, each song is different and I think I can’t choose one in particular to define HYPERSONIC’s sound. I agree with you, ”My Sacrifice” includes all our musical influences and the manifesto of the band’s sound in 2024. But if I have to tell you the title of a track, I’d say “Veil Of Insanity”.HYPERSONIC single3“Kaosmogonia” will be out on April 12th, not long from now. When you plan to release another single before that or on the release date, please let it be the ballad “Alone”, so people can experience your fantastic voice to the max. And the spoken Italian words in it are so incredibly sexy!
You made me blush! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I love “Alone” and I love ballads in general to be honest. In these kinds of songs you can fully appreciate the colour of a voice and its nuances, the feeling, the love you have inside, the intention to convey something to the listener. This song was written by our keyboard player Dario Caruso and it talks about the loneliness of the soul. Loneliness is in fact a condition now almost within man. The spoken words in it are taken from the “Divina Commedia” by Dante Alighieri, the Italian genius writer of the fourteenth century. Anyway, April 12th is almost here. We will release the third single “Veil Of Insanity” as focuse track of the upcoming album. And ya, I’m really happy that “Alone” is one of your favourite song. Thanks again!

The rest of the album is to be discovered by the buyers. But maybe you can shed a little light as to why there are so many amazing Italian female fronted metal bands with such incredibly talented singers? Is it the climate or la dolca vita, l’enogastronomia?
Really funny! Probably food and wine, we love to eat! Me especially! Maybe even the climate, although, to tell you the truth, I don’t like the heat and therefore I remain with the idea that the answer is food. You’re really cute!

Finally, here are some statements to choose from:
Symphonic metal or gothic metal?
Symphonic Metal.
Playing live or recording in the studio?
Playing live of course.
Festivals or venues?
Metal festivals.
Simone Simons or Floor Jansen? Floor Jansen
and Simone Simons are two idols to me, but I choose Floor because I feel she is closer to my way of being and singing.
Films or books?
Books of course. Reading unleashes creativity!

Greetings to all the readers of Female Fronted Power webzine.