Interview by Si Smith
Alchemy Room are a Italian progressive rock band born on 2007 and have already on their discography 2 EP that, now thanks to Nomadism, are out. The first one is a re-release of the first EP called “Origin of Fears” released in 2009 and the brand new EP “A Matter of Time”. While waiting for a uncoming full lenght, we have spoken with Irene, the singer for unveil us more about the history’s band.
First of all thank you for talking to us, and a warm welcome from all at Femme Metal Webzine. Fabio La Manna started the project in January 2007, how did you get involved in the beginning, and what were you expecting or hoping at the time?
I met Fabio at the beginning of 2009; I was in a Europe cover band and was looking for something more interesting and challenging to put my voice to the test. So I answered Fabio‘s announcement and met him, Andy and Tommy to listen to “Origin of Fears” songs that were already written and ready to be registered. I loved the vocal lines as soon as I heard them and decided to join Alchemy Room. My expectation was to make music with someone who could appreciate my vocal skills and at the same time make me grow as a singer and I’m happy with my choice because I also found good friends.
The ideas and visions for the band seem to have originally come from Fabio‘s head. What is it like inside his head? Have you guys managed to work him out yet?
He is impossible to understand what’s going on in Fabio ’cause he’s totally crazy. Anyway we are focusing on what we.re doing together as a band and we’re following the same path knowing where we want to go.
The name “Alchemy Room” suggets a place where different elements are brought together to create something new and unique. How well does this describe the band itself?
From our biography I could say: Alchemy Room Is a place where everything can happen,when different elements united.sometimes we feel this happens in our hearts, in our minds. Art is usually created by a single, in a chamber or in his personal studio. Everybody’s got his personal place that is very important, more important than any other place of the world, ’cause a strange alchemy exists there In alchemy every part has its proper place, what would you say are the essential parts that go into creating an Alchemy Room song? The original album “Origin of Fears” (2009) seems to have had an impact on some reviewers who were expecting Alchemy Room to be the average female-fronted symphonic prog-metal band. It is clear that the band is more than that. Has the new material advanced the band in any way? Is there anything new in there for us to discover?
“Origin of Fears” is a wonderful work entirely conceived and written by Fabio, so it belongs more to his way of composing instrumental structures and of writing lyrics even though the rest of the band put something personal in the execution. The new material is the attempt for us to write something as Alchemy Room, an experimentation in a way trying to find Alchemy Room‘s sound.
On the first album there was quite a focus on Fabio‘s guitar solos. Did you ever feel you wanted more singing and less guitar soloing?
I would lie if I said that I’m happy to sing for the first 3 or 4 minutes of a song that lasts 15 minutes! “Origin of Fears” songs are the result of the development of Fabio‘s creative path and I think it.s more natural for a guitarist to explain himself in songs through instrumental parts than by singing. And it sounds much more natural also when you don’t know if you will
find someone able to sing those songs.
Dream Theater and Pink Floyd are both names that seem to crop up in comparison to Alchemy Room. Do you think these are fair comparisons? Are there any bands YOU like to listen to?
I’m really pleased to hear that someone compared us to Dream Theater and Pink
Floyd. Surely these bands inspired us and are points of reference as for the goals we want to reach. I started thinking that I could sing when I was 6, listening to music with my brothers; I became more convinced when I discovered Queen at the age of 12. Freddie Mercury was for several years a sort of vocal coach. So Queen is the band I love the most and that I listen to often. I also like listening to Joan Baez, Carole King, Johny Mitchell and all the classic bands of the 60-70s, but also Tool, Nightwish, Iron Maiden (Bruce Dickinson is something powerful). For me “Waking the Child” was one of the highlights from the first CD. Is there a particular concept in mind when you sing this song?
Both “Waking the Child I & II” are among my favourites “Origin of Fears” songs. I feel a real pleasure in singing them. “Waking the Child I” grows from a grey, sad and delicate atmosphere into a powerful one. When I sing “Waking the Child II” I feel a real sense of tenderness and peace. And so onto “A Matter of Time”, which has no extended songs over 13 minutes, but shorter songs apparently making just as much impact. Have you any favourite among the new material?
I’m affectionate to all the songs of “A Matter of Time”, but my favourite is “Into the Deep” because is my first attempt to write a song.
“Into the Deep” seems to be much more like a classic song structure than some of your progressive epics. Was this a deliberate attempt to write a more “straightforward” song? Or to include less of the musical meanderings?
The explanation is much more simple. Into the deep reflects my way of writing and my way of being; I like to be linear, both as for the structure as well as for the content of a song. Also in life I go straight to the point.
“Indigo” starts with a slow minimal backing over which you begin to sing. How does a song like this end up in its final form? Do the words come first or the music?
Fabio wrote first the lyrics, then he brought them in studio with a draft of the instrumental line that was developed with Andy and me. We wanted to express a dreamlike atmosphere as the lyrics inspire. Andy came in studio one day with the initial baking and Fabio and I liked it. The rest of the song came alone. The longest of the new songs is “A Matter of Time”, which has quite philosophical lyrics. Are these philosophical thinkings Fabio‘s territory alone, or do you all share in the motivation behind the lyrics?
“A Matter of Time” deals with the consciousness of the existence of other life forms (maybe alien populations) besides humanity. I do not completely share this position, but I believe that there can be a contact with other entities (maybe the departed) who send signals to us in the everyday life. There must be something more than humanity and its madness!
Finally, it is very clear that you fit well into the band – but what would you be doing if you were not in this band? Any other dreams you have?
I would be surely singing in another band because it’s part of me. Thanks so much for talking to us, we wish the album success in the future. Thank u for all! Hope u enjoy our album and keep in touch with us!
Label : Nomadism Records
Review by Tony Cannella
As far as Progressive Rock and Metal is concerned, you take the good with the bad. Some people love the intricate arrangements and endless songs, while others may find it somewhat of a bore. That brings me to Italy’s Alchemy Room. I doubt this album – which features their 2009 debut, “Origin of Fears” and their brand spankin’ new 3-song EP “A Matter of Time” – will do anything to change perceptions about Progressive Metal, fans of the genre should love this, non fans, not so much. The first 6-songs are taken from the bands 2009 debut “Origin of Fears”, beginning with the intricate “Inside My Fear”. Musically, Alchemy Room adds plenty of heaviness and classic metal style riffs to go along with the meticulously crafted songs. The second track is the monstrous epic “La Fin Absolue Du Monde”. This song clocks in at whopping 15-minutes and really shows off the overall talent of these fine musicians, including vocalist Irene Mondino. The riffs come crashing in rapid fire succession. “Obsession Red Blood” and “Lost” are two more fine tracks, which lead us into the albums coup de grace with the two part “Waking the Child”. The first part is 13-minutes long, while part 2 clocks in at close to 10-minutes. After that we have the 3-song EP “A Matter of Time”. The songs on “A Matter of Time” are shorter and I think this is a more focused effort than “Origin of Fears”. “Into the Deep” begins with a softer approach before the song slowly builds steam and eventually becomes a powerhouse of a track. The ethereal “Indigo” begins with a dreamy vibe to it and Irene Mondino turns in her best vocal performance. This track is a bit different from the other material presented here and really stood out for me, and also shows that the band is not afraid to spread their creative wings. The 7-minute title song continues with the softer direction, before the heavy riffs once again join the fray. This song also features a number of cool tempo changes. Musically, I would compare Alchemy Room to some of the heavier progressive metal bands like early Fates Warning (John Arch era) and early Queensryche. Alchemy Room is hampered by subpar production at times (mostly on “Origin of Fears”, the production on “A Matter of Time” is much better), hopefully this is something that will be rectified on future releases. Judging by how the band has grown from “Origin of Fears” to “A Matter of Time”, it really has me looking forward to their next full-length. I would highly recommend Alchemy Room to anyone who loves all things prog, epic and grandiose.
Rating – 71/100 - “Origin of Fears”
Rating – 85/100 - “A Matter of Time”
“Origin of Fears” (2009)
- Inside My Fear
- La Fin Absolue Du Monde
- Obsession Red Blood
- Waking the Child – Part I
- Waking the Child – Part II
“A Matter of Time” (2009)
- Into the Deep
- A Matter of Time
- Irene Mondino – Vocals
- Fabio La Manna – Guitars, Keyboards
- Mauro Mana – Bass
- Andy O. Monge – Drums
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Illnath – “Third Act in the Theatre of Madness” (2011)
- Hysterica – “The Art of Metal” (2012)
- Hand of God – “The Hand of God” (2013)
- Flames of Fury – “FoF” EP (2013)
- Effloresce – “Coma Ghosts” (2012)
- Marie Fredriksson – “Nu!” (2013)
- Anneke Van Giersbergen
- Leaves Eyes’ – “Symphonies of the Night” (2013)
- Phildel – “The Glass Ghost” EP (2013)
- Lita Ford
- Sarah Teets – MindMaze
- Susanna Vesilahti – Unshine
- Trobar de Morte – “The Silver Wheel” (2012)
- Viper Venom – “In Venom Veritas” (2012)
- Via Obscura – “Gedanken” (2012)
- The Mariana Hollow – “Velvet Black Sky” (2012)
- Storyum – “Insomnia” (2012)
- Snei Ap – “Hidden Floors” EP (2013)
- Sin7sinS – “Carnival of No Tomorrow” (2012)
- MaterDea – “Satyricon” (2011)
- Rampart – “War Behast” (2012)
- Lita Ford – “The Bitch is Back… Live” LIVE ALBUM (2013)
- Epysode – “Fantasmagoria” (2013)
- Beyond God – “Dark Light of Dawn” EP (2013)
- Ayreon – “The Theory of Everything” (2013)
- Seremonia – “Ihiminen” (2013)
- Tuomas Tuovinen & Eveelina Kojo – myGrain
- TEODASIA announces European Tour with TARJA TURUNEN
- I Left the Planet – “I Left the Planet” EP (2011)
- Grimes – “Visions” (2012)