Rock Hard Italy did an interview with Perennial Isolation.
Perennial Isolation “Portraits” Interview:
My name’s Albert. Bass/vocals of Perennial Isolation
1) Now you are under a new label, Non Serviam Records. What about working with them? Was it your first choice?
It was the best option without a doubt. Once we finished mastering the album, we saw it very clear that we wanted to be on another label. We had been under a Spanish label since 2014 and it was time to look ahead. So we did an extensive selection to send out the promotional material and we were surprised by the rapid interest from Non Serviam Records. We are really delighted to be working with such a prestigious Black / Death Metal label that includes great bands we admire like Zornheym, Devilish Impressions, Pantheon I, among many others. Working with them is amazing, they care about the band and you're not just another number on their list. They are doing a spectacular job with the new album and they pamper it as much as we do. We are very grateful!
2) Has “Portraits” been easier or harder to record when compared to your previous album?
Really much more complicated due to the extensive amount of guitar tracks, bass and ambiences that there are. We have followed the same line as the previous time of distributing the recordings in 2 studios, but even so, this time we have been much more meticulous and detailed, and that translates into many more hours of work and dedication. Our guitarists are pure lovers of harmony, and recording so many tracks harmonising with each other has not been easy!
3) What are the main differences between “Portraits” and “Epiphanies Of The Orphaned Light”?
Mainly the sound. We have opted to recreate a more complex surround sound than the previous time. But not only that, we have improved in terms of composition: the songs are more complete with many details and leaving aside the concept of a simple riff. We have also opted to use our own live material, so that the shows sound identical to the album; aspect that, regarding the previous album, was not like that. But moving away from the technical side, I must say that the songs are much more elaborate, with much deeper lyrics, with different voice textures and with the incorporation of guests. So it's quite a significant change from "Epiphanies of the Orphaned Light."
4) Does “Portraits” open a new chapter for the band or it is a simple follow-up to the previous one?
I think both. On the one hand, it is a totally fresh and new album compared to the previous one. So yes, we consider that it opens a new chapter in the history of the band in terms of composition and sound. All this has arisen unconsciously, it has come out without realizing it. It has not been provoked or sought. But “Epiphanies…” meant an important change in our history, especially due to the change in line-up and we wanted to preserve part of its splendour.
5) Which songs represent the new album at its best and why?
I suppose my mates will have their own choice but for me it would be: "Autumn Legacy Underlying The Cold’s Caress", "The Breathless Season Bane", "Unceasing Sorrows From The Vastness' Scion" or "The Silent Solace". Well generally the whole album (laughs). It is very difficult to decide because each song sounds fresh and different with respect to songs from previous albums, they also talk about different topics but they all fit with the whole philosophy of the album.
6) What is the most experimental song of the album and why?
"Unceasing Sorrows From The Vastness' Scion" Yes, hands down. We've added elements from many musical genres, and the rhythmic patterns are far from conventional for Black Metal. I remember that, personally at least, I spent a lot of time on my vocal and bass lines, because it required something more than what we were used to doing.
7) Is there a song from “Portraits” that could fit on “Epiphanies Of The Orphaned Light”?
Yes. "Emanations from the Swallowed Twilight" or "To the Withering Womb", for example. The first one I mention to you was one of the first to be written and came from the trail left by the previous album. And the second would fit very well in the middle of the album. "Epiphanies..." was an album that had an important meaning in the band's career, and I think it has been the most critically acclaimed album in our discography. Followers will find many details in the new album that will remind them of the path set by the previous one.
8) What are the lyrics about?
They talk about the border stage that joins Autumn and Winter. They speak of that space of seasonal change, of the elements that make it up, of the fragrance, of how our environment changes and how we are involved in this transformation. But in addition, we have continued to preserve other subjects that we had previously discussed such as loneliness, grief, frustration, bitterness or desolation. All this under the autumn cloak.
9) Lyric-wise, what are your main sources on inspiration? Books, films or what?
My inspiration points are nature. I need to walk through her and nourish myself with her essence. That inspires me more than any movie. I am a person who loves the mountain and by stepping on it I already get thousands of ideas. However, certain lyrics from some bands inspire me as well. I usually read a lot of lyrics from bands that I admire and I usually write down key words. From those words I compose my own lyrics and my own story navigates my mind. I really enjoy working on the lyrics for Perennial Isolation.
10) What is the meaning of the cover?
It is a question that has several answers. First of all, the cover is a canvas and this is important to emphasize. We wanted it to be like this. It is a canvas made by the Canadian artist Mark Thompson. It symbolizes a house in nothingness, the pure meaning of what Perennial Isolation is: you, loneliness, nature and nothingness. It is a cover that refers to the issues we deal with as a band. The fact that it is a canvas plays a nexus with the title: ‘Portraits’. This refers to the fact that we have wanted to pay homage to all those landscapes that our retinas have recorded throughout all these years of tours, having visited a number of incredible natural landscapes: Mountains of the north of the peninsula (Iberian), Italian and French Alps, the central European plains,… each landscape is changing and that is why we consider it a portrait, as a personified element. So we decided that it was a canvas as though the eyes themselves transmitted the resource through the brush; Or to put it in another way: our memories embodied in music.
11) Does the label of atmospheric black metal fit good your music or is it too restrictive?
Non Serviam Records is not a label based on Atmospheric Black Metal like other labels that do specialize in it. It is an important label within the genre of Black and Death Metal. And therefore, they understand and share the philosophy of the band. At the end of the day, they are still labels, do you understand me? The musical concept is Black Metal, regardless of the subject. Now, they are not restrictive at all and we fit into their roster and their vision of music. If not, this alliance would never have happened.
12) Have your influences changed over the years or they have remained the same?
Yes, I really think so. When we started we were moving towards a Depressive Black Metal influenced by Nocturnal Depression, Thy Light, Make a Change...Kill Yourself, ... but quickly, when we changed the line-up in 2015 we wanted to stick more to our ideas and the music we listen to. I look back and we've really changed the way we make music, but we still have some elements from when we started. For example, Nocturnal Depression is a band that always accompanies us in our thoughts.
13) According to you, what are the most innovative black metal bands around?
Wow, right now there are a lot of bands that are innovating in the genre. I think that one of the most representative is Mgła, because they changed the concept in many ways: composition, performance, voices, ... But also many others such as Batuhska (the original concept), Gaerea, The Great Old Ones, the new stage of Rotting Christ, Imperial Triumphant. I think we are facing a vision of the genre, which continues to ooze darkness but with new elements.
14) What about Spanish scene? What are the most interesting Spanish bands, especially when it comes to black metal music?
We have a very strong Black Metal scene here made up of great bands like Balmog, Numen, Foscor, Noctem, Numen or Aversio Humanitatis. The problem I see is that the scene has become too local or national. There is not much intention from the bands to go outside to play. There is conformism in addition to very little support compared to other countries.
15) Are there other kinds of metal that you would like to experiment?
Not currently. I have little time and the little I have I make the most of it with my bands; but I'd like to re-experiment with Funeral Doom, but time will tell.
16) What are your favourite albums ever?
I have several albums that have marked me a lot throughout my life in Metal. “Into The Grave” by the Swedish Grave, marked a before and after in my guttural development. Setherial's “Nord” introduced me fully to the darkness of Black Metal. But many albums have marked my musical career within Atmospheric Black Metal like “Two Hunters” by Wolves in the Throne Room, “The Divinitaion of Antiquity” by Winterfylleth, “Torn Beyond Reason” by Woods of Desolation ”. The list can be endless!
17) What do you really expect from this album?
Just to take it as far as possible. Share our music within the genre and that they can enjoy it. And when all this pandemic situation is over, then play live as much as possible and defend it on stage!
18) Anything to add?
Just to thank you for your time and interest in us. We hope that all of this goes back to its normal and we can enjoy live music again. Meanwhile, support bands and stay safe!
Paolo Sola/Rock Hard Italy