It’s been close to five years since last we heard from the duo of Cristiano Perin (vocals, guitars, synthesizers) and Chantal Fresco (drums and vocals), better known as Italian experimental doom band The Haunting Green. That, however, changes today with the release of “The Void Above,” which we’re thrilled to be streaming here today at the Vault. We’re also stoked to be able to officially unveil the artwork and track list for their sophomore full-length Natural Extinctions, which will be available on March 5 from Hypnotic Dirge Records (preorder here).
If there’s one thing at which The Haunting Green truly excel, it’s the way they build tension through a combination of mood, melody, and atmosphere. Consider the extended intro of “The Void Above” – the slow build, the incremental layering, the short bursts of drums and heavy bass. Then they pull back just enough so that when the song finally revs up in earnest, they rip the top of your fucking skull off more by virtue of a well-executed shift in dynamics than through sheer volume or aggression.
That’s called having some top-notch songwriting chops, my loyal Vault Hunter friends. But you don’t have to take my word for it – hit play on the YouTube embed below and hear for yourself. Just don’t blame me if you lose half an hour searching for your scalp afterwards. I already warned you that it’s going to rip the top of your head off…
The Haunting Green were also good enough to answer a couple of questions for us about the new album. Give them a read while listening to “The Void Above” below.
1- Lazarus Taxon
2- Natural Extinction
3- The Void Above
5- Where Nothing Grows
6- Rites of Passage
7- Luminous Lifeforms
Indy Metal Vault: It’s been nearly five years since The Haunting Green’s last release. What was the band up to during that time – were you working on Natural Extinctions for most/all of that span?
The Haunting Green: After the release of our self-produced, s/t EP we spent three years playing many shows, concentrating only on live activity and promotion. In the last two years we were stunted by various personal problems; therefore, we decided to spend all our time and energies in composing the new album. It has a completely different mood and reflects some very difficult moments as well.
We know that five years is a lot of time for releasing a new album, but we don’t really care a lot about these “business needs.” This project is above all a way to express ourselves, so we took all the time needed to create something that mirrored our real inspiration. We are used to composing when we are really inspired, and we needed no interference while doing it.
IMV: The title Natural Extinctions strikes me as interesting, because we’re currently living through what some scientists have called the ‘sixth mass extinction,’ but it’s anything but natural. Unlike the first five, this one is due almost entirely to the habits and behaviors of a single species: humans. I’ve not seen the lyrics to the album, but based on the song titles I do wonder if there’s some sort of ecological or environmental theme running through the album?
THG: I appreciate lyrics that don’t reveal only one meaning. I think that anyone is free to see the point by himself.
Natural Extinctions is not a proper “concept” album, but there is actually a hidden thread connecting all the tracks, relating the inevitable destiny of every human being along his life to inhibit, suppress and lose some of the most pure and precious aspects of their own soul, to adapt and live with the hostile environment that surrounds him.
Another key to interpretation could be the sense of frustration in being unable to adapt to a society we don’t feel a part of.
In recent years, Italy has reached the lowest cultural and artistic level. The actual government is the mirror of an alarming increase in an uncultured, uninformed, and arrogant mood in the people. We live in a country where personal expression is hindered and the social structure seems to be specifically created to align us to a standard. The most “lucky” have already made the decision to leave Italy to find a place where they can follow their ambitions and just be respected as any human being deserves.
For our part, this band is our personal way to escape from that.
IMV: Natural Extinctions feels much more aggressive than your self-titled EP. Is that a black metal influence I hear in your sound this time around?
THG: We listen to black metal, and yes, it is natural that we are influenced by it. On the other hand, we really love music that doesn’t even have drums or distortion as well, and the result is something we consider very personal, free from the cages of musical genres. We care only about the feelings, not about the way we bring them to the listeners.
IMV: We’re premiering the song “The Void Above” – anything you can tell us about it?
THG: This is the maybe the fastest song we have ever written. It came out in a very short time, when we felt the necessity to try something more aggressive.
The lyric is a metaphor about migration, about escaping, and about the irremediable consequences that this need brings. It is about being conscious of our inability to face something bigger that us (feel free to suppose it can be life, or death).