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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Chiara from Crysalys. Italian metal band Crysalys was founded in 2005 by singer Chiara “Dusk” and drummer Alessandro “Doomtrain” . Their aim was to combine Swedish melodic death metal and the modern American metalcore sound with soprano vocals. Image Simone Simons singing in an Carcass cover band with members from Walls of Jericho and you might come close to it. They released one demo “Season of Suffering” (2005), one EP “White Lotus on Acheron Shores” (2007) and a mini CD “…And Let the Innocence Dream” (2009). However, a tour in Holland and France was cancelled this year.
The first question is a logical one: what happened to the band that caused the split?
This is an “intimate” question, but we can merely say that we’ve grown in different ways. So, after some personal and musical divergences, Mario, Giampaolo and Matteo decided to leave the band.The first thought was to put an end to this dream…but we quickly realized that we can’t live without Crysalys.
More important, was this split on friendly terms or more in the style of the Gorgoroth split?
Ahah we’re less unkind than Gorgoroth! The split was friendly enough… We’re worried and a bit disappointed about the decision of the other guys, they were great friends for me and Ale, but life can change and people as well… We can only wish them to find their way… We’ll never forget them… We shared a lot of emotions together during these years…
Have you and Alessandro ever considered of quitting with Crysalys after the split and start again with a new band and clean history?
Absolutely not. Crysalys is like a son for us, it’s our big little dream, our life. The story of this band is written by our emotions, disappointments, unforgettable moments and sacrifices. As long as we are alive, our souls will continue to believe in music and create emotions… All of this is called Crysalys for us. Historia magistra vitae est.
I guess that you are looking for new musicians. To what kind of musicians are you looking for?
We want to give a new direction to our sound, I mean, we want to keep focusing on our style, but, this time, we also want to make it more experimental. Heavy guitars with modern synths and an alternative, powerful bass.
And will this split change the sound of Crysalys?
Of course it will. New members mean new styles and we do not exclude anything. Our sound will remain heavy and modern as always, but they will add more influences.
Why did you and Alessandro choose the name Crysalys for the band?
Alessandro was playing an old videogame in which he found a creature called “Chrysalis” and in that same moment we looked at each other and said “Crysalys!”. At once we liked the sound of those letters together and the meaning of the word. Music for me is like a beautiful butterfly flying free in the sky of life. I just want to release this beautiful creature from its chrysalis to make our music fly with the wind of emotions… (A chrysalis or nympha is the pupal stage of butterflies. The name is of Greek origin. In Greek chrysós or χρυσός means gold.)
You have released three CD’s. Will you continue to play those songs or (as happens often with splits) concentrate on new work?
Well, I think that we will keep on playing old stuff, especially during our the gigs, but I can’t assure you that they will sound the same as on our CDs. We will work on our old stuff just to break the ice with the new members and, after this, we’ll focus on new songs! We wish to record a full length by winter 2010!
But there is also some good news. Chiara will participate with the upcoming Beto Vazquez album. “The Argentinean bass player and songwriter Beto Vazquez in his career has worked with a lot of great artists around the world like: Tarja Turunen (ex Nightwish), Candice Night (Blackmore’s Night), Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody), Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes), Floor Jansen (After Forever) and many others..” Can you already reveal some details about this project?
No I can’t ahah! I can only say that I’m working on the song on which I have to sing. I think that I’ll record it after the second week of September. Beto sent me the lyrics and the instrumental part of my song… This new experience is a challenge and, of course, a honour for me!
And how did you got in touch with Beto Vazquez?
I already knew Beto’s music, since I’m a big fan of Tarja Turunen and Nightwish . One day I found a message from him in the mailbox of Crysalys’ Myspace, in which he asked me to sing on the new Beto Vazquez “Infinity” album. I was so excited… Actually, I don’t even know how he found me, but I really respect him and his carrer and I can’t wait to complete that song and record it!
The last question: is there anything the reader should know that I have not asked?
Uhm, I think you’ve asked me a lot of important things! I just want to say a big THANK YOU to all our devoted fans that supported us so warmly in these days… I’m really touched and thankful. I usually call this kind of magic MUSIC. This is a hard moment of my life… but I’ll definitely keep fighting and singing for all the people that believe in me and in Crysalys. They call me Phoenix and there’s a reason why..
Interview by Lindz Riot
And finally after some trouble, including a split and a brand new line up, Crysalys are ready to present their first opera “The Awakening of Gaia” and we can truly conferm that the pheonix is rising again.
Hello Chiara of Crysalys! Thank you so much for doing this Interview with us here at Femme Metal, How are you today?
Hello sweet Lindz ! Thank you for this interview, I’ve been following this webzine for years and I love it! It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. Today I feel fine, despite the fact that I’ve been literally roasted by the Italian sun! I’m not that much into summer, I have to say… and I have to confess you that I’m anxiously waiting for autumn, when my psyco-physic strengths will come back to life…Hey I hear that too! So how excited are you for the release of your first album “The Awakening of Gaia” this September?
Definitely! Being this our debut album I’m even more excited! I truly hope that Crysalys will be appreciated by all the female fronted metal fans out there. I can’t wait for the release day, the recording sessions ended in September 2010, we really can’t wait anymore!
Please tell how this album came to be, who recorded it and anything else that is special about its production.
The recording sessions of “The Awakening of Gaia” ended on September 13th, 2010. It happened almost one year ago, but the production involved big names and took a little longer. The album was recorded in Langhirano (here in Italy), at Real Sound Studios. The mixing, instead, was done by Chris Donaldson (The Agonist, Cryptopsy, Beneath the Massacre) in Canada, then the CD moved to Finland and was mastered at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila. Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia, Anathema and many more..) is the author of the artwork and you’ll agree with us when we say that he has done a wonderful work! Composition-wise, the most interesting thing about this album is probably the fact that we wrote it almost without the support of any guitarist. Most of the harmonies were written by Fabio, then Alessandro wrote the guitars and the drums. Less frequently we procedeed vice versa. Fabio and I are definitely the dreamers of the group and it was up to us to think about the concept and write the lyrics. There are some recurrent themes in our lyrics, those we are fond of and those that left their own mark on our life: opera, nature, magic…So the theme of the album is very nature based, why did you choose this theme?
Since I was a child, I’ve always felt a strong connection with Mother Earth. Nature is the biggest magic on this planet. The name Crysalys itself is obviously inspired by the chrysalis, a symbol of evolution, birth and freedom. Themes related to Earth and magic will always be part of our concepts. Now just let me read you the plot of the apocalyptic fairy tale which our concept album is based on: “The end or the beginning, according to your own point of view, will come under the hits of the loyal first-borns, the Elements. Mankind, deceiving itself to pave the way for its own future and choosing for Mother Earth’s destiny, will turn back to dust to become food for a new flourishing nature. The innocence of a little child, Angelica, will quench the Mother’s thirst for revenge and purification, and show her that a sparkle of hope and uniqueness is still left in mankind. Eventually men, following their own nature, will certainly miss this new opportunity, and will perpetrate injustice and destruction caused by their greed and their intrinsic need for power and control. However, all these events will make sense if, as a sprouting seed, man will grow the awareness of the beauty of this world, of all the creatures and entities living on the surface and in the depths of the planet. Sometimes we feel attracted by these entities and we even get in touch with them. The Earth itself is a living being and it is even more alive than we all are.”
This is a very powerful theme indeed! Now I know this is a very generic question, but how do you describe your band’s sound since it is two completely extreme genres?
If the listeners are not really eager to go into it, they could normally define our sound as “symphonic metal”, nevertheless we decided to give it a new name: “Post Opera”. Opera is a glorious cultural heritage in Italy, it has been part of our cultural and our artistic development since its very beginning. This is one of the greatest influences on this album, especially because of my voice, characterized by the same dramatic nature of the Old Italian operatic school, the verist repertoire in particular. Our sound is actually changing, as we’re including characteristic peculiar operatic elements in our musical structures. Therefore the label we chose to describe our genre will be better explained by the next Crysalys full length that we started writing in the last days.Wow you guys are machines! Congrats on already starting your second album! What is the history of Crysalys anyways? How did you all come to meet and decide on your band’s sound?
The band was already known for two self-produced EPs, “White Lotus On Acheron’ Shores” and “…And Let the Innocence Dream”. In 2009 we went through a big line-up change that allowed us to shuffle the cards, understand our strong points and our peculiarities, in order to create something that we could really define “ours” and that could reach a certain kind of audience. A few days later we signed a deal with WormHoleDeath-Dreamcell11/Aural Music to release our debut album.
Since the release of your video“The Awakening of Gaia” you have had quite the response, how do you feel about it?
We’re so happy that many people liked our work and already noticed that we can offer something that is really ours with “The Awakening of Gaia”. We perfectly understand that our music can be misinterpreted at first, since it sounds a bit excessive and nonstandard for the genre. However, I feel totally tranquil to say that whoever is going to listen to the album will experience something new, he’ll get in touch with an extremely varied music, perhaps even different from the atmospheres of the first single, but he’ll definitely never get bored!As a singer Chiara, obviously your voice didn’t happen overnight, what kind of vocal training have you had? How did your vocal journey start and when?
Since I was a child, I’ve always loved singing, but actually I only started studying modern singing at the age of 18, in a private school. A few years later, encouraged by my vocal coach and some experts who discovered a natural talent in me, I started studying opera. To be honest, I started taking it seriously in autumn 2008, when I met my current teacher in Florence, the capital of the Italian melodrama and the city that gave birth to the genre of opera. I made my debut on April 10th 2011 with Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice”, playing the role of Eurydice. Last year I enrolled at the music academy. I would like to underline the fact that, only when I started singing and experimenting vocals with Crysalys I realized that my operatic voice was kind of natural. I followed the opposite path compared to common opera singers…I have to say you have such a strong and beautiful voice! I’m sure you make your teachers and your country’s heritage proud ;) So how have been some of your vocal influences from classical and main stream?
You’re always so nice with me Lindsay… you’re really making me blush! My teacher always pushes me to study, even for the sake of my band, she encourages me to have no limits, which is something rare among young students and opera singers. The female voices that influenced my life in a way or another were (in chronological order): Christina Aguilera (I’m not going to hide the fact that she was my very first inspiration, I was 16 and I couldn’t do anything but singing her songs along, I started studying modern singing afterwards), Tori Amos (who’s still my favourite artist and muse). Then came Tarja Turunen and it was thanks to her and Nightwish that I discovered my real voice. My favourite opera singers are the divine Maria Callas (my guardian angel and the one who always moves me to tears) and other talented sopranos that I take as models such as Ghena Dimotrova, Monsterrat Caballé and, among the younger ladies, Anna Netrebko and Diana Damrau.
Speaking of influences, are there any bands in particular that inspire Crysalys as a whole?
As you can imagine, each one of us has a different taste and we don’t have that much in common. Fabio could be Michael Jackson’s number one fan, Alessandro has always been a big fan of Nevermore and Dark Tranquillity, Giuseppe even loves 30 Seconds To Mars! I grew up with Tori Amos, Cradle of Filth and Nightwish… It might happen, while listening to our music that you don’t find anything of these bands, and this is the point: every influence or inspiration always gets filtered through our rules and must be coherent with the style and the message of our bandSo after your release, what do you and Crysalys have planned for the next while?The first step to promote the album will be the organization of a tour. I think our music gives much more impact when played live. The naturalness of expressions, passion and body language are fundamental elements to communicate with myself through singing. At the moment we’re already considering a few places to perform, and all I can say is that Italy is not the most popular country on our list. We’re also writing material for the new album and I’m already excited for the direction we’re taking, as well for the musical and graphic concept that is coming out…What is your ultimate dream for the band? Do you guys have an ultimate goal you are planning to aim for in the long run?
I love cinema and literature, I like fantasy, medieval-inspired and occult books. I like relaxing at night (when it is possible), while reading enchanted tales under the stars, smelling incense and having my boyfriend by my side. Even though it’s been a long time since my last trip, I like travelling, especially in Northern countries, among haunted castles, star-crossed lovers, secret forests and magical legends…Well thanks so much for your time Chiara, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you and we at Femme Metal wish you all the best with “The Awakening of Gaia” ?Thank you dear “Apple Sister” Lindz (http://www.facebook.com/evesapple), it was a really nice interview, both because I have a soft spot for this webzine and because I had the pleasure to be interviewed by you! I take the chance to say hello to all Femme Metal readers and Female Fronted Metal lovers, don’t forget that our debut album “The Awakening of Gaia” is coming out on September 23rd via Wormholedeath-Dreamcell11/Aural Music!
Chiara’s photo by Daniele Tedeschi
Band Photo by Osea Costantini
Label : Wormhole Death/Aural Music
Review by Tony Cannella
Italy’s power, operatic metal band Crysalys released their debut EP “White Lotus on Acheron Shores” in 2007, it has been a long time in coming, but the band has finally released their debut full-length “The Awakening of Gaia”. The album opens on a definite high note with the excellent title track. “The Awakening of Gaia” is a great way to open the album and is hands down one of the strongest tracks that Crysalys has to offer. The band has also made a video for the song, which you can view at all of the usual outlets (YouTube, etc., etc.). The main focus of Crysalys is based around the ultra-operatic (and some would say over-the-top) vocals of Chiara Malvestiti. Sure, some may be turned off by her approach, but there is no denying the passion and energy she puts into the songs. In addition to Chiara, Crysalys is made up of a stellar group of musicians, who each adds their own personal touch to the proceedings. The next track “Butterfly Effect” starts off with a slow tempo before the band comes in and the song transforms into a beautiful melodic mid-tempo number and Chiara’s vocals are really fantastic on this one. This would make a great choice for a second video, in my opinion. “Angelica” starts off with a sweet intro before the heavy guitars comes crashing in, this song has a mournful melody and vibe and certainly is another worthy highlight. The tempo speeds up significantly for the next track “Scarlet Crusade”. Other highlights include: “By Stars Revealed”, “My Will Be Done”, “Lilium” and “…and Let the Innocent Dream”. The final tally is 10-songs and 45-minutes worth of energetic, impassioned music from Crysalys. “The Awakening of Gaia” is definitely an album that was worth the wait.
Rating - 85/100
Label : Repo Records/Metropolis
Review by Tony Cannella
The Lovecrave are a Gothic Rock band from Italy. Their debut, “The Angel and the Rain” was released in 2006, now the band are back with their second offering, “Soul Saliva”. The Lovecrave combine a metal style with Gothic Rock and pop to create a pretty potent combination, that mixes together quite well. Francesca Chiara is the lead singer and although she may not be technically the greatest singer you will ever hear, still her voice is loaded with attitude, sexiness and has a very like-able quality to it. “Soul Saliva” features 10-songs and a playing time of 45-minutes worth of highly melodic, Gothic music with both metal and pop elements present. “The Other You” begins with a spoken word intro by Francesca and then quickly develops into a frenetic opener. A great chorus and melody really help to make this one a strong opener - some cool orchestration is also present on the chorus. “And Scream” is next and continues in the vein of the previous track. The third track, “Warriors” quickly became a favorite- and the band earned high marks for their little tribute to the great movie of the same name at the end of the song (fans of the movie, “The Warriors” will know what I’m talking about). “Soul Saliva”, features one interesting cover, The Lovecrave have decided to cover the Michael Jackson track, “Thriller”. It is totally done in The Lovecrave’s own style, and although I approached this one with caution, the band quickly won me over with their take on the track, this is indeed another highlight, albeit a surprising one. “Your Fire”, the ballad “Leon’s Lullaby” and “TruBlood” are more songs that come highly recommended. “Soul Saliva” is a pretty good second outing from The Lovecrave. The songs and the musical direction help to make “Soul Saliva” a pretty intriguing and entertaining listen.
Rating - 83/100
Review By Tony Cannella
Lust for Oblivion is a female fronted band from Italy who specialize in Gothic, operatic and symphonic metal. Their first introduction to the metal world comes with their new demo, that goes by the title of “Black Moon”. The band is led by the immense operatic vocal talents of Chiara Tricarico and rounded out by a number of capable musicians. The EP contains 4-songs that were written by Chiara (lyrics) and keyboardist Alessandro Mantovani (music) and just 21-minutes worth of music.The EP kicks off with the sound of church-like organs as the opening number “Black Moon” kicks in. A pretty solid way to begin things with some steady musicianship, a cool guitar solo by Andrea Boglio and the dramatic, opera style vocals of Chiara. “Blank Darkness” is next and is probably my favorite of the four songs that are presented here. Musically, it is probably one of the more commercially accessible songs on the CD and just a very good number. “Lady of the Ocean” is next and and it continues on with the solid material, while bringing the tempo down a little bit. A beautiful ballad that showcases another dimension to the band. Chiara also delivers a superb vocal performance on this one - her vocals are pretty cool throughout this disc, but they really stand out on this one. The production is very good and professional, and that is another check in the positive column for this CD. “Freedom Call” is the final track and one of the heavier ones offered. It features a rock solid guitar riff and brings “Black Moon” to a completely satisfying bombastic conclusion. Each song on this debut showcase a different facet to the band and the diversity they’re capable off.“Black Moon” is a very good debut EP from this cool Italian band. Maybe a bit too short, but it definitely wets the appetite for some more music from Lust For Oblivion. Fans who miss the Tarja version of Nightwish would be well advised to check this band out, or if you just like female fronted, symphonic metal, check this band out. Just check this band out, “Black Moon” is 21-minutes well spent.
Rating - 85/100
Review by Tony Cannella
Yet another band from Italy. Astral Dive are 5-piece female fronted band that play a strong mix of symphonic and progressive metal. Their band line-up is currently: Chiara Manese (vocals), Damiano Pierucci (drums), Giovanni Vescovini (keyboards), Federico Agresti (bass) and Gianmarco Lotti (guitars). They have just released their EP “Trauma” and it is a strong out put that really sets a high standard for the up-and-coming Italian band.The intro track “EXP1” kicks things off and has a futuristic, machine-like feel to it. It sets the table for the first track “The Astral Dive”. This song opens with a great riff that is rock solid and relentless. When the soprano vocals of Chiara Manese kicks in we are off and running. The vocals and the music absolutely soars to create a great big, energetic wall of sound. Things continue on the right path with the next song “Gathering of Lost Thoughts”. This song really gets moving right away. It starts off with a very up-tempo feel to it, and it is impossible to stay still while listening to it. This song features a few changes in the tempo, but the energy remains the same throughout and is a definite highlight. Chiara’s vocals are really breathtaking on this one. The next song, I would describe as almost an epic ballad in feel. At 8-minutes long “The Restless” is the longest song, but it never fails to hold your attention. It starts of with some piano and the soft, beautiful vocals of Chiara come in. It pretty much remains a ballad throughout, but it has a dark, melancholic and pretty feel to it. It is a very good song and one that is difficult to describe. It must be heard. The final song “Land of Unquestioned Answers” is a perfect way to wrap things up on high note. The songs are very well written with equal care given to the music and lyrics. Overall I enjoyed this CD immensely. The songs are very good, the production is crisp and clean and the performances by the band members are first rate. The band shows a lot of promise and professionalism and are already well on their way to a stellar career. “Trauma”features 5-songs and 26-minutes worth of music that is of a very high caliber. The band are currently working on their first full length CD and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
Rating - 80/100
Independent Release/SG Promotions
Review by Tony Cannella
Crysalys are a 5-piece band out of Italy. They are fronted by vocalist Chiara Malvestiti (aka Dusk) and they have just released their 5-song mini-CD, “White Lotus on Acheron’ Shores”. The band have also coined the term Melodicore to describe their music and after listening to the CD that is indeed an apt description. What is melodicore you ask? Take inspiration from such seminal metal core bands as Killswitch Engage, Caliban and Lamb of God and mixed with healthy doses of melody and you have melodicore. The CD begins with the intro track “The Morning Star”. It features some eerie horror movie style music as Chiara’s soprano vocals come in accompanied by a male demonic sounding voice. This leads us into the frenzied “Angels Never Fall”. This song is crushingly heavy and sees Chiara utilizing more of a mid-range approach but she also switches to her high pitched soprano voice at certain points in the song. It’s really cool how she switches from one style to another in a moments notice. Next, we have “Lilium”. This is more of a mid-tempo - yet still heavy as all hell - number. This track is definitely a highlight and one of the best songs offered up on this disc. Next, we have “Hellstorm”. This song starts off at a frenetic pace and never lets up. Again, Chiara goes from mid-range to soprano so effortlessly. She’s got a ton of talent as do the whole band. Alessandro Camela really shines on drums here, but the whole band really gives everything they have on this CD. It is so mindbogglingly heavy. The final track “My Delirium” is another brutaly heavy track. It starts off with male death metal-like vocals that are supplied by Jacob Bredhal and then Chiara comes in. The duet between the two really adds to the heaviness and drama of the song. Their two styles are obviously very different, but they come together to create a song that is the perfect closer. Overall “White Lotus on Acheron’ Shores” is a pretty damn good CD that doesn’t let up for one second and barely gives the listener a chance to breathe. With a running time of about 20-minutes, the songs on this CD hit you hard and fast. Crysalys packs a wallop that is simply ferocious but leaves you wanting more.
Rating - 75/100
Label : Repo Records
Review by John Davies
I think this band caught a lot of people by surprise, coming out of nowhere (actually Italy) and blowing us away with a fabulous gothic industrial debut CD. This is an incredible release, filled with power, passion and darkness, and some really mean sounding guitars! Vocalist Francesca Chiara has a chilling vocal style that couldn’t be better suited to this music. The keyboard parts are very lucid, and contribute a great deal to the atmosphere. Most songs start off with a low key intro, with softer vocals, but then these killer guitars kick in and Chiara’s voice cranks up and we are suddenly plunged into a powerful, emotionally supercharged aural assault. The first four songs will not only totally blast you into oblivion, but will rip your heart out, although the first song “Vampires” is a little on the lighter side. Song #5, “Fading Roses” is a more sorrowful softer style of song, but then ‘My Soul’ pulls us back into harsh reality, with more razor sharp guitar riffs and gut wrenching vocals. The song “Runaway” is actually suspenseful, and the chorus is to die for. The title track “Angel and the Rain”is a gothic/industrial masterpiece. Do I love this CD? Absolutely!! This band has a brilliant future ahead of them. Get the limited edition digipak if you can. It’s beautiful with nice artwork, and comes with a short story booklet based on the songs off the album. Great production, and the guitars are just incredible sounding.
Rating - 100/100