(In this interesting new interview Comrade Aleks questioned the anonymous person behind the Italian atmospheric b lack metal band Medenera, whose most recent album was released last December.)
Five full-length albums for five years! Isn’t it a good score? Mysterious Italian one-man band Medenera produces its atmospheric black metal with a good working pace, and creates majestic melancholic realms built of both celestial ambient passages and quite grim mid-paced black metal.
Medenera is totally anonymous, and the albums’ concept is blurred, but we got in touch with the project’s founder and he told a lot about his sources of inspiration and the meanings behind this series of albums.
Hi! How are you? What’s the current status of Medenera?
Hello, here everything is ok, we are enjoying a well-deserved vacation and at the same time we are promoting our latest work and above all loading ourselves with inspiration in view of the composition of the next chapter.
You say “we,” and Medenera remains the anonymous project. Why do you prefer to work in secrecy? Isn’t it the right time to reveal yourself?
The human being is the aggregate of numerous forces and is correct to talk in first person plural, and anyway, I cannot reveal myself even if I wanted to, I could only make my first name known, but it would be a minor thing. True revelation can only happen from the man who knows himself, otherwise he would do better to act in anonymity, in order not to enlarge the burden of his personality that increasingly distances man from true knowledge.
The project was started in 2017, and from the very beginning you performed atmospheric black metal “inspired by fantasy worlds, nature and esotericism.” How did you incorporate these themes with your music?
Everything happens naturally because our human essence is based on these three pillars; unfortunately, nowadays this statement no longer appears so obvious. Millions of people live in concrete traps that they call cities and metropolises and are losing more and more contact with the divine spirit, and in the future it will be even worse. I predict that the few trees that will be seen in the cities will be artificial and mostly made of plastic.
What I call fantastic worlds are nothing more than possible aspects of planet Earth to which we can connect and live in it with the same coherence with which we live on this world. However, adverse forces tend to harness the human spirit to the underworld of our present earth.
Do you believe this atmospheric black metal you perform through Medenera is a sufficiently precise instrument to channel this message?
Every human action is the right means to manifest the divine, even whistling in the street, therefore I believe without running into prosopopea that Medenera is a very valid instrument of the divine for the simple fact that it draws inspiration from it.
Which of your musical influences did you search to fulfill through your debut album Medenir?
I looted from many places to reassemble my idea of atmospheric metal in my own way. In the Metal field I would undoubtedly say that bands like Summoning and their epigones were an initial point of reference, but Celtic and meditative music also played a fundamental role.
It’s known that the project is based in Italy, so why did you approach Celtic music? Don’t you see the Roman cultural legacy as a proper addition to your music and Medenera’s concept?
I could answer by telling you that the Celts have lived in Italy for hundreds of years by founding numerous cities and their blood also flows in the Italians, but this would not be the correct answer. This is the Iron Age, the age in which the one people was divided. The Celts and the Romans are the rivulets of this great human river, which inevitably entered into conflict, because this is the era of conflict and “mors tua, vita mea”. After the Celts conquered Rome in 390 BC, the Romans did not rest until they had totally subdued them starting with the Celts of northern Italy.
As far as Celtic music is concerned, it does not belong only to the Celts, but simply has been handed down with this name because more preserved by the Celts, it bears within itself the musical roots of the one people. Given this premise I think it is inevitable for me to take inspiration from the so-called Celtic music, an d also because, of the ancient Roman music there has not remained a trace.
Your first album Medenir also has another title – Nimeredin. What’s the story behind this double name?
The thing isn’t clear to me either. My way of life is to make myself a medium of the divine spirit and although I have decided to name the album Nimeredin, for factors unknown to me this other name Medenir also came out and even imposed itself. I know it can be confusing, however I keep both names, because I have interpreted it as the will of the higher will, and also, I like them a lot, as they express a certain musicality and magic in themselves.
So is Medenera more about spirituality than art?
True art is spirituality.
You worked with the Russian label GS Productions since the release of the second album OrO. Were you satisfied with this collaboration? I see that CD runs weren’t that big.
GS is perfect for a project like Medenera. We don’t sell millions of copies and we aren’t interested in it either. Furthermore there is a relationship of esteem and respect between me and the owner of the GS that goes beyond the purely working aspect which makes our collaboration decidedly pleasant and fruitful.
The third full-length Argento was born in 2020. How did you manage to keep such a fast writing pace?
It’s simple enough when you are inspired by the forces of nature that dictate all the notes. I could have written even an album every three months, but I had to put a stop to it, forcing myself not to publish more than one album a year.
By the way how do you get feedback from listeners, given your anonymous status? Do people’s acceptance of your music work as an inspiring factor too?
I think that people who listen to this kind of music only care about the music. The rest doesn’t matter and this is one of the aspects that puts black metal listeners on a different level than normal music users.
There was Bronzo after Argento, and it looks and sounds as a logical development of your previous works. So are your albums bound with one theme or do you compose each of them around individual concept?
After the release of Medenir / Nimeredin, the idea came up of composing records connected to the concept of the eras of the world, this was a theme that had always fascinated me and which I consider extremely real even if for many it is pure fantasy. The idea that humans only began to know hate and suffering a few thousand years ago is something we humans should never stop thinking about. Yes, the Golden Age really existed, however, the human race to truly appreciate it decided to live in a dark world like today’s, the Iron Age. When this cognitive process ends we will be able to return like the prodigal son to the father’s house.
How do you see the point where humanity now stands from the perspective of this concept? Will you complete this series with some kind of Kali Yuga or Armageddon album?
The seed of final destruction seems to have taken root. If we continue to feed it we will certainly meet the end of humanity, an event that could not be set to music because it would give it strength.
Some of your lyrical themes were inspired by the works of Ovidius. Did you compose your own world around his ideas or did you write your own story?
The poet Ovidius together with Hesiod have been my main reference. They are the sources that report ancient legends that tell of the ancient races or epochs of humanity, with the difference that Hesiod places between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the age of heroes, a lineage of demigods who opposed the total decline and which was destroyed by a superior force.
Do you feel an urge to record a collaborative album with another black metal artist? Or maybe to release a split with another band?
I don’t know if a split album can be a disruptive promotional form and so far no one has proposed it to me. I believe that the best form of promotion is word of mouth and in the end, that’s okay. I don’t have the illusion of being able to reach too many people; those few fans who could have been inspired by my music have already drunk on it and sooner or later they will take action to make the fruits of this inspiration blossom.
How would you compare your most recent album L’età degli eroi with the debut Medenir? How far did you go from your roots?
I don’t think there have been big changes in the way of composing the message, and the underlying vibrations are the same. There have perhaps been changes in the sound which I have made cleaner, as well as having introduced new instruments and vocals.
What are your plans for Medenera in 2023?
The making of a new album which will presumably close the cycle of the ages of the world and also the project.
Are you meaning the next album will be the last for Medenera as there’s nothing more to tell and channel?
Who knows in the future what will happen. Things go so fast also because our perception of time is changing. My commitment is to deliver to the world at least one more album.
Well, thank you for the interview. And may Cernunos speed on you. Did we skip something important?
Thank you very much. I would just like to invite all people of good will to make a last great effort to get out of the darkness in which we have lived until now.