Interview: Dismalimerence (Black Metal, Chicago)

Interview by Zax

While Noob Heavy was on break for a little while this summer, there were some records I wanted to take a deep dive into but couldn’t, Tome: 1 by Chicago based melodic black metal band Dismalimerence was one of those. I’ve been listening to Tome: 1 a lot lately, and it’s just an outstanding listen, so I’m happy to have the opportunity to introduce you guys to this band! Today I’ll be talking with the band’s guitarist and vocalist, Elijah Cirricione!

Dismalimerence: Spotify / Bandcamp / Facebook / Instagram

Hey man, really appreciate you answering these questions with us today. I personally love the new record! What was the recording process like for the album?

Thank you so much for the love of the album! The recording process was the longest and toughest part of creating this album. I’ve tried for many years to record Tome: 1 but I was never happy with how it was turning out. After about four other attempts over the years, I began recording in January of 2019, and finally finished the process in August of that year. It took a lot longer than I wanted, there was a struggle with a lineup change in the middle of the year, and that really was tough. But I caught a fire for motivation after we shared the stage with Saor and Wayfarer. Seeing that crowd take our songs to heart was what I needed to get back to work to finish it all. After I wrapped up recording, I sent everything over to Spenser Morris to do the mixing and mastering.

How has the reception been from fans and critics in your opinion?

From what I have seen so far, It’s been absolutely wonderful feedback and lovey responses to the album. I was extremely nervous for that aspect of the release for so long. These songs are very old and I don’t really feel like the same person, as to when I wrote them, and even recorded them. So I was very relieved to be welcomed by so many people and platforms.

Seeing as the album is the band’s debut, is there anything you and the band see yourselves doing differently next time around?

Yes. Seeing as Dismalimerence began as a lone endeavor for myself, it hasn’t felt that way over the last two years. I’d love to have Matt Mifflin heard on the next release and album. He came into the band while I was already recording my parts and re-recording my previous guitarists parts. So it was just easier for me to track the rest of the album while he learned all of the current setlists. We’ve all been writing together instead of just learning what I wrote, so I’m very much looking forward to our newer music. It’s a melting pot of everything I’d love to hear and incorporate into the band.

What do you feel separates Tome: 1 from other black metal records coming out in 2020? What should people who haven’t heard it yet be looking forward to going into it?

I think that Tome: 1 is similar in nature to most black metal releases, but has a few threads of individuality. I’d like to say that this album sticks out like a sore thumb when it comes to the structure of the songs. Some songs are rather traditional in nature to black metal, but a few others on Tome: 1 still strike me as easily digestible I suppose. Most songs have a section that will be repeated, brought back, or reprised in different ways. For someone who hasn’t heard the album yet, I’d say that you could look forward to tons of atmospheric guitars with plenty of orchestrations in piano, violins, and choirs. Each track is also its own short story to something experienced in my past and holds value to the story lining style of the song structure.

How has working with Transcending Records affected the release of the record, has working with them been a positive experience?

Working with them is, has been, and always will be a very positive experience. These guys care about the music before anything else. I’ve worked with them in the past with a different band and we were very happy with what they brought to the table then. Mike and Chase work very hard to make sure a release is presentable, enhanced, and unique. I couldn’t be happier with how they helped bring Tome: 1 to life.

Man, I really have to commend your work behind the axe on this album, the tone is fantastic and the playing styles are so varied. What’s your guitar setup?

Thank you so much! Though I recently upgraded from the actual setup from Tome: 1, I used a Pod Hd Pro X. All of the guitars heard on the album were from that. It took me a long time to make a tone that felt close to real, dynamic, and resonant. It was very convenient to use the Pod since I live in an apartment. Being able to record at all times of the day without the volume being a concern was very helpful and convenient. My clean guitars were setup with a Vox amp preset and my distorted guitar tone was backed by the Engl amp preset.

Who are some of your personal inspirations when it comes to playing guitar?

My inspirations for guitar work comes from Paul Masvidal, Paul Waggoner, Mikael Akerfelt, Michael Keene, Ihsahn, and probably a few more. But the ways they play, their niches, and song writing is a huge influence on me.

What are the main lyrical themes behind Tome: 1? It seems to be a very emotionally charged record.

The lyrics on Tome: 1 encompasses experiences of love, loss, romanticism, and death.

The cover art for Tome: 1 is gorgeous, what was the inspiration behind it and how does it tie into the themes of the record?

Thank you! I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’ve been through a handful of album art mockups for this album, but each of them had their own flare on the music. The final product is better than I’ve ever envisioned it. It ties into many themes with the impulses of nature and romanticism in the record. The book on the cover is definitely the focal point of the story and representation of the theme of “Tome”

Thank you again for your time today man! This will be our last question. What’s next for Dismalimerence? Any upcoming plans?

Absolutely, thank you so much. I can gladly say we’re wrapping up a new release. We have been working on a split release with three other bands for a while! I’m extremely excited to finish it and release it. It feels like a departure as well. The material we have for the split feels like it’s a progression and maybe like we’re shedding skin. I think that we’re really growing in our song writing and this split is the next step towards the newest music on our second album. Aside from that, I’m hoping to get a new drummer up to date and I’d love for us to do a live session recording of a few songs from Tome: 1 before the end of the year.

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