- in Written interviews

I had the pleasure to interview Mario P., the man behind Portuguese doom/gothic/black metal band, In A Forest Dark, which signed with Wormholedeath Records, releasing the debut album Buried Giant, an amazing album, in my opinion…

Mario, welcome to Antichrist magazine, it’s my pleasure having this conversation with you! A few months ago, you signed with Wormholedeath Records, to release the debut album Buried Giant, a great album, so far, how are things working and going with Wormholedeath?
Thank you for your kind words. Signing with Wormholedeath Records for the release of my debut album, Buried Giant, has been a positive experience. The album was already completed when we finalized the agreement. Working with Wormholedeath on this project has been inspiring due to their professionalism, and their support in terms of promotion and distribution has been instrumental in reaching a wider audience.

The first time I heard Buried Giant I was astonished by the sound, the atmosphere, and the elements added to the music. This album is a mix of elements, and genres so to speak, from gothic, and dark, to doom and black metal, tell me how have you approached the album’s profound sound?
I appreciate your kind words about Buried Giant, and I’m delighted that the album’s sound resonated with you. The profound atmosphere of the album draws inspiration from the dense environment portrayed in the book “The Buried Giant”. I aimed to encapsulate the essence of the narrative, envisioning the fog, anxiety, and dream-like qualities described in the book. The sonic journey became a deliberate attempt to create an immersive experience, translating the thematic elements into the music. Experimenting with various musical textures, I sought to evoke a sense of mystery and introspection, allowing the listener to delve into a world that mirrors the haunting and atmospheric qualities of the source material.

With the song ”A Coin to the Boatman”, the album becomes even more surprising, that is one of my favorite songs of the album, I’d say is a calming song, with a great atmosphere. As I like dark ambient music, this song is a perfect fit for the album! Is there anything in particular that you like about Buried Giant?
I’m delighted to hear that ‘’A Coin to the Boatman’’ stood out for you. This song holds a special significance within Buried Giant as it aims to provide a calming and atmospheric interlude amidst the album’s overall intensity. In ‘’A Coin to the Boatman’’, the concept revolves around the symbolic journey of crossing the River Styx, a theme deeply rooted in mythology. This metaphorical passage represents a transition between life and death, exploring existential themes and the unknown. The dense, dark nature of the piece contributes to the album’s thematic depth. Personally, what I cherish the most about Buried Giant is the atmospheric quality that runs through the entire album. Instead of adhering to a typical formula, I wanted the songs to feel spontaneous, capturing the essence of the moment. It was a deliberate choice to avoid conventional structures.

What is the theme and the concept behind Buried Giant?
The theme and concept behind Buried Giant are inspired by Kazuo Ishiguro’s book of the same name. The central theme of “The Buried Giant” book revolves around the profound consequences of memory loss, exploring how the absence of recollections disrupts the meaning and purpose in the characters’ lives. The album serves as a musical interpretation of the novel, capturing its atmospheric and emotional essence. Each track attempts to reflect the dense environment, fog, and dream-like atmosphere described in the book, creating a sonic journey that mirrors the themes found in Ishiguro’s work.

Not sure what other bands I could compare In A Forest Dark with, Graveworm, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, From Ashes… but I want to let you tell me which bands are your main influences.
While I appreciate the comparisons, my musical influences extend beyond specific bands or genres. I draw inspiration from a diverse range of sources, encompassing various musical styles and even non-musical elements. When it comes to metal bands, some of my main influences include Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Tiamat, Emperor, Dissection, Watain, etc. However, my primary creative influences arise from words and silence. Beginning with silence and gradually building upon it, allowing words to breed sounds, this process allows me to craft a unique sound and atmosphere in In A Forest Dark.

So far, how was the feedback of  Buried Giant from the media, fans, and the ones who discovered the band recently?
While In A Forest Dark operates as an underground project, the feedback for Buried Giant has been remarkably positive within this realm of dark souls. Strangely, people are connecting with the music on a deeper level. This isn’t an easy project to listen to; the songs are long and sometimes feature uncommon structures. We live in a world where patience for absorbing new, demanding things is scarce. I feel fortunate to witness such an encouraging and positive response. It’s truly gratifying to see the album resonate within the underground community, where smaller, independent projects are valued, creating a more intimate and unique sense of appreciation.

Are you already working on new music, do you have in mind a second release?
Yes, indeed! I’m already immersed in the creation of new music, and I’m thrilled to share that my second album is well underway. The album is fully written, and I’m currently in the production phase, with the mixing and mastering about 2/3 complete. Just like the debut album, this upcoming release is conceptual, drawing inspiration from words and navigating the tides of existentialism. Musically, it retains the distinctive characteristics of the debut, but I’d describe it as a more complex and finely crafted record. I’m excited about the evolution of the sound and the depth of storytelling in this upcoming project.

Currently, In A Forest Dark is just yourself, a one-man band. Have you thought of making In A Forest Dark a full-time band, maybe even performing in the future?
At the moment, In A Forest Dark remains a solo project, and I find immense joy and fulfillment in the creative process of being a one-man band. The solitary nature allows me to fully explore and express my musical vision. While the idea of expanding In A Forest Dark into a full-time band is intriguing, I currently cherish the flexibility and artistic freedom that come with working independently. Performing live is an exciting prospect, and it’s something I’ve considered for the future. However, for now, my primary focus is on crafting and releasing music that resonates with listeners on a personal and profound level.

To end the interview, is there anything else would you like to add?
A huge thank you to you, Carla, for the interview and the opportunity to share about this special project. I also want to express my gratitude to everyone who bought, will buy, or listened to the album Buried Giant. Your support and time mean a lot. Keep an eye out for the release of a new album. I appreciate each one of you being part of this journey!

Thanks a lot for your time having this interview, Mario, again it was my pleasure. Saúde!

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