Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Evgeny Semenov Of Intaglio

Photo courtesy of Intaglio Bandcamp page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Live instruments, cello, upright bass and professionally trained vocalists – it’s a “doom opera” like no other.

Out to reinvent just what the genre can entail, Russian doom metal act Intaglio stamped their comeback after many silent years with the release of their full-length album ‘II’ via Solitude Productions, which was recorded and mixed at Slow Burn Studio (When Nothing Remains, Woe Unto Me) and mastered by Mika Jussila (Shape Of Despair, Isole, Unholy, Moonspell) at the legendary Finnvox Studio in Finland.

The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with band member Evgeny Semenov about ‘II’ and more.

Music Bugle – How did you decide the band name?

Evgeny Semenov – Well, It’s always a hard task to make a band name. As far as I remember, there were a few things during the decision. First of all – the name should be unique – it was already possible to check this on the internet. The name should mention something serious and fundamental. I thought that the stories behind the band’s album are serious, so the name should be solid. I think it was the main idea. It’s hard to say more now since 16 years have passed. For now, I’m absolutely satisfied with the name and think that everything was done right.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music? 

Evgeny Semenov – When I opened the doom metal genre, it was some kind of salvation for me. I was abused by serious depression back in the days and this music helped me a lot. Some people get negative emotions when they listen to funeral doom. In my case, it was absolutely the opposite. I’ve understood that it’s the genre I want to make music in.

Music Bugle – What was your goal for your newest music? 

Evgeny Semenov – I started songwriting sessions in 2016. First of all, I started to write and collect some interesting riffs and melodies. From the beginning, the main goal was to make something unique and actual in modern times. There is a lot of released music and if you are doing something now, it should have some new and fresh ideas. This was the main goal. Also, I’ve set some high production standards and decided to do the best I can to my beloved music genre. Hope I achieved everything, now that the new album is out.

Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Subject To Time” as a single?

Evgeny Semenov – Composition “Subject To Time” was presented in a simplified form to provide first impressions of the record’s conceptual work. The new album was almost completed at the time, so we decided to release some fresh stuff for listeners. 

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Evgeny Semenov – When we did a release of our demo single “The Memory Of Death” in 2019, we expected that the new album would be out in 2020, but the pandemic messed up all the plans and there were problems with vocal recording, which caused big delays. It’s the bad side, but the good side was unexpected free time, which was used to restore and remix the debut album. I’ve had to individually work on each track. It was good luck that the original multitrack recording was saved, so we decided to restore everything from the source and record new drums, which were originally programmed. Everyone who had checked the new version liked it.

Music Bugle – What has been your hardest challenge lately? 

Evgeny Semenov – In the case of music, the hardest challenge was to expand songwriting and production traditions and techniques commonly used to make doom metal records. That’s why it took some time to make a new record that would satisfy our demands. When I do new music, I follow one rule – do the stuff you want to hear right now – and it’s not a simple task to bring your imagination to a finished music form.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break? 

Evgeny Semenov – I don’t know what a break is. Simply don’t have any free time. A lot of things are already done, but more things to do in the future. We don’t waste time here.

Music Bugle – What motivates you to keep doing what you do? 

Evgeny Semenov – I think it is creativity. I like to make something new and I find it a really important thing in my life. 

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? 

Evgeny Semenov – I’m into different genres of music, but I generally prefer all kinds of music made for the “thinking man.” The main preference is the use of real instruments. I’m not into plastic sound and software-based instruments. Who thinks it sounds close just needs to upgrade its monitoring system.

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