“Every song is longer, it’s like a journey” – Interview with Hideous Divinity

Author Ingeborg Roos - 19.3.2024

Italian technical death metal group Hideous Divinity will be releasing their new album “Unextinct” 22nd of March. Chaoszine had a chat with guitarist Enrico Schettino about the new album and Nosferatu among other things. The band will be performing at Hellsinki Metal Festival later this year. 
Hello, Hideous Divinity! How has the year 2024 treated you so far? 
Enrico Schettino: Hey there, not too bad. With the new album coming out in March, we’ve been busy with promotion, singles’ releases, securing festivals and working on potential tours. Plus of course rehearsing the new songs. A lot of work in the dark, I suppose you can call it like that. We’re working hard to bring “Unextinct” on stage the way it deserves. 

Your new album “Unextinct” will be out in March. Can you tell us something about what the album is going to be like? 
Enrico Schettino: Darker and more complex (not technical, I mean complex with textures and sound layers and structures) than anything else we did before. We already saw some positive review and apparently, they’ve noticed this -if I can call it like that- progression. I feel our sound is evolving and going “somewhere”. If listeners simply say that the new HD album is not like listening to the same song for 40 minutes… well that’s enough to make me happy.  

When did you start writing “Unextinct” and was the process somehow different than with earlier albums?  
Enrico Schettino: A long time ago. If anything, I became even slower at writing. It must have been really frustrating for the other guys in the band… sorry guys. The process is kinda the same: I work on ideas, ideas become a song with a beginning and an end, then once it’s good enough in my head I submit it to the others, then vocals come in and change the structure. It’s long but the outcome is -usually- worthy. Last but not least: “Unextinct” has, IMHO, the best sound we ever achieved at 16th Cellar Studios. 

You’ve already released few songs from the new album. What kind of feedback have you gotten from them? 
Enrico Schettino: People like the new songs, and I believe they got where we’re going, what we’re trying to do. Every song is longer, it’s like a journey. We’ve never been “satisfied” with the 3-minute song format, but with “Unextinct” things got a bit out of hand sometimes. If people are ready to make this journey with us, then all aboard and let’s have fun. If not… too bad.  

Do you have a favorite song on the album? If you do, why that one? 
Enrico Schettino: All three singles that are going to be released are perhaps my three fave ones, in no particular order. So, I guess I got lucky. I would add the very last song on the track list, ‘Leben Ohne Feuer‘. German fans who are also deep into Werner Herzog’s documentaries will know what this is about. It’s the end of the journey, it’s the way you look at the mirror at the end of the journey. 

Where do you usually get inspiration for lyrics? 
Enrico Schettino: Movie scripts, random books and Pig Destroyer‘s lyrics. That’s perhaps the only thing that hasn’t changed over the years. 

I managed to catch the last couple of songs of your show when you were in Helsinki, Finland last year with Kampfar and Belphegor and you will be returning to Finland to play Hellsinki Metal Festival. How was the tour with Belphegor and what can people expect from your show in Hellsinki Metal Festival? 
Enrico Schettino: The tour gave us the access to fans of Belphegor and Kampfar, and the chance to diversify the audience. It was an overall positive experience, not thanks to Belphegor -in fact, the worst band we’ve ever toured with. Tours are usually a challenging experience, but when the main band does everything in their power to make things miserable, then it gets really hard. The horrible work (not) made by the booking agency did the rest. We will not do the same mistake again. I’m looking forward to the Hellsinki Metal Festival, the gig in Helsinki was one of the best ones of the tour. 

Nice Nosferatu reference on your new album cover. Who came up with the idea, does it have a deeper meaning and who’s the artist? 
Enrico Schettino: The whole album concept is about Nosferatu as a force of nature we don’t even understand, let alone control or fight. I gave Adam Burke the idea for the cover, taken from what I believe it’s the most powerful scene in the visual imaginary of the novel. It’s the ultimate act of abandon, desperation… and somehow relief. The captain abandons himself, crying of rage and impotence. You’ll notice the hand of Nosferatu on the captain’s shoulder, unfortunately you can’t see the other one taking the steering wheel. Nosferatu whispers “It’s ok, you only have to brave enough to lose hope and let yourself go, everything will be easier from now on”. I don’t know if it has to do with acceptance in general… anyway, it resonated in me.  

There’s recently been some lineup changes in Hideous Divinity. Do you think it will change the band’s sound in the future in some way? 
Enrico Schettino: Edoardo brought hard work attitude and restored death metal passion behind the drumkit, we played our first gigs in December, and we felt tighter than ever. To answer your questions, lineup changes can only happen if they lead to an improvement: this music genre is a bitch, it requires physical strength and constant training, giving very little in return, so in the end if you’re not strictly committed to the music, you just quit. It’s a natural process.  

Thank you for your time! Would you like to add something or share some final thoughts with Chaoszine’s readers? 
Enrico Schettino: Nähdään pian!