Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Interview with Rigel Berlingeri of Dowhanash by Dave Wolff

Interview with Rigel Berlingeri of Dowhanash by Dave Wolff

According to your biography, you had the idea to start a conceptual band in 2018. The concept of the band is based on what you refer to as the Knowledge of the Dragon. How did you come to choose this concept for the lyrics and what does it mean to you?
Hi bro, I tell you: it’s the concept that chose me… (we think we choose but we choose nothing at all). I follow the Black Dragon’s teaching from the year 2003, so for the lyrics I am inspired directly by my Master. But I must to say that this is my will, it’s not an idea of my Master. In the beginning I wrote the lyrics for let the people know about the truth but now I know… it’s only for myself. People can read my lyrics and can understand everything but I don’t care anymore.

How long have you been a musician, and what was your purpose when you started learning to play instruments? How many instruments have you learned to play altogether?
I began in 1986. My purpose was to play the best metal music in the world and it still remains the same. I can play drums and guitar but I like more to create than to play.

You were the drummer for several bands before you founded Dowhanash. Name the bands you had the most experience with as a musician, what you learned from working with them and whether they’re still active?
Three bands have been important for me:
1. Detestor is my first band that I create in 1986 with my best friend Fabio Rasta. I began to play drums in this band. Now Detestor is dissolved but slowly we are putting all our music on digital platforms.
There is a death metal band that copied our name, we don’t care but I think it’s not very nice… They’d better change the name… However they have very good stuff! 😉
2. Antropofagus are still active nowadays. They are one of the most important Brutal Death Metal band in Italy. In their first album I played one of my best performance.
3. Spite Extreme Wing is an icon of the Italian Black Metal. This band is appreciated from all Black Metal fans. They stopped their activity but the singer and the bass player made another interesting band, called Poseidon.
All these bands taught me something. I learned to appreciate all kinds of music, in fact the Dowhanash Draco Metal touches various genres.

What motivated you to re-release Detestor's music after so many years? Do you still have access to the material you released with Antropofagus and Spite Extreme Wing?
We thought it was a pity the new generation of metal kids didn’t know Detestor and we have a lot of fans that ask to us to do so… It’s difficult but not impossible that we will make another CD (a new one)… You can find the material of Antropofagus and of S.E.W. on Youtube and other social platforms…

Are you still in contact with the other members of Detestor? Would you and the band adapt your style to fit modern thrash or would you stick with your 1980s style if they were to record a new album?
Sometimes we contact each other’s but I meet only the bass player Alessandro Paolini (now he is the Dowhanash producer with his label “The Black Library”) in that case we will play the old Detestor style.

Are you working with other bands besides Dowhanash or is this a project which will represent all your musical and lyrical ideas?
I spend all my energy only for Dowhanash. I haven’t time for other projects. Dowhanash satisfies me completely. Non plus ultra.

When you started Dowhanash, how did you plan to go beyond what you had contributed to your previous bands? What are the ways in which Draco Metal incorporates different musical genres?
Thanx to the old bands I can feel the soul of Black, Melodic and Brutal Death music so this feeling contributes to my music. What I feel I do, so it’s not a mental work but it’s a heart work. I canalize music from beyond with the seventh chakra directly…

Would you be able to explain how channeling music you perceive from beyond through your seventh chakra enhances your songwriting and musicianship?
I just have to let go. I take the guitar in my hands and the melody comes to me. It’s a kind of meditation.

Based on what I heard, your sound is strongly influenced by German thrash from the 1980s, with similar double bass percussion to Swedish death metal and atmosphere reminiscent of Norwegian black metal. There are also influences of 80s power metal, classical metal, and some industrial metal in the mix, all of which are equally balanced. Have you listened to those genres specifically or did your sound naturally develop in that manner?
Obviously, I listened to that kind of music but my purpose is not to copy it. I naturally developed in that manner. Normally I don’t listen to Metal music… Nay, normally I don’t listen to music… 😎

In addition to these genres, your songs have an otherworldly quality that is unlike that of other bands. If this aspect of your music results from your meditation, are you satisfied with how it has been portrayed?
Everyone can understand that Dowhanash are different from the other bands. Our music is not easily catalogable. Yes, meditation helps me to create music and lyrics and I am very satisfied, but my meditation is not like the other’s meditation.

In contrast to the usual death metal vocal style, the band's vocals possess a distinct quality. They appear to have a creepy quality and reminded me of the Deadites in the "Evil Dead" movies. Is this style also a result of the energy you channel?
Our singer is my all-time favorite singer. He feels the music and naturally chooses the best way to sing. In every album the voice (and the music) is different and in every song, the voice (and the music) is different, because everything is changeable and we have to ride the waves.

Can you explain what the Knowledge of the Dragon is and how what you’re learning from it benefits you intellectually and spiritually?
The Knowledge of the Dragon is “the Knowledge”. From the beginning of time, the Ancient Serpent (the Dragon) taught his Knowledge to the First Man. In this world, spirituality comes from him. Awareness is the benefit. To know myself and to see clearly is all that I want/need.

Did you read any books or other printed materials about the Ancient Serpent or the Dragon? If the readers are interested in any of them, which one would you recommend they read?
There are a lot of books and articles explaining the Dragon’s teaching but if you want something very useful without losing time, you must to go to see the site “ordinedeldrago.org”. Here there is everything you need to know.

Looking on the website you recommended I found one printed book that seemed interesting called “Un Mondo Virtuale”. If you have read this, how valuable an educational tool would you say it is? Give some examples as to why.
This is only one of their books, in the future will be out many books like that. Is value is incommensurable.
It can change your life. The book opens your eyes. What you will see is not very nice but is very useful.

The website, in English, is titled “Order of the Dragon”. Is this an occult organization or just an online study center where people can learn more about the Knowledge?
Should be better don’t translate the name “Ordine del Drago” because this is the name for the Italian Order. Dragon’s Orders out of Italy have other names… so could be the cause of mistakes… The Black Dragon (Master of “Ordine del Drago”) is an Italian man. This organization was secret until the year 2000. It’s an esoteric school of life. In 2023 you can see it like an online study center where people learn more about knowledge, but it’s more… more than what you can think… 😎

Are people visiting the site welcome to post about their experiences discovering the Knowledge?
It’s like a school, only Students are allowed to post their experiences. They can talk but there are right places and right moments to do it. However “to hear” is better than to talk”. 😉

Why did “Ordine del Drago” remain secret for such a long time? What can you tell us about its founder The Black Dragon and his life?
Before was secret because it was necessary. Now it’s necessary to stay in the daylight because the time has come. The fruit is ripe. A great paradigm shift is upon us. Will humans be able to survive the adverse events that are about to happen?
Black Dragon's life must remain secret and I can talk no more about him. 😎

How did you contact Ocularis Infernum Booking & Promotion to promote Dowhanash, and how have they been treating the band?
Before Covid 19, we wanted to make some gigs around Europe and ask Andred of Ocularis Infernum if she can help us but every live project was stopped. After that we had problems with the lineup and we decide to do not make live events anymore. Andred ask us to participate at the CD compilation “A Time of Sorrow” and we gladly accepted it. She gave us a lot of visibility and so we ask her to promote our single “They Will Resist” and our third album “Promethium 61”. We are joyful for her work. She is a professional.

What were your first two full-length albums and how were they promoted before you met Ocularis Infernum?
People have changed… everything is faster now… People like no more full-length albums… They listen one song here, one song there, one band here, one band there… So we have to adapt to this strange world and for this reason, our CDs don’t last longer.
For our first CD “From the Ashes” the manager was Daniele of “Black Tears Label” while for the second one “To the Stardust” the manager was me.

How much exposure did "A Time of Sorrow" give you and which of the band's songs were included?
In this compilation (produced in 25 December 2021 by Ocularis Infernum and Black Tears) we put “O.N.W.O.”, the fastest song Dowhanash made till now. Grind Core mixed with Melodic Death Metal. A Time of Sorrow was a good business for us. We did interviews with many radios. I love the interviews because, thanx to them, I can explain better the concept of Dowhanash.

Please inform the readers about Alessandro Paolini's label The Black Library. For how long has he been supporting the band through this label?
Alessandro Paolini ask to me for collaboration to create a label called “Death Inside” (our CD “To the Stardust” was produced by this Label) but after I quit he changes the name in “The Black Library”. It’s a very new label.

In what ways did “From the Ashes” and “To the Stardust” represent your growth as a musician? How much further will "Promethium 61" take your experience and talent?
It’s evident Dowhanash has grown a lot from the first work to the third. My purpose is to constantly improve. Go forward and never go back! “Promethium 61” is one of the best CD in the world! 💪

Were "From the Ashes" and "To the Stardust" well received by fanzines and magazines? What has been said about the originality of your material?
Our albums are very appreciated but we aren’t famous so, at the moment, the problem is not the music but the visibility of the band…

Your single "They Will Resist" was released on the 19th of June. On what internet outlets was it made available? Did any online events run concurrently with it?
“They Will Resist” is available on all major digital platforms. Soon we will put the video on Youtube.
"They Will Resist" is pure power. Rough and edgy music suitable only for trained ears. Not recommended for fainted-heart people.😉

What was “They Will Resist” written about and how does it fit your beliefs and practices? Has it received favorable reviews since its release so far?
“They Will Resist” is meant to warn people of imminent danger. We must be prepared for the worst but with a smile on our faces. We must be warriors… not soldiers. I believe that everything is born, grows and dies and we are not the exception. This song received only positive reviews but the other songs of our CD are even better.

What has been the reaction of your listeners to "They Will Resist" since it was released? When the rest of the album is released, how do you expect they will respond?
The reaction has been outstanding. They Will Resist has a marvelous refrain and it remains inside your ears a long time, after just one time listening.
For "Promethium 61" our expectations are higher than the previous albums.

Is Ocularis Infernum aggressively promoting "They Will Resist" and "Promethium 61" and which media are they using?
Andred spreads our music around the world by radio, magazines and Facebook groups principally.

What impending paradigm shift were you referring to? What effects will it have on the world when it happens?
Everyone knows the myth of the Apocalypse. We are at the end of an era. You can consider the Dragon like a savior. But he can only save a few people. I can’t talk about the details.

Has the band had opportunities to perform in their country or in other countries since the Covid pandemic tapered off? Where would you most like to play in 2023?
We don’t play live. Live performances are currently not possible for us. Maybe in the distant future, things will change for the better… maybe… 😅

Do you have any ideas for the next Downahash album now that the most recent album has been completed? When do you anticipate beginning work on it in the second half of 2023?
I am already preparing the next work (7 tracks CD) and it must be better than the previous ones. I hope before the end of 2023 you can listen to another single.
However, my intention is to make only 4 CDs (3 are already done) representing the principal elements of this universe and then a fifth and final CD, representing the Black Dragon, to complete the cycle of life of Dowhanash. After that, I’ll break up the band.

What impact would you like Downahash to have on underground metal, and how would you like the band to be remembered?
We will do our best to reach the highest number of people is possible, then fate will take its way.
You must to be flawless… it doesn’t matter what result you get.

Would you like to make any final remarks to conclude this interview?
Thank you for your interesting interview. I hope we will meet each other again in the future.
My last words: Follow the Draco! 🐉

Pablo: Vocals
Dani: Guitar
Kane: Guitar
Eddy: Bass
Rigel Belingeri: Drums

-Dave Wolff

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