On Italy's National Dante Day, March 25th , Rockshots Records announce they will be presenting later in 2021, Signum Draconis ' heavy metal opera of Inferno, from The Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri.
Featuring 17 songs by the band all sung in English, the double album is the first in a triptych of the complete work of Dante's magnum opus with Purgatory and Paradise to follow, and will also feature duets with selected special guest vocalists, narrations of selected chants, and an orchestral accompaniment by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and Choir.
Album Teaser -
Signum Draconis takes their name from the medieval knights' Order of the Dragon, and has opted for a classic 80s-influenced metal sound in homage to the rock and metal icons that inspired them to be musicians, and aim to produce a truly musical, timeless and epic recording that will absorb and reward from repeated and dedicated listening.
Guitarist and composer Oscar Grace reflects on t he history of the project:
"The story of Signum Draconis can be said to begin in 2010, after two years crossing what felt like a personal hell, I was sitting in my car gazing at the sky when a message came to me as it were, a vision clear as day: ‘Put The Divine Comedy to music!’ At that moment Signum Draconis was born. I returned home immediately and hunted out an old copy of Dante’s masterpiece I had owned for years and began furiously reading. Two full years of study and research followed, reading and re-reading all three books many times and even traveling to Florence to visit the 13th Century poet’s own house, trying to envisage what it would have been like to be him and the world in which he lived his story.
It took t wo years to extract the parts that would form the material for the songs, and a further year working with my good friend Frederick Pollock to compose the lyrics, bringing to each song its own meaning whilst maintaining the thread that binds all the songs together, at all times remaining faithful to the source and paying the utmost respect to the poet Dante with regards to the correct register with perfect meter and rhyme in English.
“I believe Dante’s Inferno perfectly suits the musical style of Heavy Metal, but given the epic scale and cultural importance of Dante’s books, I wanted to bring something else to the music, something that lent grandeur and elegance, and to that end, I began to write parts for a symphony orchestra, in an old-fashioned way, with a fountain pen and sheet music and no new technology to guide my hand."
Overall, this project too k four years to compose the music for the band as well as the orchestra and along the way Oscar Grace searched for the companions who would join him on this voyage of grand musical ambitions. The first was Francesco Micieli, the drummer with whom he had already worked on other projects, then Max Morelli to be the voice of the band, and later on, after an arduous search, Oscar Grace found Filippo Martignano for keyboards and Stefano Antonelli on bass.
A teaser for the double album can be viewed via Rockshots Records YouTube channel -
More details on the album will be revealed in the coming weeks.