If you haven’t heard of Sleeping Romance yet, now’s your chance to familiarise yourself with them. We caught up with the band for a chat and also reviewed their debut album Enlighten.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us about the band?
Federica: Hi guys, we are Federica, Federico, Francesco, Lorenzo and Nicholas. We are Sleeping Romance from Italy. The band was born in 2009 from an idea of our guitar player and composer Federico; I came into the band in 2012 when we started recording the tracks of our debut album Enlighten, which is a symphonic metal opera with classical music and movie soundtracks influences.
How did the band form?
Lorenzo: The band was born a few years ago in Rome in the period in which Federico lived there: with a completely different line up from the current one (except of course for the mastermind Federico Truzzi) and under the name of Hybrid Resolution. A demo containing few pieces was recorded. When Federico returned to live in Carpi, the band was reformed with a new bassist, Lorenzo, a new drummer, Francesco, and a new singer, Monica. We recorded a second demo with new pieces, unfortunately, some misunderstandings have led to the inevitable Monica’s departure from the band, replaced a few months later by Federica. Once we had a stable line-up, the disc was recorded, and later the band decided to call Nicholas on second guitar.
You released your debut album Enlighten last year – what was the writing and recording process like?
Federico: I had the original idea about Sleeping Romance in 2009 during a period of my life in Rome. The writing session started in 2009 and it ended at begin of 2012 when Federica became the official singer of the band. Then we started recording the album in April 2012 in my personal studio, so we had all time to decide and to chose the right parts of our instruments. After recorded and mixed the album we worked with Roberto Priori for mastering Enlighten.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge?
Federico: every song is a challenge, when we are working on a song we trying to get the best from it and this is the hardest work for a musician. You have a lot of possibilities and everything is right…or wrong. But the hardest song of this album I think is Devil’s Cave: it is a hard song to play (the Beethoven fugue is a great challenge for us) and it is the song with more metal influences of Enlighten so we have to play it perfectly.
Which song are you most proud of?
Francesco: It’s not an easy choice but personally, I’m really proud of Devil’s Cave…it’s an incredible song to play, and to feel! Really hard and articulate.
Nicholas: I came in the band after the cd was recorded, so I can only speak about the live feelings…I agree with Francesco! For me, all the songs were a challenge, but Devil’s Cave gives me chills every time I play live!
Moving onto live shows, how would you describe your live show to someone who hasn’t seen you yet?
Federica: First of all, on stage we are really solid, like one member only. We choose how to move or how to look on stage thinking like one member only. We want to give importance to the songs not to ourselves individually. We like to involve the audience in a live show which satisfies your eyes, your ears and your imagination too.
What’s the best show you’ve ever played?
Lorenzo: The best show at the moment is the performance at Brainstorm Festival in Apeldoorn, Netherlands: everything was organized in the best way and everyone of the staff was very professional and kind. It was the first show of our European tour, so we were very excited, but I think we played great and the audience welcomed us very well despite the fact we were a completely new band!
And what’s been your best experience in the industry so far?
Federica: Definitely the people involved. We met a lot of people during the last year. And we have been really lucky. Everyone was great and professional. Emil from our label Ulterium Records, Roberto Priori, Felipe Machado Franco, the guys of Nordic Mission, Theocracy band and the staff of each festival and gig during the tour was awesome. We could not ask for more.
Enlighten is the debut album and most recent release from Sleeping Romance. On the surface, this could be viewed as just another release from a female-fronted symphonic metal band, but if you dig a little deeper you could well be surprised because there are some real gems nestled within this album. Admittedly there are a few weaker tracks, but the standout tracks are more than capable of carrying the album alone.
It begins with a stunning and atmospheric introduction, which really helps to build things up and gets the album off to a really strong start. It slowly getting bigger and more epic until the album fully begins, and third track The Promise Inside is a tremendous effort, a nice and chunky sound to it before the track is stripped back and Federica’s vocals shine through, highlighting their quality and strength. The chorus is especially great, a memorable section that really worms its way into your head and gets stuck there!
Of course, as mentioned by the band members in the interview, Devil’s Cave is the clear highlight of the album and the amount of work that has clearly gone into this track to make it shine is extremely evident. Epic is the only word that comes close to describing it; a musical adventure that’s a gripping listen right from the atmospheric opening right through to the massive-sounding outro that sounds like the band are putting their everything into the song to make it truly stand out. It just has everything.
Enlighten is an intriguing and exciting listen – and judging by this alone, their live show is not one to be missed.