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:: ARCANA XXII

PRESENT YOURSELVES OUR READERS...

"Hi, we're ARCANA XXII from Namibia."

WHO ARE ARCANA XXII BAND MEMBERS?

"Johann Smit (Vocals), Sven Heussen (Guitar), Johan de Jager (Guitar), Sigi Mueller (Bass) and Tomas Hoffmann (Drums)."

WHEN DID YOU HAVE FOUNDED THE BAND?

"That was in 1997..."

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST BEGINNING OF BAND...

"We were 5 musos that were frustrated with the lack of a local heavy scene and decided to put metal on the map in Namibia."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING-EFFORTS?

"I am still proud of what we achieved. Every album was self financed and produced. Engineers in Namibia have no experience with metal music, and despite that i think we really delivered. Every album received favourable reviews and great responses from fans."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWING?
"In Namibia, the following is more broad. They are not necessarily metalheads, but also rock fans or pop fans from all ages and races. Our hows usually draw about +-300 people..."

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN YOUR HISTORY?
"Our recordings and shows. I think this band has achieved a huge amount in a country where all odds are against heavy music. No radio support etc..."

WOULD YOU LIKE TO INTRODUCE US "YOUR FATAL EMBRACE"?
"Our latest album. It's heavier I think than the others, but also more refined and polished. It's no Andy Sneap sound but I think it's great for the time and budget and know-how we had available."

WHY SUCH TITLE?
"Sometimes things we really love or are in awe with, are not good for us. I think this also applies to love. What we love often hurts us and kills something deep inside and vice versa. Thats basically what it says."

WHAT'S ABOUT THE PRODUCTION OF ALBUM?
"As I said. We produced in Namibia and did it all ourselves. Limited budget with engineers who know little about metal. For the short time and money we had, it's a stunning album."

ANY PARTICULAR CONCEPT CONCERNING THE ALBUM?

"No thread throughout the album. Every song has it's own theme and that's mainly our Singers baby."

WHAT'S THE MOOD OF IT?
"It addresses some serious personal issues as well as mythological themes, so there's a mix of dark moods and also positive messages."

THE SOUND IS FEROCIOUS, RIGHT?
"If you say so ;-)..."

THE MOST SALIENT ASPECTS OF YOUR NEW ALBUM?

"It's metal, but with strong melodies and some killer riffs. And the best point for me is that we don't sound like anyone else. People have compared us with Praying Mantis, Laaz Rockit and lots of US metal bands from the 80s, but none of those are a legitimate description. Noone can pin us down to a style and that's great about this band. We naturally and without planning, manage to compose very versatile music. Too many European and US bands all sound the same these days. Everybody uses a formula. We are isolated from the international market in the sense that we are not directly influenced by trends or movements in the metal scene. Maybe that doesn't make it easy, but we are proud of it."

WHAT'S ABOUT THE FEEDBACK?

"We've had very positive reviews throughout. Obviously there are also less positive reviews, but that also is part of releasing an album. I am very happy with the feedback so far."

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
"I personally communicate my inner feelings with the riffs I write. It's a form of release. I guess it's the same for the other members. There is nothing more gratifying than having those feelings transformed into great sounding tunes and then having people enjoy that. It's a higher form of communication for me."

TOURING PLANS?
"Nothing yet. We are far away from the rest of the world, haha. I guess there will be something planned for 2006. We first want to see how well our album does."

YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
"My life philosophy? I guess it's music. I live and breathe it and spend most of my time with it, whether it's composing or just listening. I wish good handmade music would be appreciated more these days. So many good bands never get recognised, while the mainstream rubbish scores platinum."

THE FUTURE OF THE BAND?
"We are searching for a replacement drummer. Once that happens we will start jamming on new songs."

ANY LAST REMARKS?

"Thanks for your interest in ARCANA XXII. Check out our albums. Enjoy! Keep it METAL!!!"

Official website: www.arcanaxxii.com

EMANUELE GENTILE

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