From the menacing opening chimes of Black Sabbath’s ageless self-titled anthem onwards, horror and metal have always been natural bedfellows. In 2017, few bands are honouring that relationship with as much bombast and rabid enthusiasm as Italy’s Deathless Legacy. Initially formed as a tribute to homegrown doom metal pioneers Death SS, the band have since evolved into their own spectacular horror metal circus, replete with wild, theatrical stage shows and demented albums such as third full-length Dance With Devils. As drummer Frater Orion explains, the whole extravagant enterprise was the inevitable result of lives spent poring over all things dark and disturbing.
“We try to put everybody’s fears, including our own, into our music,” he explains. “Our background is full of creepy stuff. We were all weird kids, the kind of children who would rather read a [Edgar Allan] Poe book instead of going to parties. Our influences are many, from the movies and books to horror music. King Diamond is one of our greatest influences, and Igor Stravinsky, too!”
With a sound that hovers in the nebulous haze between doom, symphonic metal and the trad metal bluster of the aforementioned King, Deathless Legacy have already attracted lots of attention in their native country. They can also count no less a figure than Rob Zombie as a fan: the horror rock Svengali booked the Italians to support him in Milan in 2014.
“The most important thing we learned [from Rob] is that, even when you are a great rock star like him, humility is something you should never forget when you’re off stage,” says vocalist Steva La Cinghiala. “And we have so many things in common with Rob and Sheri Moon as well!”
A band with more than a few vampire bats in the belfry, Deathless Legacy are so joyously over the top that it’s hard to imagine any metal fan failing to find something appealing within their vivid, doomy carnival of grotesquery. It certainly helps that Dance With Devils is a meticulously realised concept album that sounds tailor-made for the horror-loving hordes of the metal world. Somewhere between B-movie kitsch and authentic occult unease, songs like Witches’ Brew and Devilborn are as vivid as they are insane.
“The main theme of Dance With Devils is the witches,” explains Steva. “The story begins with a Sabbath, as we run through Inquisition flames, stopping by an evil black oak to watch the birth of the unholy- witchy-baby, the Antichrist, baptised by Lucifer himself. Add a pinch of witchcraft, some cursing ghouls, set it in Transylvania and get ready to dance with all those creatures of the night!” Crumbs.
Dance With Devils is out now via Scarlet