This band comes from the beautiful city of Varese, Italy. Their self titled EP is being released in September 2020. Athon manages to appease the die hard fans while turning heads of new comers like myself. The EP is a solid first effort comprised of a dual guitar/vocal attack and perfectly fuzzed out production. It’s a superb blend of Sludge and Doom, but often ventures into nontraditional higher velocities. They stay true to their roots, but also put their personal stamp on this record. Recommended for fans of Sleep, Mastodon and Blind Dog
Manu (bass / vocals)
1. Greetings from Colorado and Metalheads Forever! How are things in your part of the world?
CASTE: Hello everyone! Luckily, we and our loved ones are all well, even if in other areas of Europe the virus continues to show its effects. As for the music, this is not the best year for those who play or those who live with it.
GIONA: Hi! Things are slowly recovering after the spring lockdown and the hope for improvement is high.
2. Please introduce yourselves a bit more thoroughly to our readers.
CASTE: We are Athon and we’re from Italy. Our sound is probably difficult to categorize, especially considering that we are debuting with our album, released on Friday 25th September. Every time someone does a review they always find new bands to compare with to define our sound, we are pleased to know that every time we give different sensations to the listeners.
GIONA:What can be said about Athon, surely that we are looking for a new way to express ourselves and to reinvent what most influences us, as much as we are fascinated by the roots of metal. We are four heads determined to get involved with music
3. Early on, when you were playing covers and creating your own sound, what was the defining moment or song where you said, “Yes! This is our sound.” Did things fall together fairly easily after that?
CASTE: Talk about a precise moment when we decided that “this is our sound!” it’s practically impossible, we simply decided at some point to start writing our own pieces. We have never tried to do something emulating others, we just play and compose what we like.
GIONA: as I see it our sound is something born even before the band thanks to our two guitarists,they already had a clear idea of how their amps should rumble. The moment I joined the band I realized that my idea of drums was already very close to what it would really need, it wasn’t all perfect from the start but rather, it made it more of a fun than an effort to create our unison.
4. Athon was formed in 2014, yet you didn’t have a permanent bassist until 2017. What took so long finding the ideal person? How does Manu round out the band like no one else could?
GIONA: It was not easy to find a stable bass player because at that time we were carrying out the cover project of bands that here in our area are followed by the underground community, which makes it more difficult to find people interested in the genre. In my opinion Manu brings a tone of voice and a compositional idea recalling the rock of the 70s and the first Heavy that makes the vocal part less traditional in the genre and allows us to be more “free” in the compositional rules imposed by metal, its influence in my opinion can make us more experimental in what was consolidated in prog rock.
5. What is your creative process? Please tell us about your EP.
CASTE: Up to now, our pieces have been composed starting from an idea proposed by one of us…
GIONA: … That’s right, mainly we try to put together a song that all four of us like starting from both a fairly clear idea of structure and some riffs that sound good together, we prefer to work on new stuff when we are all in the rehearsal room, this also helps us to understand ourselves better musically speaking.
6. “Absinthe” is my favorite song on your EP. Lines like “Kiss the green devil before you die” and “Blinded, searching for the truth” stand out to me. Please elaborate on this song…and at around 2:48, is there a nod to Yes’ “Starship Trooper” or is that just in my mind?
CASTE: We are glad you like it! The piece talks about the strange effects absinthe has on people (in fact he is the “green devil”). For the Yes song it’s a pure random event.
GIONA: We acted as a human trial to write the text hahaha
7. “The End” is another great track. Between that and “Kaleidogscope,” you cover a lot of ground. Crushing sludge Metal in a traditional style, yet just a bit different. What would say helps you stand apart from the crowd?
CASTE:We don’t dwell much on the starting idea, the more on the final result. Any interesting idea that leads us to write different pieces is taken into consideration.
GIONA: Actually, I can only add that it is not thinking about others that you take your own path, for the rest I am lucky that the 3 guys I play with churn out excellent riffs!
8. These are uncertain times in many respects and long-term plans can be challenging. In a perfect world, however, what do you see Athon accomplishing?
GIONA: Despite the restrictions we are managing to find each other and to continue the work on the new material, this in my opinion allows us not to be held back on our ideas for the future: to continue composing music as best we can!
CASTE: In addition to continuing to compose music, our main goal is to make it a full-time occupation.
9. Hypothetically, if I were to visit Varese, what is the one thing I absolutely must see?
GIONA:The view of the lake from the mountains is something that you absolutely cannot miss, and you are also spoiled for choice on which mountain to be and which lake to see! As itineraries for an excursion I can suggest the Orino’s Fort or the Campo dei Fiori natural park.
CASTE: In addition to the walking routes, the area offers many places of cultural and artistic interest. The city of Varese has a beautiful city park, where various types of concerts are offered in summer, such as the annual Blues festival which over the years has attracted artists of various caliber, such as Popa Chubby or Eric Sardinas.
10. We know you are very busy and we appreciate your taking time to talk with us. Any parting words for your fans and our readers?