BLACKFIRE – REBECCA TOVEY
Art: Lu Agudelo
Bio: Formed in late 2012 by vocalist/guitarist Nico Cattoni, Raptore hailed from Buenos Aires, Argentina and released their first demo in 2014. In 2016, they released their debut album, Rage N’ Fever, which allowed them to tour South America and open for such bands as Exciter and Enforcer. Not being able to find suitable musicians for a steady lineup, in 2018, Nico decided to move to Europe to give Raptore better opportunities and recognition. He set base in Barcelona and completed the lineup with three talented musicians. One year later, they released the single ‘Prisoner Of The Night’ through Church Recordings and were booked for festivals such as Pyrenean and Trveheim. Unfortunately, the pandemic delayed those concerts until 2022.
Nevertheless, the fortified Raptore lineup began work in 2021 on their second album, Blackfire, entering the esteemed Moontower Studios. Immediately, right from the very first notes, Blackfire explodes with excitement that simply cannot be contained. Righteously ripping, draped in darkness but lined with purple velvet, Raptore here give a masterclass in spooky speed metal: fierce yet fun, authentically rooted in the ’80s but not blinkered by the past, and above all, addicting. That the quartet can maintain bristling energy no matter the pace cruising, headbanging, or overdrive, is some black magick; that each track is anthemic in its own right and then altogether merge into a unified statement of intent is diabolical.
While Blackfire is the band’s darkest and fastest recording to date, let it be known that not everything is of a Satanic/vampiric/demonic intent, as many personal messages exist within the album’s eight-song/32-minute runtime. This is all to say nothing of the evocative lead work- literal FIRE! Featuring a stellar mix & master courtesy of Javi Félez, Blackfire firmly establishes Raptore as a worldwide contender. Prepare to get burned.
For ‘Blackfire’, I started by pouring all my fantasy-related experiences into the lyrics, addressing themes like vampirism, demons, the devil and hell-related stories, etc. At least, that was the concept at the beginning of the writing process. By the end of it, with songs like ‘Phoenix’, for example, I found myself writing from a more personal and deep side of my mind which I ended up enjoying. I think that’s the way to connect with people, by sharing our experiences and relating through a more meaningful message.
I try to write or express what is inside my mind at that particular time. As mentioned before, for Blackfire, for example, I started with one type of thematic, and I ended up with a different one. As long as it has meaning and some substance that I think is worth sharing, I won’t limit myself to any specific topic.
It all started with Kiss for me. I listened to ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ in an old record tape my father had, and there has been no return since then. I devoured my father’s cassette collection and absorbed everything about AC/DC, Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Queen etc. Then I had my 60’s, and 70s phase, when Led Zeppelin caught me, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Pink Floyd, until I discovered metal by the hand of Judas Priest’s ‘Sad Wings Of Destiny’ and ‘Defenders Of The Faith’. That was my initiation to rock and music, and I’ve never stopped since then.
I don’t have a specific creative process or behaviour, but what does help me is to do exercise, go to the gym or take a walk while listening to music or thinking about music in my head. I write most of the songs in my head without the help of my guitar or any instrument. It’s just me picturing the song and crafting the parts of it inside my mind.
I aspire to be the best possible version of myself. I work hard to improve my skills to let out anything that might cross my mind and that I think might have some artistic value. Of course, I have my musical (and not musical) ‘heroes’ or people I look up to, but I passed the time worshipping them. I realised that we are all different people and should try to be the best version of ourselves, not trying to copy or emulate anyone, just letting our minds express and show the world our vision of things.
I think it’s both entertainment and spiritual. I can’t avoid feeling nostalgic when listening to the albums that made me get into rock or metal, and I like to feel connected to new music that transmits different feelings or experiences. At the same time, when playing live, I try to be an entertainer and deliver a show to fulfil my and people’s expectations, so I can’t disassociate one thing from the other.
I divide music between music that I enjoy, transmits to and connects to me and the piece that doesn’t. Any music genre can fall inside those categories. I don’t like to depend on a genre to know if I’m ‘allowed’ to enjoy or listen to some music or another; I just don’t feel it natural. Regarding recommendations, I will mention bands or music I’ve enjoyed lately: The Cruel Intentions, Tribulation, Airbourne, Rodolfo Mederos, Olivia Rodrigo, Beartooth, Charly Garcia, Momma, Wet Leg, Fountains DC, The Smashing Pumpkins, Sister, etc. The list can go on forever, as I’m always trying to find new inspiring music.