Italian Metal

Sun of the Suns – TIIT Review

Sun of the Suns – TIIT Review

“There is all sorts of weirdness going on with this release. It’s a debut album by a band that by all means does not seem to have existed until late May this year. Sun of the Suns have no Metal Archives page and their only social media channels, Facebook and Instagram, both dropped out of the sky one day with the album announcement as the first post. Yet the Italians helming the project have sufficient pedigree in their national death metal scene, enough to pull session participation from Fleshgod Apocalypse drummer Francesca Paoli and DGM bass player Simone Mularoni. Not to mention this sounds absolute leagues away from the exploratory, not-quite-sure-where-we’re-going-with-this tentativity you might expect from a debut.” First Sun of the first Sun.

Devoid of Thought – Outer World Graves Review

Devoid of Thought – Outer World Graves Review

“Do you remember when Blood Incantation was the poster-boy of radical and boundary-pushing death metal? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Since then, however, it’s become cool to hate on the hype, and your favorite ancient alien-loving Denverites have become the flavor of “ugh, those pretentious bastards?” in spite of Hidden History of the Human Race earning a roaring 4.0 from the illustrious L. Saunders and earning acclaim from across the metalverse. Their use of OSDM with cosmic themes and enough psychedelic flourishes to get you to start smelling space colors was ambitious and thoughtful, and I believe, undeserving of the hate. I hope you like Blood Incantation, because Devoid of Thought does.”” Stare into devoid.

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

“One of the most anticipated releases on my radar this month was a debut from brand new Italian doom metal act Bottomless. Most of said anticipation came from the fact it featured Messa‘s outstanding vocalist Sara Bianchin on bass rather than vocals. That seemed such an odd twist that it made me curious what the Bottomless sound would consist of. As it turns out the band travels in the same circles as vintage Pentagram and Saint Vitus but with a slightly more stoner-esque edge than either of those classic acts possessed.” Love letters to the Doom Lords.

Neker – Slower Review

Neker – Slower Review

“Hailing from Italy, Neker is the brainchild of… Wait a second. Neker? That’s… You’re sure that’s what you want to go with? Okay, so if any of you want to recommend this band to any friends or family, say it slowly and enunciate clearly. Maybe over-pronounce the K a little, just for safety’s sake. Neker is the brainchild of vocalist/bassist Nicola Amadori, with help from Daniele Alessi on drums and Alessandro Eusebi on guitars. The rest is all Amadori, and his passions lie with the roots of southern metal and sludge, speaking loftily of such renowned acts as Down, Pantera, Crowbar and Melvins.” Let’s get Neker!

Varego – Varego Review

Varego – Varego Review

“Talk about an art upgrade! Last time we saw Italian prog-sludgers Varego, their offering came wrapped in a decidedly undercooked wrapper. That turned out to be a bit prophetic, as the album innards were likewise short a few polishing sessions. 2 years have passed since then, and Varego have reverted from their inclusion on Argonauta’s roster to the solitary status of the self-releasing ronin with a self-named record. A mid-career eponymous album always serves as an attention grabber, a statement of identity. Along with the appealing cover, these are all strong indicators that the band is attempting a kind of rebirth, or at least a make-over.” Mastodonian.

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter plays an Americanized version of the Swedish sound which was foundational to bands like As I Lay Dying, along with the Swedish take on that Americanized Swedish sound which was done by Soilwork and In Flames on Stabbing the Drama, Sworn to a Great Divide, A Sense of Purpose, and Come Clarity. The newest of the above is thirteen years old, the oldest sixteen – Karpenter is an unintentionally hard-hitting commentary on the passage of time.” Sleeping in the past.

Becerus – Homo Homini Brutus Review

Becerus – Homo Homini Brutus Review

“Cavemen have become popular again, and this time they’re not trying to sell you insurance. No, a wave of bands are doing something I appreciate and embracing the simpler elements of death metal. Bands like Frozen Soul, Sanguisugabogg, Celestial Sanctuary, and Gutless are associated with our cave-dwelling ancestors and they have one important thing in common: big, dumb riffs. What type of big dumb riffs? Mortician ones.” Welcome to Club Dead.

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

“There’s something so alluring about the melding of two genres like black and speed metal. When executed correctly, these seemingly disparate styles join forces to create a noxious stew altogether stronger than the sum of their individual parts; powerful, bombastic and able to dissolve your stomach lining. Bands like Blackevil, Bewitcher, Hellripper and a cornucopia of their spike-and-denim clad contemporaries prove what transpires when icy BM and the meat-and-potatoes chug of 80s speed form their unholy union. Bunker 66 are no strangers to this format, and are eager to continue the sacrilegious scourge with their new album Beyond the Help of Prayers.” Bunker busters.

Helslave – From the Sulphur Depths Review

Helslave – From the Sulphur Depths Review

“When life is kicking you in the arse, death is a comforting antidote. Death metal of course, I’m not that fucking morbid. My prior experience with Italy’s Helslave is minimal, however, I’ve caught up on the Italian worshippers of Swedish death in whetting my appetite for their latest platter of old school splatter. After compiling an impressive slab of ’90s inspired melodic death on debut LP, An Endless Path, Helslave channeled some old timey Stockholm goodness on 2017’s Divination EP. Returning after an extended recording gap, Helslave continue channeling the classic, buzzsawing Swedeath brand on From the Sulphur Depths.” Tastes like burning.

Vexillum – When Good Men Go to War Review

Vexillum – When Good Men Go to War Review

“”Bagpipes are a lovely addition to any song,” I staunchly declared a mere fortnight ago in another review. While my bagpipe rule of thumb held true on Wynter Arvn‘s Abysses, I’m struggling to stand by my words after spending the last couple weeks with Vexillum‘s When Good Men Go to War. Strong onion, weakly held? I’d say so. How could I have known that this opinion would make me grimace so soon? Rather than adding a haunting and epic mysticism to Vexillum‘s music, the bag-pipe is instead an ever-present, garish nuisance.” Bag men.