Italian Metal

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.

My Refuge – The Anger Is Never Over Review

My Refuge – The Anger Is Never Over Review

“Following a distinctly cheese-less 2021, I decided to cherry pick something smelly. A promo surfaced, bearing both the words “Italian” and “power.” Perfect. However, and disappointingly, a deeper dive into the one sheet showed that this is only four eighteenths of the story; although the founder and main man is indeed Italian, the core band comprises a Spaniard and a German, with a further 15 contributors from across the globe, covering Czech Republic, Turkey, Canada and Venezuela, among others. My Refuge and their second full-length release entitled The Anger Is Never Over takes international to the next level but is it good? Is it cheesy?” No sanctuary from the anger.

Fuoco Fatuo – Obsidian Katabasis Review

Fuoco Fatuo – Obsidian Katabasis Review

“In the case of funeral doom, I’ve run across several people telling me that Skepticism and Moss are the best funeral doom out there, followed by warnings to stay away from Catacombs and Until Death Overtakes Me. What happened? Neither Skepticism nor Moss stuck with me, and I routinely return to Catacombs and Until Death Overtakes Me. With a style as minimalistic as funeral doom, everyone will react differently to the same slab of concrete-thick, 20-BPM riffs, and will entirely depend on the atmosphere it provides.” Journey to the center of Katabasis.

Ghostly Aerie Coven – Bird of Prey Review

Ghostly Aerie Coven – Bird of Prey Review

“You can get an idea of an album based on its cover. And, uh, wow. Three-eyed literally-horned Forlesen owl (who has fallen on hard times) feeding the head of Christ with a chalice of nails? A whole lotta fuckery to unpack here. Why does Jesus need nails? Of all people, I would assume his iron intake is higher than others. Before I go off the rails with more edgy unfunny comedy, the most important question is: what the hell kinda music is this? Well, if you honed in on the bizarre blasphemy and guessed black metal, ding ding ding!” Owl at the moon.

In Tormentata Quiete – Krononota Review

In Tormentata Quiete – Krononota Review

“What a profoundly odd band In Tormentata Quiete is. Plenty of Italian bands are grand, pompous, cheesy, and theatrical, but few do it like this one, sporting three vocalists in a range of styles but remaining light on orchestral elements. Their first foray into the halls of AMG was shot down with a 1.0 from Grymm for being unstructured and containing baffling, out-of-place elements like rap breakdowns in the middle of their semi-symphonic avant-garde drama metal. Their second, Finestatico, earned them a 3.5 from yours truly, seemingly fixing everything its predecessor did wrong. Krononota sees another change of the guard in the vocal department, but can they maintain the high standard of before?” Pomp in a weird place.

Blue Hour Ghosts – Due Review

Blue Hour Ghosts – Due Review

“NASA once lost a perfectly good spacecraft due to a units error, which led to a miscalculated course and a fiery collision with the destination planet. The navigation team had raised concerns that it was off course before the actual crash, but no action was taken. Managers preferred to assume everything was fine until it was too late. Here on final approach hoping everything is fine is Italy’s Blue Hour Ghosts with their second album, Due.” Brace for impact.

Ad Nauseam – Imperative Imperceptible Impulse Review

Ad Nauseam – Imperative Imperceptible Impulse Review

Ad Nauseam spilled into the avant-garde black/death metal scene in 2015 with Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, a record that stood out for its audacity even among the most ambitious and experimental extreme metal records. Think Gorguts, think Baring Teeth, think Imperial Triumphant, and, yes, think Pyrrhon, but the Italian quartet are their own phenomenon.” Artisan sickness