Italian Metal

Noctu – Gelidae Mortis Imago Review

Noctu – Gelidae Mortis Imago Review

“When I hear the term “funeral doom,” several words immediately come to mind: slow, reeeally fucking slow, crushing, monolithic, etc. I am moved to many turns ov phrase in the presence of funeral doom, yet one word which rarely plods to the forefront of my funereal lexicon is also one which I cannot avoid when discussing the genre: what is “funeral,” Alex?” I’ll take Potpourr-zees for $200.

Devangelic – Ersetu Review

Devangelic – Ersetu Review

“The concept album does not translate well to death metal. That’s not to say bands can’t pull it off, but the mangled vocals and chaotic nature of the genre work against attempts to tell a story across the length of a record. Most of the more successful death metal concept albums take musical cues from progressive rock—distinctive melodies, varied pacing, and tamed growls get the point across. Devangelic rally against this, writing concept albums that contain none of that.” Conceptual brutality.

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

“It’s amazing the things you discover lurking around the Promo Pit. Blaze of Sorrow is not a band that has been on my radar, but between that album art (I mean, look at it), that name (Absentia is such a cool name it nets you twelve band name search results on Metallum), and the promise of “windswept, cascading black metal [that] is undoubtedly melancholic at heart” (I know, I know, marketing copy is marketing copy, but what can I say, it sounded good), I was sold on Blaze of Sorrow‘s Absentia before I’d heard a single note.” Grand declaration of expectations.

Volturian – Crimson Review

Volturian – Crimson Review

“The brainchild of Frozen Crown‘s Federico Mondelli and Sleeping Romance‘s Federica Lanna, Volturian prioritizes fun over all. These tunes will get stuck in your head, you will kind of hate that they get stuck in your head, and you will be powerless to stop it if you give it the smallest opening.” Activate earworm lock!

Megatherium – God Review

Megatherium – God Review

“There is one reason and one reason alone why I’m reviewing this album. It’s not the passable art, or the generally nice but fairly uneven roster of sludge and sludge-adjacent bands Argonauta Records have built up. It’s the handle, because Megatherium has to be one of the coolest band names I’ve ever laid eyes on.” Mega deficit.

Witches of Doom – Funeral Radio Review

Witches of Doom – Funeral Radio Review

“Pulling off the whole “gothic-doom-stoner metal” thing is no easy task. You need just the right blend of mood, meat and mist, and not every band is up to that kind of high level jiggery-pokery. Italy’s Witches of Doom have been lurking around the genre since 2014 with 2 full-lengths to their name, but third outing Funeral Radio is my first encounter with them. Their interesting cover art gleamed amid the fetid effluvium of the promo sump, and a brief sampling suggested something like a Danzig meets Alice in Chains grave cocktail.” Witch’s brewskis.

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

“First off, I’d like to apologize if you can’t hear me too well. I’ve been instructed to shout over the anguished shrieks of the Master of Muppets, who’s having a tough time right now. You see, we’re gathered here today to review In the Name of the World Spirit, the third release from Enzo and the Glory Ensemble, the progressive metal project masterminded by Enzo Donnarumma (Members of God), which is a touch outside of the creature’s usual wheelhouse. But positive, progressive, slightly cheesy power metal is something that I happen to delight in, so here we are! Embracing the glory (ensemble).” Double Glory Awaits.

Void of Sleep – Metaphora Review

Void of Sleep – Metaphora Review

“Italy’s Void of Sleep caught me by surprise with their excellent 2013 debut Tales Between Reality and Madness. Boasting a suave mix of sludge, stoner, doom and prog influences, Tales was a mighty first statement and addictive, refreshing album that firmly landed Void of Sleep in my sights as an exciting band on the rise. Sophomore album New World Order dropped in 2015 and found the band beefing up the prog and refining their sound. Though a solid album in its own right, it lacked some of the raw energy and penetrating hooks of the debut. Some five years later, Void of Sleep awaken from their slumber with third album, Metaphora, a highly anticipated release from my viewpoint.” Cuddling the void.

Little Albert – Swamp King Review

Little Albert – Swamp King Review

“A long time, on a blog far, far away, when I was not yet even a learner n00b, an Angry Metal Ape reviewed haunting Italian doomsters, Messa’s debut Belfry and its follow up Feast for Water. The debut, in particular, blew away our Steely Primate. And while I am not sure to what degree his prediction has come true that Messa’s “name will be on people’s tongues soon enough,” it bloody well should have. Both albums were stunning (although it was the sophomore effort that captivated me, more than their debut). It was with some surprise, therefore, that I found Little Albert, the side project from Messa’s lead guitarist Alberto Piccolo, sitting, all alone and unmolested in the promo swamp.” Swamp kings can do anything.