Italian Metal

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

“If Turilli was the flighty artist constantly on the move, Staropoli was the guy who’s kept writing choruses which were an innovation in 1997. Combining these two artistic visions created something special. But the split left Rhapsody of Fire with three problems. First, Staropoli needed to become a better composer; second, he had to replace his band; and lastly, he needed to forge a path forward.” How many of these things does Glory for Salvation accomplish?

Vertebra Atlantis – Lustral Purge in Cerulean Bliss

Vertebra Atlantis – Lustral Purge in Cerulean Bliss

“Mastermind behind such acts like Summit, The Clearing PathCosmic Putrefaction, and Turris Eburnea, G.G. or Gabriele Gramaglia’s resume is vast and varied, and sets a pretense for new project Vertebra Atlantis. Working with drummer/vocalist R.R. from Homselvareg and Vrangr from Spells of Misery, debut Lustral Purge in Cerulean Bliss offers a fusion of dissonant death metal and atmospheric black metal, not unlike labelmates Prometheus‘ debut.” Dissonance dissidents.

Kolossus – K Review

Kolossus – K Review

“As I do with all bands that have a discography, I started from the top. It was only last year that Kolossus dropped their debut record, The Line of the Border. In those forty-plus minutes, my lips would involuntarily mouth, ‘What the fuck?’ Each song is nothing like the last. Each brings something new to the plate, and none cared what came before or went after. It refused to follow the rules—it’s own or anyone else’s. And, to an extent, K is no different.” K is for Klosers.

Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

“I’d like to start this review with an apology to Eldritch Elitist. I violated his rights by covering Skeletoon‘s 2020 album, Nemesis. In Steel Druhm‘s excitement to assign me a goofy album from a goofy band with a goofy name, and in my excitement to receive such an honor, we both failed to realize that Eldritch had covered Skeletoon‘s Goonies-themed album They Never Say Die in 2019, giving him the right of prima promo. The gracious Mr. Elitist gently broke the news to me shortly after that review published, and even went so far as to allow me to cover this, Skeletoon‘s fifth album in six years. The Nerd Metal Superheroes are headed back into classic film territory, this time tackling the Back to the Future trilogy.” Yucks Capacitor.

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.