Italian Metal

Omnivore – Omnivore Review

Omnivore – Omnivore Review

“Reductivity is hard to resist when reviewing a band like the Italian death/thrash 4-piece Omnivore. If I were lazier, my review of their self-titled debut would be comprised entirely of Youtube links to various songs by Sadus, Kreator, Demolition Hammer and early Sepultura. I’d be a jerk, but accurate nonetheless.” JF Williams is a jerk, but he’s our jerk, so it’s okay. BTW, here’s more re-thrash.

Genghis Khan – Genghis Khan Was A Rocker Review

Genghis Khan – Genghis Khan Was A Rocker Review

“First off, let’s get one thing straight: Genghis Khan was, in all likelihood, not a rocker. He was many things — military genius, emperor, conqueror of many lands, and guy who killed a shitload of people. It’s possible that some of those things kind of rock, although the surviving populations of Russia, China, and the Middle East may beg to differ. Regardless, Khan lived many centuries before western music even existed, and there’s no evidence of him liking rock or metal. Anyways…so yeah, Genghis Khan the band. These guys are an Italian trio playing what could loosely be called ‘power metal.'” Mr. Fisting loves his world history and has some issues with this Italian trio’s debut album and its historical inaccuracy. Forget the wrath of Khan, this is the wrath of Fisting!!

Death SS – Resurrection

Death SS – Resurrection

“It seems I’m not quite over my hankering for cheese. In simple terms, that means you get to sit through a review of Resurrection, the aptly titled rebirth of Italian band Death SS and their brand of ‘horror music’. Death SS have quite a history, going back to their inception in 1977 with the only constant of the band (outside of the Evil Metal EP) being the odd vocal styling’s of Steve Sylvester. The list of former members is pretty astonishing (upwards of 30 member changes) which probably accounts for why Death SS have done a complete about-turn when comparing Resurrection against its predecessors.” First Powerwolf and now this? Madam X is off the reservation and wandering through Cheese Land and she may never be the same. Ever see KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park? This could be KISS Meets the Madam.

Krampus – Survival of the Fittest Review

Krampus – Survival of the Fittest Review

To say I’ve been moved by this album is just a slight understatement… bear with me while I try and reign in my fangirl-ism! It’s rarely that I’ve come across an album that carries such a strong and powerful message, while sounding mind-blowing at the same time. This 8-piece, modern folk metal band hail from Udine, in north-eastern Italy, and it seems this city, known for its iron commerce, will soon be known for a slightly more folk inspired kind of metal. Krampus have a style that is reminiscent of new wave folk metal act Eluveitie and sometimes progressive, mostly melodic, folk metal acts Amorphis, Wintersun and Korpiklaani. Where they differ however, is that instead of looking to the past for inspiration, Krampus have crafted Survival of the Fittest wholeheartedly, lyrically and musically, looking towards the future and a rather bleak, battered and bruised future it appears to be. This is the bands first full release, however Krampus have already released two very tempting EP offerings (Shadows of Our Time and Kronos’ Heritage), and will be leaving for their first extended European (Heidenfest) tour shortly (joining the likes of Wintersun and Korpiklaani), and therefore there is a definite expectation that Survival of the Fittest will be well-received.

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Agony Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Agony Review

In 2009 a record came sort of out of nowhere that really took me by surprise, and frankly, kicked my ass something fierce. It was from Italian technical death metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse and the record was called Oracles. What I loved about the album, and the thing that made it so addicting, was that it was beautifully melodic and unabashedly technical at the same time. It blended these two things into what was easily the most unique technical death metal or melodic death metal record that had been released in a very, very long time. I was blown away (and still am). I didn’t review it at the time, but it made the #3 spot on my Top 10(ish) of 2009 and I have been waiting for the follow up ever since. Agony, the band’s first record on Nuclear Blast records, is that follow up and it’s a great album that bugs me.

Rhapsody of Fire – From Chaos to Eternity Review

Rhapsody of Fire – From Chaos to Eternity Review

Rhapsody of Fire is like the kyrptonite of Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™. While they did have diminished recordings when they signed with Magic Circle Records (PRO-TIP: the “magic circle” in question is your anus… which will get fucked by Joey DeMaio), the last two years have been tremendously productive for these Italians. First, they came back with 2010’s The Frozen Tears of Angels which was an amazing success by all accounts and received a raving 5/5 review from me. Then they released The Cold Embrace of Fear which wasn’t exactly the greatest thing they ever did, but it was good and had some solid songs even if it contained far more voice acting than I’d’ve liked (“IT’S AN AVALANCHE!!”). And they managed to drop a guitarist and pick up another one (by the name of Tom Hess) on the way. But now this. From Chaos to Eternity.

Rhapsody of Fire – The Frozen Tears of Angels Review

Rhapsody of Fire – The Frozen Tears of Angels Review

It seems forever since Italian power metallers, and just generally over-the-top crafters of Symphonic Hollywood Metal (or as I called it in one of my very earliest reviews “Sword Swinging Elf Metal”) produced an album. And really, in terms of the modern music industry it has been a very long time. Rhapsody of Fire’s last album, Triumph or Agony, was released in 2006 to almost no fanfare. I didn’t see a single advertisement for the album, I never knew that it was being released and I had no idea that they had even been working on a new album at all. One day I just walked into my local record store and saw it on the shelf there. The total lack of build-up foreshadowed how I felt about the album, and frankly the record that had gone before it: it lacked what I was looking for in a Rhapsody of Fire album. The guitar orientation was gone, the songs were not as huge, the guitar not as bombastic and the feel was generally one that I just could never really get into. Both Symphony of Enchanted Lands pt. II and Triumph or Agony, while technically filling the standards set by the band, certainly didn’t live up to what I see as the band’s crowning jewel Power of the Dragonflame.