Album Review – Mondoscuro / Mondoscuro EP (2016)

Enter the exciting dark world newly created by Italian legendary bands Cadaveria and Necrodeath, and your life will never be the same again.

Rating4

mondoscuro_coverartworkMore than just a regular split album, what you’ll find in the special release entitled Mondoscuro (the fusion of the Italian words “mondo” and “oscuro”, meaning “dark world”) is a fresh and vibrant cooperation between two legendary bands from the Italian metal scene, those being Biella-based Gothic/Horror Metal act Cadaveria and Genoa’s own Black/Thrash Metal squad Necrodeath. Our stunning diva Raffaella Rivarolo, commonly known as Cadaveria, has defined this unique project as “a blood pact between two diabolic entities that will give life to a new irreligious and obscure soul”, while Alberto Gaggiotti, known as Necrodeath’s frontman Flegias and also as Cadaveria’s drummer Marçelo Santos, also defined this collaboration between these iconic bands as “a pact between these entities, which has been haunting us for some time, and now the time has come to exorcise it, entering together in the same studio.” Based on the hellish words by both Cadaveria and Flegias, you can have a very good idea of what you’ll find in Mondoscuro.

The creepy artwork by Italian artist Paolo Perrotta Mazza is a precise depiction of the dark world crafted by Cadaveria and Necrodeath, portraying a mutilated woman with her throat slit and a dead fetus hanging from her stomach. Nothing could better represent the fusion of Black, Death, Gothic and Horror Metal than that, a diabolic combination of different subgenres of extreme music brought forth by two of the most important groups of the Italian underground scene. Furthermore, the way this amalgamation of evil is presented to the listener also deserves our attention, as the bands invert their roles, playing each other’s classics, firing brand new material composed together and paying a tribute to some of their favorite artists, all wrapped up in around 30 minutes of high-quality music emanating professionalism and passion for what they do. What else can you ask for in a heavy music album?

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Cadaveria

This devilish masquerade ball kicks off with Cadaveria playing Necrodeath’s sonic havoc Mater Tenebrarum, from their 1987 album Into the Macabre (check the original version HERE). There was absolutely no doubt this version was going to sound darkly delicious, with Cadaveria firing her trademark demonic gnarls blended with ominous clean parts after the song’s  somber intro. Not only this song presents a wilder and more metallic side of Cadaveria, but the epic operatic ending (from Keith Emerson’s Inferno outro) features some very special guests including the multi-talented Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth, Schoolcraft, The Astroplex). Then it’s Necordeath’s turn to provide their view of Cadaveria’s Spell, from their 2002 album The Shadows’ Madame (listen to the original version HERE), sounding as infernal as possible. Flegias does a great job on vocals, turning the original song into a more hellish tune, as well as guitarist Pier with his old school Thrash Metal attack through the sound blasted from his six-stringed ax.

The second act brings forward two brand new songs by Cadaveria and Necrodeath, starting with Dominion of Pain, where Dark and Black Metal are united by the demonic vocal duo of Cadaveria and Flegias, who together blast the song’s psychological words flawlessly (“Overtaking the boundaries of consciousness / Dominating the fevers of pain / Exorcising all fears with the violence of truth / Dissipating the ashes of uncertainty.”). In addition to that, Marçelo Santos (or Flegias, if you prefer) does a very good job with his rhythmic beats, with the last piece of the song offering that type of sluggish and somber Doom Metal powerfully blasted by bands like Cadaveria and My Dying Bride. Rise Above, a wicked marriage of Thrash and Gothic Metal fired by Necrodeath with guest vocalist Cadaveria and guitarist Dick Laurent, showcases truly Stygian lyrics (“I found your name trace in the ancient Book of Shadows / I felt your strength inside the circle of a spell / I want reality obey your dark commands / My soul is troubled by indomitable sensations.”) and a fiery Peso providing his share of aggressiveness and harmony to the musicality through his bestial drums. Moreover, its chorus couldn’t sound more old school, highly inspired by the darkest and most macabre metal music from the 80’s.

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Necrodeath

The last duo of compositions are in fact cover versions for two of the most important bands in the history of music, American Gothic/Doom Metal band Type O Negative and the unparalleled The Beatles. Cadaveria is the first one to pay homage to Type O Negative through her outstanding version for Christian Woman (check the original version from the 1993 classic Bloody Kisses HERE), a powerful and passionate tribute to Peter Steele (R.I.P.) and his iconic band. Although it doesn’t beat the beauty of the original version for obvious reasons, the low-tuned obscure guitar lines by Dick Laurent and the devilish performance by Cadaveria deserve our humble recognition so amazing they are, all embraced by atmospheric keyboards and a lustful vampiric vibe. And closing this special album we have Necrodeath playing a thrashier-than-ever version of one of the biggest classics by The Beatles, Helter Skelter, from their 1968 cult album The White Album (see the difference from the original version HERE). In this eccentric version of an old school rock anthem, the whole band is on fire, especially Flegias with his deranged growls, turning what used to be just a fast-paced Rock N’ Roll song into a brutal mosh pit-generator.

If you think you have what it takes to survive this brand new dark world created by those two iconic bands from Italy, all you have to do is go check both Cadaveria’s and Necrodeath’s Facebook pages, and purchase your copy of the EP at Cadaveria’s official webshop or at the Black Tears’ webshop. But let me warn you that once you enter this “mondoscuro” built by Cadaveria and Necrodeath there’s no turning back, as you’ll be consumed by their vile and merciless extreme music, becoming a prisoner to their realm of darkness. To be fair, I guess that’s what you’ve always wanted to happen when the band in question is Cadaveria, no doubt about that.

Best moments of the album: Mater Tenebrarum and Dominion of Pain.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Black Tears

Track listing  
1. Cadaveria – Mater Tenebrarum (Necrodeath cover feat. Lindsay Schoolcraft) 5:29
2. Necrodeath – Spell (Cadaveria cover) 5:14
3. Cadaveria – Dominion of Pain (feat. Flegias and Pier) 5:59
4. Necrodeath – Rise Above (feat. Cadaveria and Dick Laurent) 4:44
5. Cadaveria – Christian Woman (Type O Negative cover) 8:39
6. Necrodeath – Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover) 2:30

Band members
Cadaveria
Cadaveria – vocals
Dick Laurent – guitars
Peter Dayton – bass
Marçelo Santos – drums 

Necrodeath
Flegias – vocals
Pier Gonella – guitars
GL – bass
Peso – drums

Guest musicians
Lindsay Schoolcraft – lead lyric soprano on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)
Tiziana Ravetti – dramatic soprano on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)
Cristiano Caldera – tenor on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)
Ignis Forasdomine – organist on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)

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Album Review – Cadaveria / Silence (2014)

A sinister parade of heavy music led by the reigning succubus of Black and Doom Metal.

Rating4

cadaveria_silenceI got to know Black/Gothic Metal band Cadaveria a couple of months ago while listening to The Metal Moose Show, and basically after that I had to go after more of their excellent obscure music. The band is led by the diabolical Italian beauty Cadaveria (aka Raffaella Rivarolo), known for being the former singer of Symphonic Black Metal band Opera IX. Now, after over ten years in action, the band releases their fifth full-length album, Silence, a sinister parade of Black and Doom Metal, with Gothic influences from the 80’s and the unique feminine touch by Cadaveria.

Despite being extremely hard for bands to stay relevant in Heavy Metal doing this type of dark music, more due to their demanding fans rather than to the music itself, Cadaveria somehow manage to reinvent their musicality with each release, avoiding that feeling of “I’ve heard that before a million times” from any person that gets in contact with their music, no matter if it’s a diehard fan or a brand new listener. Of course the music by Cadaveria is not light-hearted or commercial at all, so do not expect to listen to it anywhere, but only where it really matters: in the underground music world.

The opening track, Velo (The Other Side of Hate), which by the way is probably a play on words with “LOVE”, is the perfect representation of Melodic Black Metal with devilish feminine vocals (can I say Cadaveria is like the reigning succubus of Black Metal?), alternating traditional Black Metal with more symphonic parts and with Frank Booth and Dick Laurent doing an awesome job on guitars. Following that great start, as the name of the song says Carnival of Doom has an awesome Doom Metal punch, being brutal but delicate at the same time, with Cadaveria’s clean vocals redefining the meaning of the word “mesmerizing”, while in Free Spirit there’s a slight change in the band’s approach, with its guitar lines and vocals focusing on a more melancholic tune inspired by Gothic/Doom Metal from the 80’s.

cadaveriaThe Soul That Doesn’t Sleep emanates despair and darkness, with Cadaveria beautifully switching between harsh and clean vocals while the rest of the band maintains a morbid rhythm, solidifying the overall result, followed by Existence, which gets closer to apocalyptic Black Metal with drummer Marçelo Santos conducting the rhythm. In the modern and amazing Out Loud, the band offers us a heavy and furious tune with hints of Thrash and Death Metal, sounding like an even more wicked version of Arch Enemy and making it a perfect choice for circle pits, while Death, Again, which begins in the darkest and most melancholic way possible, has that type of hypnotizing melody, with Cadaveria making it even more enjoyable.

The last part of Silence brings to the listener an interesting mix of good, bad and, of course, dark tunes, starting with Exercise1, too generic compared to the rest of the album; Almost Ghostly, a feminine version of Paradise Lost blended with Tristania, with highlights to its amazing vocal lines; Loneliness, another excellent technical track with Gothic elements dominating the entire song; and finally Strangled Idols, again a more melodic and dark song, with its raw Rock N’ Roll vein being very beneficial to the overall energy of the song.

You can check the official album trailer HERE, visit the band’s official Facebook page, and of course buy their music and merchandise at their webshop or on iTunes. If there was a parade of Black and Doom Metal, Silence would definitely be its sinful and delectable soundtrack.

Best moments of the album: Carnival of Doom, The Soul That Doesn’t Sleep and Out Loud.

Worst moments of the album: Existence and Exercise1.

Released in 2014 Scarlet Records

Track listing
1. Velo (The Other Side of Hate) 4:14
2. Carnival of Doom 3:28
3. Free Spirit 4:44
4. The Soul That Doesn’t Sleep 3:34
5. Existence 4:56
6. Out Loud 3:16
7. Death, Again 5:04
8. Exercise1 3:54
9. Almost Ghostly 4:22
10. Loneliness 4:42
11. Strangled Idols 5:00

Band members
Cadaveria – vocals
Frank Booth – guitar
Dick Laurent – guitar
Killer Bob – bass
Marçelo Santos – drums