Album Review – When Ashes Are Rising / Of Earth and Men (2017)

Witness the fall of everything the virus called “man” has created through the eyes of a raging five-piece Italian Metalcore act.

“You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Formed in 2014 with ex-members of underground Italian bands Absence (Torino), Cybercage (Sassari) and OxC (Sassari), here comes Italian Death Metal/Deathcore act When Ashes Are Rising, commonly referred to as W.A.A.R. or WAAR, and their brand new album, titled Of Earth and Men. After a more Hardcore-oriented first self-titled EP, the band decided they wanted to go for a more old school Metalcore sound heavily influenced by the Swedish metal scene, with bands like In Flames, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility, and, above all, At The Gates, being the source of inspiration for this promising Sassari-based group.

And their music is more than just your regular Metalcore, being a strong and austere social and political message for all mankind. W.A.A.R. believe in the total collapse of all the powers that make every human being a slave, from the very moment you are born until you die; they believe in the destruction of all the systems that enslave us through imposition and violence, and in the fall of everything the virus called “man” has created, constantly raping Mother Earth. Featuring a classy artwork by Emanuele Gutierrez, Of Earth and Men is the perfect musical representation of the band’s core essence and beliefs, with its mix of aggressive sounds and a very cohesive narrative sending a powerful and disturbing warning about the imminent doom of our decaying society.

The instrumental intro Of Earth And Men, featuring futuristic elements mixed with some gentle piano notes, is a good warm up for the belligerent Gaia’s Revenge, a Deathcore onrush with xZEDx as a guest vocalist and blending the melody of Metalcore with the sheer aggressiveness of Death Metal, all led by the rabid riffs by guitarists Giuseppe and Delio which end up supporting the maniacal growls by frontman Afshin in a powerful way. The following tune, titled W.A.A.R., presents a violent instrumental with the pounding drums by Nico elevating the song’s hostility to a whole new level while Luca smashes his bass guitar, generating a tempestuous sounding perfect for Afshin to explain to the listener who W.A.A.R. are through his deep guttural (“When Ashes are Rising. / I used to watch you walk among the trees / while they offered you their fruits / and now I see you abuse each other / You live on materialism / the true richness of the soul / you forget you erected / physical and mental cages / in a world with no borders / has this eternal misery killed your compassion?”).

In Dust Diamonds, featuring guest musician Blasi (Strength Approach) on additional vocals, their demented assault of Deathcore goes on in a fast-paced turmoil of nonstop beats and fills, crushing riffs and endless stamina, highly recommended for slamming into the pit; whereas Extinction, featuring guest guitarist Zack Cignetti (Tomorrowillbeworse), is another melodic tune where Afshin sounds possessed while Giuseppe and Delio continue to pierce our ears with their venomous strings, not to mention the song’s menacing aura. And this amazing quintet knows how to externalize their fury and hatred against what’s wrong in our society through their unrelenting metal music like what we see in After Tomorrow. In other words, get into the circle pit or simply bang your head nonstop to this solid tune full of metallic guitar lines, precise beats and unfriendly growls.

Then in Prelude To Life we’re treated to a futuristic instrumental bridge that connects to the final chapter in Of Earth and Men, the thoughtful and demolishing chant Life Will Find A Way, which not only showcases interesting and somewhat melancholic lyrics (“Our sacrifice was inevitable / but filling the void of a loss is hard / for she lost her children / and is left alone to cry. / They raped her, robbed her / she fed them anyway to sustain their reigns. / They raped her, robbed her / she fed them anyway, life will find a way.”), but its sounding also gets closer to pure Death Metal before becoming a modern display of Metalcore. Moreover, Afshin goes absolutely mental with his deep growls, while Nico’s double bass adds tons of fury to the musicality.

You can find all details about W.A.A.R. on Facebook, and buy Of Earth and Men through their BandCamp page, as well as through the Bound By Modern Age Records’ BandCamp or webstore. As time goes by, I feel more and more convinced that our society as we know it is coming to an inevitable and unpleasant end, and perhaps the extinction of the human race is exactly what needs to happen for the world to restore its peace and balance, especially because our current situation is far, far away from being sustainable. In case you agree with that concept and you love heavy music at the same time, the music by W.A.A.R. might become the perfect soundtrack for you while you witness our society crumbling to pieces.

Best moments of the album: Gaia’s Revenge and Extinction.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Bound By Modern Age Records

Track listing
1. Of Earth And Men 1:56
2. Gaia’s Revenge (feat. xZEDx) 4:20
3. W.A.A.R. 3:46
4. Dust Diamonds (feat. Blasi) 3:02
5. Extinction (feat. Zack Cignetti) 4:16
6. After Tomorrow 3:04
7. Prelude To Life 1:32
8. Life Will Find A Way 5:02

Band members
Afshin – vocals
Giuseppe – guitar
Delio – guitar
Luca – bass
Nico – drums

Guest musicians
xZEDx – additional vocals on “Gaia’s Revenge”
Blasi – additional vocals on “Dust Diamonds”
Zack Cignetti – guitar solo and outro section on “Extinction”

Album Review – Avelion / Illusion of Transparency (2017)

An emotional journey through the fragility and strength of human nature presented by an up-and-coming Italian band ready to conquer the world of melodic and modern Heavy Metal.

Aiming at overpowering genre classification by creating a new form of Modern Metal mixed with Progressive Metal influences and expressions, the talented squad of Italian metallers known as Avelion are set to conquer the world of heavy music with their first full-length album, the beautiful Illusion of Transparency, an emotional journey through the fragility and strength of human nature. Founded in 2008 in Parma, a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, this Melodic Metal act already released two strong albums, the EP Cold Embrace in 2011 and another EP titled Liquid Breathing in 2013 (followed by a mini-tour in Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia), but it’s with their new album that they’ve finally reached their most effective and promising shape to date.

Featuring the artwork, design and photography by Stefano Mattioni (Viron 2.0), Illusion of Transparency not only brings all the characteristics of high-end Melodic Metal, but its lyrics will also reach to your heart and your mind in an exciting manner. “The introspective lyrics revolve around the human condition: interpersonal conflict, dehumanization and the difficulty that someone could experience while trying to “fit” into society are the themes of the album”, said frontman William Verderi. Keyboardist Oreste Giacomini also complemented that thought, saying that “we all live in the illusion of transparency. Just think about the media, the internet and our cognitive bias. Reality is becoming more and more blurred and shady.”

In the opening track Fading Out the futuristic sounds by Oreste are suddenly joined by the melodic voice by William and the powerful, electrifying guitars and beats by Leonardo Freggi and Alessandro Ponzi, respectively, sounding like a fast-paced hybrid of Dream Theater and Stratovarius, therefore providing a flawless depiction of what this talented band is capable of doing. Echoes and Fragrance, a song that’s very progressive and exciting from start to finish, presents more modern sounds emanating from the whimsical keyboards by Oreste, while Leonardo and bassist Danilo Arisi deliver thunderous lines through their strings; followed by Burst Inside, where Oreste is once again responsible for building a metallic ambience for the rest of the band to deliver their potent fusion of Progressive and Melodic Metal. Furthermore, the intricate drumming by Alessandro and the Dream Theater-inspired performance by William on vocals are the highlights of this great song, making it even more compelling for fans of the genre.

Increasing the level of epicness and feeling, Avelion deliver an emotive tune titled Derailed Trails of Life, a futuristic semi-ballad showcasing a powerful atmosphere and featuring the tender, delicate backing vocals by guest singer Francesca Pasquinelli, not to mention the soulful guitar solo by Leonardo at the end. In the next track, Falling Down, a piano intro quickly turns into a modern Heavy Metal feast, yet again presenting elements from the music by bands such as Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and DragonForce, with Leonardo and Danilo providing some good balance with their heavy strings in contrast with the smooth keyboards by Oreste. Innocence Dies, a progressive and dark creation by Avelion with a lot of intricacy added to its melody, is perfect for explaining to the average person what modern Melodic Metal is all about, while in the electrified tune Waste My Time the bass guitar by Danilo sounds absolutely thunderous. Moreover, this awesome composition presents several breaks amidst the heaviness blasted by all instruments, while William continues to impress with his tuneful vocals.

The last batch of songs from the album keeps the energy flowing smoothly, starting with Open Your Eyes, where more rumbling sounds permeate the song’s industrialized ambience. However, what starts as sheer heaviness suddenly morphs into a power ballad that, despite its complexity and energy, doesn’t live up to the rest of the album in terms of quality. Blending the underground aura of Progressive Metal with mainstream modern Hard Rock, Ain’t No Dawn displays a superb performance by Oreste and Alessandro with their respective instruments, not to mention the song’s precise tempo changes, before Never Wanted, the last track in Illusion of Transparency, presents a more-than-pure Avelion sonority, from its rhythmic drumming to its slashing and melodic riffs, with William stealing the spotlight with one of his strongest vocal performances of the whole album, flowing to a climatic and harmonious ending.

In a nutshell, Avelion sound more than ready to conquer the world of heavy music with the sheer awesomeness found in Illusion of Transparency, and you can start following this up-and-coming band on Facebook to know more about their music and projects, as well as listen to their music on YouTube or SoundCloud. If you’re a fan of Melodic Metal always searching for new amazing bands to enhance your collection, go to the Revalve Records’ Big Cartel, to iTunes or to Amazon and buy your copy of this top-tier, full-bodied album by Avelion. Illusion of Transparency might discuss about the fragility and strength of human nature, but its music is far from being fragile or weak. Quite the contrary, this is potent Heavy Metal, just the way we love it.

Best moments of the album: Fading Out, Derailed Trails of Life and Waste My Time.

Worst moments of the album: Open Your Eyes.

Released in 2017 Revalve Records

Track listing
1. Fading Out 4:46
2. Echoes and Fragrance 4:31
3. Burst Inside 3:44
4. Derailed Trails of Life 4:38
5. Falling Down 5:30
6. Innocence Dies 3:11
7. Waste My Time 4:03
8. Open Your Eyes 3:39
9. Ain’t No Dawn 4:47
10. Never Wanted 4:16

Bonus track
11. Echoes and Fragments (The Algorithm Remix) 4:01

Band members
William Verderi – vocals
Leonardo Freggi – guitars
Danilo Arisi – bass
Oreste Giacomini – keyboards, programming
Alessandro Ponzi – drums

Guest musicians
Gianmarco Soldi – guitar solos on “Open Your Eyes” and “Ain’t No Dawn”, backing vocals on “Ain’t No Dawn”
Olaf Thörsen – guitar solo on “Falling Down”
Francesca Pasquinelli – backing vocals on “Derailed Trails of Life” and “Falling Down”

Album Review – Next Bullet / Zero (2017)

Are you ready to thrash to the debut album by a trio of Italian insurgents who take no prisoners in their quest for heavy music?

In case you don’t know what Thrashcore means, let me do a quick introduction to you of this electrifying style of heavy music. Thrashcore, also known as Fastcore, is a fast-tempo subgenre of Hardcore Punk that emerged in the early 1980’s, being often less dissonant and metallic than Grindcore, but still making good usage of blast beats. Thrashcore songs are usually short in duration, with the lyrics typically emphasizing youthful uprising or anti-militarism, being aligned with the skateboarder subculture in many ways. Having said that, are you ready to thrash to Zero, the debut album by a trio of Italian Thrashcore insurgents who together go by the name of Next Bullet?

Formed in 2016 in northeast Italy by members of Groove Metal act Overblood and Deathcore group Awake The Secrets, the trio comprised of Marc1 on vocals, Paske on guitar and bass, and Tom KT on drums takes no prisoners in their quest for heavy music, delivering ten ruthless compositions that exhale rebelliousness with the hardcore attitude of Grindcore, but also presenting the more melodious lines of Metalcore. Zero is already a pretty good album by itself, but if you take into account the fact that it’s just their debut release, I wonder how far those Italian metallers can go in the world of underground heavy music with this new endeavor.

Next Bullet, the track that carries the name of the band, is a precise depiction of what this power trio stands for, locked and loaded with pure heaviness and a hardcore attitude, where Marc1 begins explaining their “mission” through his deep growls while Tom KT sounds like a machine gun on drums. Following that intense start, we have All I Have Earned, a faster and more melodic Thrashcore song with elements from traditional Thrash Metal and Punk Rock, with Marc1 continuing his vocal attack and Paske delivering metallic, sharp riffs perfect for banging our heads nonstop; and Not Allow Them, where the trio keeps hitting us with their hardcore sounds. Moreover, pay attention to the drumming by Tom KT as it’s an interesting blend of the traditional Thrash Metal played by Exodus with the demented beats by old school Punk Rock drummers.

In Antiparasitic they once again unite the aggressiveness of American Hardcore with the melody found in European metal music, resulting in one of my favorite tracks of the album due to its high level of electricity, with all three members being in total sync generating a truly belligerent sonority; whereas in Unrelenting Will, another solid composition that showcases all the band’s anger and defiance, the musicality is led by the guitar lines by Paske while Marc1 bursts his lungs with his sick screams. After an eerie bridge named 2015: Mission Accomplished, we face more of the destructive music by Next Bullet titled Born On The Wrong Side, a mid-tempo, dark composition showing a more visceral side of the band. Not only that, Paske and Tom KT make a great duo with their heavy-as-hell riffs and demonic beats, therefore increasing the song’s punch and taste.

As I hate hashtags from the bottom of my heart, I have to say the furious The New Hashtag puts a smile on my face with its less than two minutes of sheer craziness, in a well-balanced fusion of Thrash Metal, Hardcore and Punk Rock. And bringing a lot of groove to their sonority, Kill The Maniac Pedophile is another short and sweet creation by Next Bullet that overflows rage despite being a bit bland, with its the last part getting a lot more dynamic (which unfortunately doesn’t last as long as it should), before the supersonic Remember! concludes the album in great fashion. The sound of the guitar by Paske is truly exciting, as if he is cutting our flesh with his riffs mercilessly, while Tom KT continues to pound his drums manically and Marc1 gets more and more insane on vocals.

Now that you have a pretty good understanding of what Thrashcore stands for and its purpose in heavy music, you should definitely give a try to Next Bullet and their berserk music by visiting their Facebook page and purchasing your copy of Zero at their BandCamp page. As mentioned before, Zero is a beyond solid debut by this angry power trio, having all the necessary qualities to become a reference in underground Thrashcore and a great source of energy for the band to keep moving forward in their career.

Best moments of the album: Next Bullet, All I Have Earned and Antiparasitic.

Worst moments of the album: Kill The Maniac Pedophile.

Released in 2017 KT Records

Track listing
1. Next Bullet 3:20
2. All I Have Earned 3:20
3. Not Allow Them 2:00
4. Antiparasitic 2:18
5. Unrelenting Will 3:04
6. 2015: Mission Accomplished 0:38
7. Born On The Wrong Side 2:38
8. The New Hashtag 1:30
9. Kill The Maniac Pedophile 1:34
10. Remember! 2:40

Band members
Marc1 – vocals
Paske – guitar, bass
Tom KT – drums

Album Review – Madness Of Sorrow / N.W.O. The Beginning (2017)

Depicting the corrupt and sick system in which humanity is living, the new album by this Italian duo of Gothic and Horror Metal will certainly entertain you with its high dosage of acidness, energy and creativity.

Although the ceaseless danger of the emergence of a totalitarian world government (the conspiracy theory known as the New World Order) might incite fear in our hearts, it also fuels the creativity from artists all over the world, including Italian Gothic/Horror Metal band Madness Of Sorrow with their brand new release, titled N.W.O. The Beginning, the fourth studio album in their career. Depicting the corrupt and sick system in which humanity is living, focusing specifically on corporations, sex and serial killers, and featuring a dark and acid artwork by Italian artist Graziano Roccatani, N.W.O. The Beginning will take you on a journey through the shadows of our decaying world, showcasing how exciting heavy music can be when powered by controversial and disturbing topics.

Formed in March 2011 by multi-instrumentalist Murihell (aka Muriel Saracino) from the ashes of Italian Gothic Metal/Hard Rock group Filthy Teens in the region of Pisa and Livorno, in Tuscany (but currently located in Val d’Aosta, a region of northwest Italy bordered by France and Switzerland), Madness Of Sorrow are constantly delivering high-quality music for fans of Gothic and Horror Metal, starting with their debut album Signs in 2011, which by the way led them to play in 2012 in Milan with Italian Gothic Metal icons Cadaveria, followed by Take the Children Away from the Priest in 2013 and more recently III: The Beast in 2015. The project takes now one step further with N.W.O. The Beginning, their first album featuring new singer Prophet (aka Diego Carnazzola), widening their music horizons and venturing on new sounds unexplored by the band in their previous releases.

The intro N.W.O. welcomes the listener with an eerie voice talking about the aforementioned conspiracy theory, working as a warm-up for Salomon, where Prophet blasts powerful growls as well as dark, clean vocals while Murihell delivers a Gothic, industrial and obscure musicality, blending the styles by Mercyful Fate and Ministry (which translates into pure wickedness, of course), followed by the excellent Inside the Church, a song that should sound fantastic when played live, bringing elements from Thrash and Death Metal in its riffs and beats, not to mention its awesome accelerated pace and catchy lyrics and chorus. And despite almost sounding as a ballad, You’re Not Alone also presents the darkened elements commonly found in the music by Madness Of Sorrow, being a very good example of a song by an extreme band that could be played in any radio station, with highlights to the top-notch clean vocals by Prophet.

Speeding things up again, the duo offers a fast-paced and aggressive tune drinking from the fountains of Thrash and Gothic Metal entitled Necrophilia, with the slashing guitar lines by Murihell together with Prophet’s demented screams being all that’s needed to ignite some fun mosh pits during their live concerts. More modern and Gothic than all previous songs, Slut brings forward lyrics that are extremely porn and nasty, in line with what the music proposes, but that for obvious reasons cannot be played on any radio station; whereas R.I.P. is a song where Murihell showcases all his talent and passion for metal, sounding more melodic, rhythmic and leaning towards more traditional Heavy Metal, with even some hints of Symphonic Metal coming from its background keyboards. In Zombified, smooth but dark keys and low-tuned bass lines build a demonic ambience perfect for Prophet to darkly declaim the song’s wicked lyrics in a solid display of contemporary Gothic Metal for fans of the genre.

Keep Your Head Down, an interesting composition by this skillful duo from Italy, offers more of their Gothic and Symphonic Metal, albeit being slightly repetitive in my opinion (in special its chorus), whereas in DNA what feels like Gothic Metal at first becomes a vicious display of Dark and Industrial Metal with elements from Thrash Metal, proving how versatile the duo is. Moreover, Murihell does an amazing job on drums and guitars, paving the path for Prophet and his raging vocals to thrive. And with a Down with the Sickness-inspired beginning, but bringing forward elements from Melodic Death Metal in its guitars and beats, the awesome S.O.S displays a rockin’ rhythm and effective breaks throughout its three minutes to keep the sound always fresh and vibrant, therefore turning it into one of the best songs of the album (if not the best), flowing into a tribal Outro that also presents the band’s trademark obscure sounding.

In summary, the New World Order might fortunately be just a theory (at least for now), but Madness Of Sorrow are an exciting reality and the music you’ll find in their new album is highly recommended for facing our everyday issues and struggles due to its elevated amount of energy and creativity. You can find more information about them at their official Facebook page, and enjoy their music on YouTube as well as on Spotify. And in order to grab your copy of N.W.O. The Beginning, simply go to iTunes or to Amazon. But hurry up, before the New World Order is finally born and comes to destroy our freedom, our music and arts in general.

Best moments of the album: Inside the Church, You’re Not Alone and S.O.S.

Worst moments of the album: Keep Your Head Down.

Released in 2017 Independent

Track listing
1. N.W.O. 0:35
2. Salomon 3:26
3. Inside the Church 3:36
4. You’re Not Alone 3:21
5. Necrophilia 3:26
6. Slut 3:23
7. R.I.P. 3:26
8. Zombified 3:37
9. Keep Your Head Down 4:26
10. DNA 3:46
11. S.O.S 3:11
12. Outro 1:26

Band members
Prophet – vocals
Murihell – guitars, bass, drums

Live lineup
Prophet – vocals
Murihell – guitars
Hades – bass
Kronork – drums

Album Review – Lorn / Arrayed Claws EP (2017)

Absorb the music found in these five psychotic and violent tracks that perfectly exemplify the evolutionary path within the Black Metal field of this distinguished Italian act.

Rating4

ivr068-lorn-arrayed-clawsListening to the distinct Atmospheric Black Metal engendered by Italian act Lorn feels like contemplating a work-of-art by an unusual modern artist, changing its shape and form and bringing forward new elements every single time you stare at it. Since its inception in 1999, this alluring band from Bolzano, a city in the South Tyrol province of north Italy, has been delivering fresh extreme music through each of their releases, never sounding repetitive or outdated, with their full-length albums Towards the Abyss of Disease (2006) and Subconscious Metamorphosis (2013) being their most remarkable works to date. Now in 2017 Lorn are back with Arrayed Claws, featuring five psychotic and violent tracks that perfectly exemplify their evolutionary path within the Black Metal field.

If Subconscious Metamorhposis was a transcendental mental journey towards a superior illumination, Lorn’s new album looks more like a physical and desperate odyssey through the regions of Death. Featuring a classy artwork by Joel Angelini, with layout by Francesco Gemelli, Arrayed Claws will disturb your peace of mind and take you to the obscure realms of Black Metal crafted by the band’s mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Radok. Hence, as aforementioned, every instance you take a listen at such eccentric album you’ll experience different thoughts and feelings, expanding your comprehension of what atmospheric and experimental Extreme Metal truly means and, therefore, enhancing your personal connection with the music by Lorn.

In the opening track, titled Disharmonic Feticism, a darkened squall of brutal, extreme music hits the listener without clemency, with drummer Chimsicrin discharging furious old school Black Metal beats while Radok showcases all his skills through his demonic gnarls and violent riffs, not to mention its beautifully deranged lyrics (“Intentness / So that nothing correspond / Intolerance to the familiar / Orgasmic grate”). After seven minutes of violence and chaos, we face four minutes of a calm atmospheric passage to help soothe our souls, proving how broad extreme music can be when played by the right musicians (especially if they come from Italy, a never-ending source of high-end Black Metal). Their sonic demolition comes back in full force in Abstract Trap, a solid display of vicious Black Metal with Death and Thrash Metal elements to make it more aggressive, with the beastly Chimsicrin being unstoppable behind his drums. Moreover, this is another long, complex composition where again after around four minutes the band transitions their demonic music to an eerie atmospheric aura, with the difference that this time their havoc returns after a short while, with its ending feeling phantasmagorical and menacing.

lorn-logoThe second half of the album offers the listener two songs inspired by the Altaian mythology, two stages of a purification path. Toybodim, a fast-paced high-end Extreme Metal tune showcasing possessed vocals and lancinating guitars, takes its name from a black lake where the souls of the dead fall and become larvae, which can be seen in its lyrics (“Miserable parasite / The cowardice inebriates your void / Hidden haughtiness / Allegiance frighten your rotten self”); whereas the multilayered instrumental tune Sut-aq-Kol is a lake of milk where the spirits get purified, a placenta for the newborns. Musically speaking, this second song continues with Lorn’s banquet of extreme music, once again displaying boisterous drums and infernal riffs. The transition between these two tracks to the atmospheric Aus Nebel Turm aims at leaving the listener beaten and dismayed, with the painful awareness of being only a grain of nothing, lost in mysterious fogs of existence. After an ominous beginning, the music flows into pure Atmospheric and Experimental Black Metal, concluding the transcendental journey proposed by Lorn.

As mentioned in the beginning of this review, every single time you take a listen at the music by Lorn you’ll feel different,  and if you’re ready to experience and absorb all the fury and complexity found in the five tracks of Arrayed Claws, simply go to the I, Voidhanger Records’ BandCamp or webstore to purchase this unconventional and extremely well-crafted album. Also, in order to keep track of such distinguished act, go visit Lorn’s Facebook page to know more about their music, future releases and other details, as a project like this that can unite harmony and disharmony in such enthralling way definitely deserves our sincere support.

Best moments of the album: Disharmonic Feticism and Toybodim.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 I, Voidhanger Records

Track listing
1. Disharmonic Feticism 10:53
2. Abstract Trap 10:15
3. Toybodim 6:09
4. Sut-aq-Kol 4:56
5. Aus Nebel Turm 6:40

Band members
Radok – guitars, bass, synth, vocals
Chimsicrin – drums

Album Review – Sinatras / Drowned (2017)

A concentrate of Hardcore, Thrash and Death Metal mixed with an old school Rock N’ Roll attitude, courtesy of five talented and restless Italian musicians eager to bring more fun to the world through their creations.

Rating4

coverFrank Sinatra, born in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 12, 1915, was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. Death N’ Roll quintet Sinatras, born in 2014 in Vicenza, a city in northeastern Italy in the Veneto region, from an idea of Emanuele Zilio (now known as Lele Sinatra), guitar player for 20 years in Italian Metal/Hardcore band Strange Corner, and featuring expert musicians with different musical roots from Rock N’ Roll to Progressive Death Metal, bringing forth a classic but yet personal musicality tailored for fans of Carcass, Entombed, Pantera and Hatebreed, among others. What do these two entities have in common? Well, apart from carrying the same “family name”, let’s say that they can quickly put you to dance to the sound their high-end electrified compositions.

In less than five months after the project’s inception, thanks to the experience both live on stage and during studio sessions, Sinatras were able to write and record their first demo, called Six Sexy Songs, opening several doors for the band and inspiring them to release now in 2017 their debut full-length album, titled Drowned, a concentrate of Hardcore, Thrash and Death Metal mixed with an old school Rock N’ Roll attitude, featuring a simple and effective artwork by Mirko Marchesini (aka Minkio Sinatra) and eleven impactful songs with catchy choruses and immediate appeal. So start spreading the news, as Sinatras are ready to be the “number one, head of the list, cream of the crop at the top of the heap” in the world of heavy music.

In the opening track, Drowned, the band already blasts a frantic fusion of Thrash and Death Metal with the rebellious Rock N’ Roll played by Motörhead, with frontman Fla Sinatra playing really well the part of the demented vocalist with both his sick growls and clean vocals while Lele and Minkio make a great guitar duo with their roaring riffs. Leaning towards modern Thrash Metal, we have 24/7, a song about anger (“The value of our life is decreasing / and the stupidity grows faster / we are angry 24/7. / THEM! who? THEM! convicted in a false heaven”) perfect for their live performances, with highlights to the tempo changes effectively led by drummer Pisto Sinatra; followed by Cockroach, a badass song with Fla sounding extremely vile on vocals, maintaining their musicality at a high level of aggressiveness. Once again we face great guitar lines a la Pantera by Lele and Minkio, including a fiery solo to add more feeling to the overall result.

Something to Hate, one of the heaviest of all tracks, bursts violence through the deep growls by Fla and the song’s cutting guitar riffs and solos, with its drums played frantically as the music demands, whereas Flow, one of the best tracks in Drowned, brings forward an amazing blend of Southern Rock and Thrash Metal, sounding like a hybrid of Pantera, Chrome Division and Volbeat with a thrilling rhythm and catchy-as-hell vocal lines, not to mention the hints of progressiveness that end up enhancing the song’s punch even more. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), an awesome version to the cult hit from the 80’s by Dead or Alive, delivers harsh growls and fast beats that will certainly please even fans of the original version, and in Los 43, a solid Rock N’ Roll composition with a catchy vibe and a good performance by all band members, Sinatras provide us what’s perhaps the harshest lyrics of the whole album (“Chaos, new world order / Despise, in your disorder / Homicide, deicide, burned gasoline, / Thrown in a pit as an animal / Death, is what you search Tears, are what you get / Genocide, misery, pain and slavery left to rot in their own reality”).

sinatras-2017Miss Anthropy is the closest the band gets to modern American metal music, being fast and furious with Pisto crushing his drums and also less harmonious than the rest of the album with some moments being pure Death Metal. It falls flat after a while, though, but nothing to worry about. On the other hand, Back in Frank is in my opinion the most complete and exciting of all songs, a perfect combination of Thrash Metal and Rock N’ Roll that also brings elements from Death Metal and Southern Rock, with both Lele and Minkio firing sharper-than-a-blade riffs while Fla delivers his strongest vocals overall. If you don’t get pumped up by this insane tune, you should definitely go see a doctor. Anyway, in Blind Fury, the name of the song summarizes its rhythm and approach, being an infuriated, modernized version of Death Metal with technical guitar lines, fast-paced beats and in special the metallic punches by bassist Lispio Sinatra, before Spiral Hell nicely concludes this fun and very cohesive album by Sinatras, with the whole band delivering more deranged music to the listener. Its heavy and melodic lines are boosted by the song’s potent vocals and backing vocals (as well as its excellent guitar solo), turning it into a nonstop tune for slamming into the pit with the band.

Are you ready to “start spreading the news” with this lunatic metal act from Italy? You can do that by visiting their Facebook page, YouTube channel and ReverbNation to know more about the band, and purchase Drowned at their BandCamp page, at the logic(il)logic Records webstore, on Amazon, at CD Baby, at Discogs, and several other locations. In summary, Drowned offers to you the most electrifying elements of old school and modern metal music, courtesy of five talented and restless Italian musicians eager to bring more fun to the world through their creations.

Best moments of the album: Drowned, Flow and Back in Frank.

Worst moments of the album: Miss Anthropy.

Released in 2017 logic(il)logic Records

Track listing
1. Drowned 5:52
2. 24/7 4:34
3. Cockroach 4:16
4. Something to Hate 4:48
5. Flow 3:31
6. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (Dear or Alive cover) 3:17
7. Los 43 4:18
8. Miss Anthropy 4:09
9. Back in Frank 4:19
10. Blind Fury 2:25
11. Spiral Hell 4:23

Band members
Fla Sinatra – vocals
Lele Sinatra – guitars
Minkio Sinatra – guitars
Lispio Sinatra – bass
Pisto Sinatra – drums

Album Review – Maze Of Sothoth / Soul Demise (2017)

Inspired by the stunning creations of American writer H. P. Lovecraft, behold the debut hammering opus spawned from one of the newest underground Death Metal acts from Italy.

Rating4

cover-art-2000xThe debut full-length album by Italian Technical Death Metal horde Maze Of Sothoth, titled Soul Demise, is not only the first brutal, hammering opus spawned from one of the newest underground acts from Italy, but also a sensational tribute to the stunning creations of the unparalleled American writer H. P. Lovecraft. For instance, the band’s own name was inspired by Yog-Sothoth, a cosmic entity in the fictional Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle of Mr. H. P. Lovecraft, giving you an idea of how strong the admiration of this up-and-coming band from Bergamo, a city northeast of Milan in the Lombardy region in Italy, is for one of the most influential writers in the history of horror fiction.

Founded by guitarist Fabio Marasco in January 2009, the initial sound fused massive influences from Morbid Angel, Behemoth, Dying Fetus, Nile and Slayer, with the band recording their first demo Guardian of the Gate in 2011. Five years after the demo was brought into being, Maze Of Sothoth are more than ready to storm the world with Soul Demise, an album that transpires brutality and harmony, with the cover art by Italian artist Ivory Crux perfectly translating into a hellish image the band’s obscure music. Furthermore, there isn’t a single song in Soul Demise that sounds soft or gentle, and that in Death Metal is unquestionably a synonym of excellence.

Ominous and devilish, the intro Cthulhu’s Calling opens the gates to the netherworld, setting the tone for drummer Matteo Moioli to begin his sonic demolition in the pulverizing Lies, with the metallic riffs blasted by Fabio and Riccardo Rubini complementing the band’s evil sonority, being highly recommended for fans of old school Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel. Their putrid and technical havoc continues with more visceral riffs and demented beats in Seed of Hatred, where I recommend you try to follow the song’s demonic lyrics together with lead singer and bassist Cristiano Marchesi and his guttural growls (“Our union will create a new form of evil / Put in your womb the seed of hatred / Your sacrifice won’t be vain / Errant demons populate the earth”). And smashing every living creature in their path, Maze Of Sothoth fire another bestial composition full of classic Death Metal riffs named Multiple Eyes, with highlights to the unstoppable drums by Matteo and the grisly vociferations by Cristiano, while the guitar solos by Fabio and Riccardo bring more balance to the song’s melody.

mosbandpicEven heavier than its predecessors, The Outsider is pure aggressiveness and darkness in the form of music, with Matteo displaying an outstanding performance on drums by being brutal and progressive at the same time. Put differently, this is top-notch Death Metal for lovers of the genre with a supernatural ending. The Dark Passenger brings forward elements of Progressive and Blackened Death Metal in its beginning, suddenly exploding into an extreme music carnage where Fabio and Riccardo once again pulverize our ears with their riffs and solos, whereas in At the Mountain of Madness the whole band showcases their refined techniques while Cristiano growls the song’s traditional Death Metal lyrics in a hellish way (“The awakening of the ancient ones is arrived / From their everlasting slumber / Cryptic creatures never seen before”). It could have been a bit shorter, though, but nothing that harms the overall quality of the album.

Increasing their heaviness and being as cavernous as usual, the band offers us Blind, a fast-paced infernal hymn perfect for getting completely crushed into the circle pit, with its guitars sounding angry and demented just the way we like in Death Metal. After that hurricane of extreme music we have Azzaihg’nimehc, a dark instrumental bridge to the last song of the album, the berserk Divine Sacrifice, where Matteo blasts his most furious beats and fills while Cristiano sounds like an ogre on vocals. If you survive this diabolical composition, I’m sure you’ll hit play again and go back to the beginning of such excellent album as any old school death metaller would do.

You can get more details on Maze Of Sothoth at their Facebook page, YouTube channel and ReverbNation, as well as purchase Soul Demise (which by the way can be streamed in its entirety HERE) through their BandCamp page, or at the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page and webstore. Maze Of Sothoth are technical, ruthless and ready to conquer the world of extreme music, and Soul Demise will certainly help them spread their brutality all over the world in the most effective way possible.

Best moments of the album: Lies, The Outsider and The Dark Passenger.

Worst moments of the album: At the Mountain of Madness.

Released in 2017 Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Cthulhu’s Calling 1:50
2. Lies 5:16
3. Seed of Hatred 3:19
4. Multiple Eyes 4:36
5. The Outsider 5:35
6. The Dark Passenger 4:41
7. At the Mountain of Madness 5:03
8. Blind 3:55
9. Azzaihg’nimehc 1:53
10. Divine Sacrifice 3:45

Band members
Cristiano Marchesi – vocals, bass
Fabio Marasco – guitars, synth
Riccardo Rubini – guitars
Matteo Moioli – drums

Album Review – Gaerea / Gaerea EP (2016)

This five-piece faceless and nameless horde from Italy will blast your ears and minds with the darkened, dissonant and furious extreme music flowing from their debut self-titled album.

Rating5

front_coverPlaying darkened, dissonant and furious Black Metal without displaying any hints of mercy for mankind in the demonic 27 minutes of their self-titled debut EP Gaerea, Italian Black Metal quintet Gaerea will please fans of controversial groups such as Mgła, Secrets Of The Moon, Celeste and Behemoth, among others, bringing an infinite amount of obscurity and consternation to our ears and souls. Hailing from the cities of Rome and Lazio, this five-piece faceless and nameless act is one of the biggest promises in the Italian underground scene, and after listening to this professional and multi-layered album I’m sure the beautiful name of this phantasmagoric horde will stick inside your mind forever.

“Let’s make one thing clear. We need to stress the fact that our era is lost in a huge void of numbness. We are here to bring and present you what your system could not solve by itself. We’ll cover the daylight with ashes and smash the massive skull that’s blocking your brain and will to evolve. We’re Gaerea.” Those interesting words spilled by the band itself are precise in describing their musicality, a dense mix of different extreme styles such as Blackened Death Metal and Funeral Doom, which obviously leads to tenebrous lyrics and a total lack of happiness or hope in each one of the five tracks of the album.

An ominous intro with eerie background noises grows until guitars and deep guttural vocals join the musicality in Santificato, a demonic display of Black and Doom Metal that sounds disturbing from start to finish, setting the tone for the next tune, titled Final Call. Boisterous bass and guitar sounds open the gates to the underworld in this darkened chant blending Atmospheric Black Metal with elements from Funeral Doom and traditional Doom Metal, with its lyrics dealing with our personal struggles and all issues our society faces in this rotting world (“Why we all fight if the end is the same? / Six feet under is deep enough to make us equal like an unborn child / Black or white we want to be someone / We are all made of choices so why do we choose the wrong one? / War is not the answer to stop this carnage / So stand up and face it”).

img_0429Crisp guitar lines ignite the blackened tune Pray To Your False God, where drums come crushing like a steamroller. Moreover, desperate growls and an obscure vibe are the main ingredients in the most menacing of all songs, with its second half getting more sluggish with Black and Doom Metal flawlessly merging into one forbidding organism; followed by the sinister Through Time, a song fans of Behemoth and Triptykon will enjoy for sure due to its flammable Black Metal guitar riffs, anguished screams and a rhythmic and fierce drumming. And singing about death (“You scream for silence / You yell for pain / You just want to be quiet / On this pleasant dream / It burns you must feel / Your flesh going to ashes”), Void Of Numbness is Blackened Death Metal at its finest with a great performance by all band members, closing the EP in a more-than-fantastic and somber way. Furthermore, its drums sound amazingly powerful and heavy, making a precise duo with the satanic gnarls blasted by the band’s phantom vocalist.

Gaerea can be found (but not unmasked) at their official Facebook page, with their devilish EP being available for purchase at their BandCamp page and at the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, but if you want to put your perverse hands on an awesome bundle containing the album and an exclusive, stylish T-shirt, simply visit the Everlasting Spew Records’ webstore for that very special offer. In short, Gaenea might be faceless and nameless, but they’re undoubtedly a solid evil identity that will reach the darkest depths of your mind with their unrelenting music.

Best moments of the album: Pray To Your False God and Void Of Numbness.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Santificato 3:32
2. Final Call 6:25
3. Pray To Your False God 5:50
4. Through Time 6:31
5. Void Of Numbness 5:09

Band members
*Information not available*

Album Review – Lectern / Precept Of Delator (2016)

It doesn’t matter what happens to the world of music, these Italian metallers will never back off, always blasting our ears with their high-quality brutal Death Metal.

Rating5

lectern_precept-of-delatorIf there’s an underground Death Metal band that deserves our utmost respect for never giving up on extreme music, remaining always loyal to their foundations and beliefs despite all the hurdles faced during their entire career, it’s Italian death metallers Lectern. Since their inception in 1999 in the Italian capital city of Rome, the band led by lead singer and bassist Fabio Bava has been through several lineup changes, enduring an increasing lack of support from record labels and even the general public to any type of Extreme Metal, which ended up hampering the band from producing music for many years. But if you think that all those issues would cease their inner fire to craft old school brutal Death Metal, you’re absolutely wrong.

Inspired by all Death Metal bands from the United States from the 90’s, especially the ones based in Tampa, Florida, Lectern have always delivered excellent music to fans of the genre, starting with their debut EP Bisbetical in 1999, followed by a series of albums released after a huge hiatus, those being the EP Salvific Of Perhaps Lambent (2010) and the self-titled EP Lectern (2014), and their first full-length album Fratricidal Concelebration (2015). Now in 2016 it’s time for Lectern to haunt the world once again with Precept Of Delator, their brand new beastly album which features a Satanic old school artwork by Indonesian musician and artist Adi Dechristianize and an unbounded amount of sheer aggressiveness.

The opening track Gergal Profaner offers brutal devastation from the very first second, with drummer Marco Valentine being that rhythmic annihilator we all enjoy in technical Death Metal, while the band’s mastermind Fabio keeps growling like a beast. In short, this is awesome straightforward Death Metal for lovers of extreme music, period. Singing about the Catholic Church and their issues with pedophilia (“Palpation of sacramentarian / Sworn with fratricidal scars / Molested flesh / Eluded truth”), Palpation of Sacramentarian feels like old school Cannibal Corpse with a Thrash Metal vibe, with guitarist Pietro Sabato and Gabriele Cruz firing those traditional kick-ass riffs that always inspire us to slam into the pit; followed by the Satanic Fluent Bilocation, a brutal metallic massacre with Fabio and Marco dictating the rhythm with their respective gnarls and boisterous beats. In addition to that, the insanely good neck-breaking riff in the middle of the song keeps up with the basis of the Death Metal institution, proving how much those guys love that type of music.

lectern-2016Distil Shambles is a metal storm bursting aggressive growls and beats upon the listener, with all its tempo changes adding tons of ferocity and electricity to the musicality, as well as an excellent solo to close the song in an apocalyptic way. Then we have some ominous voices kicking off the obscure and putrid chant Pellucid, tailored for fans of pure pugnacity in music, with the guitars by both Pietro and Gabriele sounding truly menacing during the song’s five minutes of the most violent Death Metal you can think of. And Lectern continue their path of doom in Diptych of Perked Oblation, blasting brutal music with guitars and drums smashing your brain while Fabio roars each word of the song manically, turning this into a beyond excellent composition for their live performances.

Garn for Debitors brings forward two minutes of crushing riffs and drums, another song that sounds like the early days of Cannibal Corpse, and if you survive this hurricane of metal music you’re definitely a true badass headbanger ready for the title-track Precept of Delator and its pure Satanic lyrics (“With blasphemy reasons burn / Infamous scriptures / Devotional calvary / Precept of delator / Evil truth”). It might not be as fast-paced as its predecessors, but it’s dark and thrilling, with highlights to the furious riffage and solos by Pietro and Gabriele. Closing this brutal album we have another shot of traditional Death Metal titled Discorporation with Feral, showcasing a good pace and the deranged, deep growls by Fabio as its main ingredients.

All the exciting history, the metallic victories and the inspiring losses of such amazing underground band can be better appreciated at their Facebook page, and you can enjoy their extreme and technical music at their YouTube channel, ReverbNation and SoundCloud. Precept Of Delator, available for purchasing at the Via Nocturna’s BandCamp page and at the band’s Big Cartel page, is a solid and uproarious declaration by Lectern which confirms that it doesn’t matter what happens to the world of music, these Italian metallers will never back off, continuing to blast our ears with their belligerent Death Metal for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: Gergal Profaner, Fluent Bilocation and Diptych of Perked Oblation.

Worst moments of the album: Discorporation with Feral.

Released in 2016 Via Nocturna

Track listing
1. Gergal Profaner 3:50
2. Palpation of Sacramentarian 5:13
3. Fluent Bilocation 3:45
4. Distil Shambles 3:35
5. Pellucid 5:05
6. Diptych of Perked Oblation 3:55
7. Garn for Debitors 2:15
8. Precept of Delator 4:34
9. Discorporation with Feral 4:43

Band members
Fabio Bava – vocals, bass
Pietro Sabato – guitar
Gabriele Cruz – guitar
Marco Valentine – drums