ITALIAN SCENE REPORT EARLY 2021 UPDATE

LARVAE

Sublime rotting sewer sludge-slimy grind, wherewith grind I use the term in its most ancient of acceptions, there is an eerie echoing vibrancy in these tracks that pair obscenely with the slightly out of place rehearsal sound texture. What it doesn’t deliver in massiveness it does in sheer nightmarish opera. Top release where sound and aesthetics fuse in the perfect balance of true Death Metal with the due doses of horror, garageish noise, and the sensation of writhing maggots writhing under your tongue. Few tracks released so far but they have a solid base.

CONGENITAL DEFORMITY

I don’t know how they managed to do it but this recording totally sounds like a demo from 1992 and I mean it as a compliment. It has some of the chaotic roughness of early Deranged, Goreaphobia and a hint of Autopsy morbidity in properly placed corners. I also love the shitty logo here. All in all this is a complete win for me. Top notch band, deserve proper release soon.

https://congenitaldeformity.bandcamp.com/album/progenies-of-the-cemetery

SIMULACRVM

Little precious from Despise the Sun records, a limited batch of fifty musicassettes brought this band from the ancient cracks of Rome’s cemeteries to its postapocalyptic unlife. Certainly nothing new or excessively intense for a genre that relies on sheer savagery (check Totalitarian or Intolerant for that), but definitely an interesting listen with its obsessive barrage riffs, multi-layered vocal blasphemies and so on.

https://simvlacrvm.bandcamp.com/releases

CONTINUUM OF XUL

While I definitely support the idea of playing that nowadays rare typology of infernal themed Death Metal I could never force myself to like the previous project called Hellish God which I just found completely aimless and without a clear direction, you know, the John Travolta meme. You have plenty of south american bands conceptually closer to this approach that unleash the powers of Hell upon Earth that you could prefer over that band.

Yet, things have clearly improved here with the name change and while I still have the feeling that the music convolutes endlessly in spirals, without ever bursting out, after a few listen I realized this might actually be a conscious approach from the band: to recursively wind spires upon spires of demonic hordes rending themselves to pieces in a spiral of bottomless sin. This is no easy listening, even compared to other bands in this list that raised the bar of songwriting sometimes bordering on wanking.

ERASER

I never review variants of grindcore that don’t deal strictly with horror of death or better yet gore ♥ on this fanzine, but Jesus fucking Christ, this stuff is AMAZING. These guys have all the nuclear aggressivity of the original second world grindcore that labels such as Rotthenness or Grinding Madness used to harvest back in early ’90. Top distorted bass backed grindcore of the finest quality, highly recommended. By the way I appreciated the fact that their logo makes the Congenital Deformities one look like Unleashed meet Dark Throne. Total favela illiteracy here! Thumbs up.

CINERARIUM

An interesting new band that plays really good Brutal Death Metal with a general approach that is more organic and has more “feeling” than the average mid-eastern product that always sticks to the same sound, same lyrics, and same artwork since Amputated Vein crystallized the whole brutal guido slam aesthetics. Cinerarium does have its share of trademark Enmity-like squeaks but the final product is more complete with a big dose of darker, tighter ideas. It is an evolutionary pattern similar to that followed by countrymates Blasphemer of late, for instance, and I like it. Part Liturgy part Krisiun part Reincarnacion, the band gors for the throat and comes out with an overall impressive product that however creaks violently on the slower parts. There is a whole riff at the end of the song below that makes me want to turn off the computer (I admit it, I am not reviewing records when I make these reports). They should really get rid of the slow-mid tempos and go full speed all the time because they really perform very well there (and the slow tempos suck badly, don’t do that).

ENGROSSED

Interesting if somewhat vanilla Death Metal with a shitload of influences that range from old Bolt Thrower to old Gorefest, basically a salad of Death Metal from the early 90’s glued together with a strong dose of dark heaviness. Initially the sound was way more on the early swedish side but turned darker and darker over time. Now we are left with a genuine breed of Death Metal that is basically a sum of everything that was morbid and obscure in the beginning of the genre.

https://engrosseddm.bandcamp.com/

HADIT

When I heard the few first minutes of Hadit on their bandcamp page I told msyelf “I bet either this band is from Rome, or they signed to Terror from Hell, or both.” For some reason our capital seems to have become a catalyst for the most complex exercises of Death Metal with a brain, and TFH just seems to have an affair with bands that defiantly pierce the membranous barriers of reality with hints of ancient esotericism.

Obsessively melodramatic and hypercomplex long songs that are a cosmogonal voyage through infinity riding a million riffs of parallelly eerie and brutal Death Metal. They have some hints of that bardo method-o’malley hipsterism I generally hate when overly intellectual writing overcomes the primal savagery and horror that this genre is made for, but somehow I liked it anyway. Shall I start trimming my beard, chop off my fingers in a Zoidberg fashion and start yelling about inclusivity in metal?

https://teohadit.bandcamp.com/releases

BURIAL

Hell, how did I underestimate this band! I reviewed a tape not too long ago (for this zine standards) and now it feels as if I am listening this recording for the first time. Honestly this stuff is even better that I recalled. The finnoscandian inspiration is clear and the massive, crunchy, sound is accurately reconstructed assembling among the best of elements of the genre. All riffs properly placed, with long, breathtaking incursions in the depths of space and sick mind trip, more akin to Krypts than Hadit (above), however.

https://burialdeath.bandcamp.com/album/the-aeons-of-horror-compilation

GOAT VOMIT NOISE

Whoah! Three full-lengths already, really? I heard this band name before but always forgot to check them out. They play good solid Black Metal with some structure and attention to sound, yet nothing particularly memorable for a genre that is supposed to live upon its filth and hateful spirit. Nothing wrong here but hardly sucks you in.

HURONIAN

Huronian decided to take the hard path (again) of playing a genre that basically everyone misinterpreted and was initially thrashed by precursors like Kaamos and definitely obliterated by the new renaissance of Swedish Death Metal. Huronian plays what could be properly called “melodic Death Metal” in which however the “melodies” are not necessarily soft and mellow – think Unanimated, Eucharist and so on. The world might not be still interested in a genre that was overexploited years ago but at the same time, who the hell still understand how things work nowadays? Their music is complex, extremely well written, vicious and yet has that thin veil of harmonies that makes everything work properly. Not a band I would sign on Nuclear Abominations, but do yourself a favor and check them out because close to nobody play this styule anymore!

https://huronian.bandcamp.com/

ORDER OF THE IRON FIST

Spiky, acidic Death Metal with a strong militaristic vibe inspired by the post Conqueror / Order From Chaos movement that over recent years produced bands like Diocletian. Order of the Iron Fist plays everything in line with expectations, including the caliginous recording typical of other eastern noisier experiments like RotUGF or Tsalal. I really like this newer branch of Death which someone defines as Black/Death, although I can’t really see what “black” one could find here besides the vocals, which to be honest, I find here plain and lacking punch, and yet I don’t think a vocal style could strictly define either genres, I think Black Metal in general is more about the feeling of “something else, something wrong, something from the other side creeping in”. Whatever. This is a good band even though it doesn’t really deliver 100% yet in my opinion, the path they chose is narrow and inhabited by generally top level bands already. I would buy their new stuff when it’s out but I expected to be blown away, I didn’.t.

INTOLERANT

This is music that makes you hate yourself. BUY IT.

https://intolerant.bandcamp.com/

NUCLEAR WARGOD

Nuclear Wargod recently released an advance tape on Despise the Sun and they fucking shred. They’re on the Blasphemy side of gasmasked Black Metal (is that, think about it honestly, a fault?). They completely lose it when the slow down but if they manage to fix it this is a band that really would deserve a full-length release. Suffocating and miasmic, this is a band that drags you across a nuclear wasteland with sore-covered cannibal mutant priests of Satan. Not surprisingly they have some links to Sadomortuary and they actually play a very similar game. Can’t wait to hear more.

ABIGEATUM

This is a one man band that hardly would fit a list on this fanzine you’re reading in normal times, but I found this solo project honestly flawless. It’s just a bunch of slow riffs and guttural vocals the likes we’ve straight out heard a million times recently (last 10 years or so when Doom Death has become a thing again), but you can actually feel her agony. In total fairness I have found this EP, recorded during the first wave of this world pandemic, perfectly fitting the mood of this period and impeccably inspired. Manly nod to this good job.

TENEBRO

Ultra down tuned, raspy and guttural Death Metal with that obsessive, coagulated sound and the fragrance of bloodspattered torture cellars. Hearing tenebro Today gives me today more or less the same feeling of hearing “Butchered at Birth” in 1992, only gore – no air. They have a repetitiveness that borders on drone sometimes, like a slowed down version of Deranged played 18 rpm, which is great but a tidbit too still for me to listen for too long. Natheless, I’d definitely place their recordings in a good position if I had to dub a compilation tape of italian bands in 2021.

https://tenebro666.bandcamp.com/album/demo-1

PHREATOMAGMATIC DEATH

Interesting liquid-amphibian goregrind with lyrics about volcanoes. I am generally not particularly attracted by such liberal SJW deviations from the sacred conservative duties of splatter and pathology, but gorenoise has been lacking a bit in this country and to be honest this one is also of superior level compared to a gazillion other bedroom projects. To his credit, the themes are actually about destruction and consequence of horrible burns and death by lava.

NIHILISTHROPIST

Solo project of Hornhammer, not the most intense of releases but worth mentioning in this report for several honest and interesting ideas. There is some Nifelheim inspiration here and with a proper line up there could be a real interesting follow up.

NERASCESI

I am afraid this is a band that hasn’t aged well, probably because the field of Brutal Death Metal is unlike its older brother, extremely sensible to the passing of years, when drummers blast harder, riffs get ever more complex, and sound production crispier and heavier. I am sad to say don’t like this new incarnation of Bastard Saints and believe me I have known these guys for 25 years now – listening to these new tracks give me the same yet opposite feeling I had when listening to “Hanged For A Blessed Masturbation”: unripe for its time.

Might be the lack of their trademark guitarwork that kinda glued every piece of this madman hallucination together, and it certainly doesn’t help that some of the tracks are in Italian, including the terrible name they opted for. Either way this time the music doesn’t click for me. The Brutal Death Metal soul is here predominant and yet not as brutal as it used to be when it was just an opaque ligament to connect all fragments of a sick psyche together. The drumming is overly martial and mechanically cyclical and cold but that was a problem I had with latest Broken Hope records too so maybe it’s just me. That said it’s a good band, really, just not special as Bastard Saints used to be.

https://nerascesi.bandcamp.com

Italian Scene report early 2019 update

Considering I won’t be able to update website or release that goddamned paper issue anytime soon, I thought about writing a short update on the good things happening in the land of pizza, black mustache and frantic hand gesturing. I am fully concentrated on the label plus moving to a new house and really didn’t think about writing anything but there are a few really new good bands that have been infecting italian ground in recent times so here it is, a quick, Nuclearabominesque report on what I believe you should check out. This is not 1990 anymore so I will cut it very short, just google their name and you can be fan #1 before anyone else.

Sadomortuary
Sadomortuary from Mantua is the band that shook my ass in order to write this article. They play that ultra-filthy sludgy kind of Black Metal we all love so much. I particularly like the sound that reminds me of early grindcore bands like Rot, and yet the references are more diverse, like a slowed down version of Profanatica, Naked Whipper, Bestial Summoning, throw in some finnish death/doom names and so on, yet everything kept very simple and focused more on rot than actual song writing. Approved!

Vexillifer
I stumbled casually on this obscure band that recently released a demo tape on a whopping print run of 20 copies (tape I don’t own, by the way). I might not be sold 100% but there are plenty of interesting things going on on this single advance track we can hear on their (his?) bandcamp page. There are just a scattering of riffs but they all fall into place neatly. Might disappear anytime now but I think they’re worth a listen.

http://vexillifer.bandcamp.com/album/chaos-dogma-revelation

Thulsa Doom
Now we’re really talking, mind me. If there is a tape you should get that has been released last year (besides the Sickness demo of course), it’s this one. Thulsa Doom are fucking awesome. I am a huge fan of sword and sorcery, and hence all the Conan stuff, and even if I am not entirely convinced the pairing between pulp barbaric literature and Metal works (despite the eminent works of thrashies like Carnivore, the Endless Pain cover art or Voivod’s Korgull anthem) the songs on this records blew the fuck out of my skull. The writing is genuine 1990s Death Metal with great mid tempos that have so many references and yet none in specific. And they have great solos too. I cannot find any weak spot here, this is really amazing. Do yourself a favor and get it if Invictus still has copies.

Vomitmantik
This is a very recent band that released a demo tape just some days ago. I have seen quite a few of these minimalistic black/death metal bands since 2010 or so but somehow none of them really managed to click entirely. The rehearsal sound probably cuts off some of the density that is mandatory for the suffocating atmosphere this music relies on. And yet I am interested in checking what happens next, the troiaio these guys manage to put together is interesting. Will follow them closely.

Morticula Rex
This is a one man band from Sicily that writes some interesting slow Death Metal
(i won’t call it strictly death/doom as it lacks some of the dismal ethereality of the genre). I think this stuff works. It’s different from the gazillion death/doom clones popping up recently like warts after a weekend at the swimming pool. Have a list, it’s free these days.

Mass Campylobacter Infection Through Raw Purulent Meat
The noisegore scene in Italy is probably made up of 10 people in all and we all know each other, but when things collide the results are worth checking. This is a band that formed from the syncretism of Yakisoba, Golem of Gore and Fetus Demersus. They have killer graphics, a great logo, and lyrics about the cruelty of killing animals with a lot of blood and guts, the same blood and guts we keep on our dishes this time. From a certain perspective, Carcass were the fathers of this genre and already mentioned this topic so we’re really not straying too far from the original apple tree.

https://masscampylobacterinfectionthroughrawpurulentmeat.bandcamp.com/releases?fbclid=IwAR1bsY24npi0_KipyXY2QE9WmSJcaUnaJsscNS3p6u8Kc32_o8LX58VkJpI

La Cripta del Marciume, Ep. 1 + 2

La Cripta del Marciume, questo il titolo definitivo della rubrica, è di nuovo in onda Venerdì 13 con una puntata dedicata a Bret Hoffman. Tra i marciumi presentati Atheretic (Can), un’edizione deluxe degli Autopsy, un classico di W.H. Hodgson, il gioco di ruolo Lamentations of the Flame Princess, il film degli Sgorbions, il nuovo LP autoprodotto dei Blood (Ger) e poi si vedrà.

Ep. 2

Ep. 1

Schifi. Marciumi. Ignoranze.

The world is rapidly shifting to videos for published content and I admit it’s way faster to record live with a phone than to type a post (making professional videos with editing and all that shit is a different matter of corpse).

For those that understand Italian, I am going live every firday night on Facebook with my column “schifi, marciumi e ignoranze”. Shortly thereafter all live clips will be uploaded on the YouTube channel. I won’t stop writing posts and the idea of a published new issue of NA still exists, but not before some months.

Get in touch here if you wish.

Subduer (Ger): “Death Monolith” EP

018 Dunkelheit Produktionen

Dunkelheit from Germany is probably one of my favorite labels around today. In 11 or so years of activity they keep up a great job at releasing great bands like TetragrammacideBlood, Goat SemenAbatuar etc. for about one hundred releases, all of which caring, just like I do, more for music that pushes boundaries of noise and sickness than mere “genres” alone. They also maintain this tradition of sober, symbolic (or apparently so) layouts, which over time have managed to contribute to the label’s branding identity. Subduer are an interesting new project from Germany that mix elements of power electronics with the chaotic J-Readesque disharmony of extreme Death/Black, some sort of Terror Organ meets Conqueror kind of dry brew.  4 tracks could be not enough to completely savor and dissect the potential of this band but there is enough hisses, samples, drone hammering and manic screams to fulfill a trip to the gym late in the evening. Good stuff as usual, worth checking out.

Yakisoba (Ita): “Mandatory Amputation” tape/CD

2018 Deaf Death Husky Records / Eyes Of The Dead

Italy’s most recent goregrind band I know of (together with the newborn Golem Of Gore), this 2018 7-track tape is a small jewel to look at, neat and classy in its simplicity, I kinda really dig the oriental minimalistic approach to the design the band adopted in both version of this release. Yakisoba’s approach to goregrind on the contrary do actually work for the opposite reason – its efficacy is in being analogue and messy as fuck. It might not be blistering fast but it’s raw and has all the proper garage reverb that is mandatory in this music. The line between sloppy and unrefined might be slippery for the uninitiated but it’s really the difference between a good punk album and a high school jam. This is a band for those into noisegore which is actually played, every hiss and pop and imprecision add to its value. The rest? Gargling roars, samples, Dead Infection-like 2-chord riffs and all the good fun this genres still offers.