Published Oct 24, 2014While it may not rank among the most prolific exporters of European extreme metal, Italy is no lightweight when it comes to the quality of its sonic aggressors, like the technical death metal of Fleshgod Apocalypse or the Secret's unhinged take on metalcore. Bologna-based Nero Di Marte's sophomore album (earlier releases came out under the name Murder Therapy) is something of a new high watermark for Italian heaviness — a blend of prog-, death- and doom-metal, that sounds far more organic than your average purveyors of blast-beats and palm-muting.
This is in part due to the album being recorded and mixed entirely in analog, which provides a necessary warmth that enhances the band's impeccable sense of space: Check the way the arpeggiated riffs crest atop the roiling double-kick beats of "Simulacra" or how the atmospheric opening of "Dite" provides the basis for an Isis-esque study in the art of layering textures. Unlike their 2011 self-titled debut, which was stylistically a bit all over the map, Derivae's seven tracks are crafted for maximum impact; the many interlocking parts propel the songs forward, rather than adding unnecessarily idiosyncratic flourishes, while singer/guitarist Sean Worrell employs a number of voices, from a convincing wail to low-frequency growl, adding to the panoramic listening experience. Move over Goblin, it's time for a new cult-favourite from the Boot. (Prosthetic Records)