Label: Prosthetic Records
Release Date: March 18-19-22, 2013
Nero di Marte is an experimental/progressive metal band that hails from Bologna, Italy. They are releasing their second full length, as a band, but oddly enough as the first full length under their newly established name. Before becoming Nero di Marte, the band was known as Murder Therapy, where they were signed to Deity Down Records and played music along the lines of progressive death metal. Although the band has been around for quite a while, this is my first confrontation with the band and their sound.
This self titled effort spans to approximately 50 minutes over the course of six tracks, each varying in length from six to an impressive 13 minutes. If you’re looking for fast paced, short, to the point songs, you won’t find anything of the sort with this release.
“Convergence” kicks things off with an ominous and darkened introduction, accompanied by a mid-paced drum rhythm that sets the tone pretty much on par with how things will progress as you listen to the album. The vocals and guitar start up and I immediately hear Tool and similar artists’ influences inserted into their sound. The vocals come off as more of the light death metal flavor. The guitars and bass remind on the lower spectrum, resonating a deep and disturbed vibe throughout most of the album. It doesn’t take long to get immersed, but it will definitely take several listens to dissect.
“Time Dissolves” doesn’t turn down the intensity, but you’ll find some apparent differences compared to the previous. The vocals take on a cleaner sound within most of the work, the guitar experiment a little bit with some “shrieking” guitar stabs in certain areas. The drum work is intense, enough to make it feel like a high-speed death metal chase without actually quickening the pace. It is hard to understand but you’ll get what I mean once you actually hear it.
The shortest track, “Drawn Back”, comes off as being the most technical so far. The little intricate guitar sections alongside the ever-changing drum rhythms really help “Drawn Back” stand out and create that progressive definition that the band is labeled after.
The title track of this record comes off as almost the complete opposite of “Drawn Back”, at least in the beginning. This “doomy” influenced approach accentuates the darkened and dreary vibe that Nero di Marte has established. These sections take their places throughout certain areas of the first half and also help feed into this dark, atmospheric, and haunting energy. Much like the first track’s intro, you find yourself slowly introduced with a similar drum pattern alongside the low whispering vocals. The intensity resumes once again until the track ends, pouring into the next, “Resilient”.
“Resilient” is the heaviest of the bunch. I mean HEAVY. Sometimes I feel like this track is borderline chaotic, as the instrumentals continuously clash with one another until they find the right place to disperse. This dispersing results in a calm and collected “break” which begins to intensify over time to resume the chaos.
The last piece of the puzzle that is this album, “Anoptikon”, continues the complex and sophisticated trend to the very end. It will leave you either satisfied or craving for more.
All in all, Nero di Marte is a cut above most of the other albums I’ve heard so far this year. However, I feel the range of their audience may be somewhat small in comparison to many other bands. This shouldn’t steer you away at all, as this album has a consistent flow throughout most of it and is quite interesting when listening to it closely. I did feel that you could easily get lost at any time if you weren’t paying attention as the tone was quite constant along with the pace. Give these guys a shot if you’re into darkened territories.
Rating – 8.7/10