I'm eternally grateful to a close friend of mine for telling me to check out a little Italian quartet called Nero di Marte. If he hadn't persuaded me that not listening to this album was akin to metal blasphemy, I would never have given them a second thought. So when I purchased this album completely on faith in my friend, I was expecting something memorable--and they certainly delivered. I present, for your consideration, the album Nero di Marte (which means "Black of Mars" in Italian).
It's very difficult to describe the music of Nero di Marte, seeing as they don't conform to any conventions of genre. Their debut full of the usual standards for tech death, with tons of bombastic blast beats, chaotic and constantly changing compositions, and an intensely intricate instrumentation. And there are also hints of progressive metal, displayed in the comfortably congenial yet confusingly complicated concordance, the extended, epic-length excursions, and the lusciously ludicrous lyrics. But there are even times when the music feels like empty-of-excess extreme metal, dangerously desolate dark ambient, and even passionately pensive post-metal; I personally gave up trying to figure them out and threw them into my bin of avant garde acts (which is basically my "heck if I know" bucket).
Observational complications aside, Nero di Marte is fifty-minutes of genre-defying, mind-blowing metal. These guys create an aural palette so stunningly diverse and beautifully applied that it's easy to miss the internal inconsistencies for how well the songs function as a whole. Everything about this album is emotionally crushing and perfectly executed; it's a wall of sound that hits at full force and never gives you a chance to catch your breath. I can't even fabricate or nitpick some downsides to this album--listening to it is an unparalleled experience of perfection, a truly sublime moment to be appreciated. Trying to find the few inevitable small mistakes and missteps almost seems like an insult.
Let it be known that Nero di Marte is one of the most fantastic extreme avant garde metal albums I have witnessed, and there's no doubt that, one day in the near future, these guys will emerge as legends of the genre. After listening to it, I stand completely awed and humbled by this band's capabilities, and I find myself constantly finding excuses to give this album a listen. Make a point of hearing it; it's assuredly one of the finest metal albums this year.
Recommended if you like: Sigh, Ulcerate, Baring Teeth
9.0 / 10
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