Released: 2006, Mausoleum Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Italy’s Merendine Atomiche bring a modern touch to their sophomore release, RAW. Elements of bands like Disturbed and Godsmack mingle with Pantera and Metallica influences as well as some bluesy classic rock to bridge old and new. Amazingly, the band landed Annihilator’s Jeff Waters to do a solo on 2003’s WALK ACROSS FIRE and this time around, Jack Frost (Seven Witches) handles co-production as well as some guitar duties, so for an unknown band from Italy to land a pair of bigger names, they must be doing something interesting, right? Wrong! This disjointed mess reeks of nu-metal stagnancy in places and a complete lack of direction in others. What Merendine Atomiche needs to do is figure out a style and stick with it because each track on RAW is like an ode to some period of heavy music from the last thirty years without anything connecting them.
“In The Cage,” “I Want To Be A Man” and “Shake For Me” are ripped right from Disturbed’s playbook as vocalist Luca Zandarin is a dead-ringer for David Draiman, minus the monkey noises. On “Peace Means War?” and “Breathe The Big Apple,” the down-tuned guitars of David Bisson and Luca Securo chug along with a nu-metal urgency not heard since—ugh—the first Drowning Pool album. The one keeper on RAW is “We Didn’t Know,” chock full of seventies-styled power chords and a groovy eighties blues-metal feel but for every high, there must be a low and the sappy “Ocean’s Shadows” sounds like a Journey reject. Drummer Luca Cerardi—yes, there are three guys named Luca in the band but there is no proof they all live on the second floor—is the main lyricist and can be blamed for misogynistic atrocities like “Wanna see thongs…wanna rock you baby…show me that snatch…my blood my veins hard as my cock” from “Shake For Me” and “We banged this filthy whore many times many ways…she liked it hard she was dripping wet every hole was open for us to stick our meat” from “We Didn’t Know.” Even L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat would be ashamed to write lines that bad! Not offensive but just as heinous is “Reading Penthouse, eating burgers and fries…pound the beer like a drunk off the wagon” from “Roads and Beers.” RAW is full of gems like this.
I’m not exactly sure what Merendine Atomiche is trying to accomplish with RAW since the music sounds like it was written about ten years ago and is just now seeing release. Surely, it’s too soon to be paying homage to nineties bands and what is even more puzzling is why Jack Frost would want to be associated with this outdated crap. Anyone yearning for a memory refresher of what was wrong with metal in the nineties need look no further than RAW.
KILLER KUTS: “We Didn’t Know”