Released: 2009, Permeated Records
The Italian death metal scene is a pretty damn well-kept secret, but for the hardcore fans, it’s the gift that just keeps on giving and giving and giving. The bands I am about to recite may not be household names but they are well worth the time to check out by any serious death metal fan: Natron, Hour of Penance, Vomit the Soul, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Stench of Dismemberment, Eyeconoclast…and now, Septycal Gorge, delivering their follow-up album to 2006’s GROWING SEEDS OF DECAY with ERASE THE INSIGNIFICANT. Septycal Gorge were founded in 2004 by vocalist Mariano Somà and guitarist Diego Riccobene, and the band fought through a number of line-up changes while releasing the first album on Mutilated Records. In January 2008, with a solid line-up finally, they signed to Permeated Records (Italian label run by Vomit the Soul bassist Andrea Anghileri) and are now ready to pummel us all with some disgusting Italian brutal technical death metal.
Just so we’re on the right page, I’m going to throw some names out there: Suffocation, Devourment, Brain Drill, Odious Mortem, Decrepit Birth, Deeds of Flesh…you get the picture. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Grinding, spastic, down-tuned jagged riffs that twist and turn themselves inside out, brutal chugging breakdowns that make you want to smash everything in sight, vocals so guttural only a mother could love and some truly awesome death metal drumming from one of Italy’s finest. It’s all been done before, but who cares? They don’t pretend to be anything that they’re not.
This is something that only brutal death metal fans will enjoy, if originality isn’t what they’re after. If well-played, down-to-earth, over-the-top, grind-influenced death metal is what they seek, then Septycal Gorge will oblige. The riffs sound like mid-era Suffocation, even the crazy percussive chugs and palm mutes sound almost like what the New Yorkers have done. The vocals are so low that I would have sworn that they were pitch-shifted, but after taking a look at a couple of live clips, I’m inclined to believe that Mariano can actually reach those lows consistently in a live situation. There’s very little variation in his delivery, a couple of brees and the odd scream thrown in, but 99% of the time he’s delivering a monotone in Z flat.
I have to say something about the drumming. For such a young kid (he looks about 21 in the videos and pics), he’s absolutely insane! Rock solid technique and impeccable internal rhythm, he’s also got a pretty developed sense of groove and pace for a youngster. No disrespect to the rest of the guys in the band (the guitarists definitely have some mean chops), but this kid Davide will, given time, outstrip them all, and I do hope that they will expand the scope of their songwriting in the future to make use of his undoubted talent. There’s a bit too much double bass for my liking, and definitely I’d like to see more overall variation in the drumming, but damn it all if the raw material isn’t there already for him to become a very well respected drummer, perhaps not on the level of a Mounier or a Kollias, but possibly a tier or two below.
This isn’t an essential death metal release for sure, but if you’re in the mood for 30 minutes of brutal Italian death metal and have a few spare bucks lying around, ERASE THE INSIGNIFICANT is as good as anything else to spend your money on!