Released: 2012, Bakerteam Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Whenever I hear "Horror Metal" and Italy mentioned in the same sentence, it's hard not to think about Death SS; however, after listening to this record, it was obvious that this is not a knock off of that band. After leaving Opera IX, Italian female singer Cadaveria has been involved in bands like Dynabite and this project which also includes Opera IX drummer Marçelo Santos. The band's new release, "Horror Metal", comes to us via Bakerteam Records after the band was dropped from the Season of Mist label. The new album contains eleven songs which, in many ways, come across as a mixed bag. At times, the band sounds truly inspired, reminding me of Fear of God's "Within the Veil" record, while other areas seem lacking in strong hooks, or heavy areas that get drowned in unappropiate clean vocals.
After checking out their previous offering, 2007's "In Your Blood", the first thing that got my attention was that the band got a better production job this time around, sounding less muddy than in that record. Opener "Flowers in Fire" starts with some random ambient noises then some clean guitars and vocals before launching itself into a mid tempo heavy groove, with crunchy crisp guitars, and raspy vocals.
The song goes into a big chorus with clean vocals and keyboards, which then lead to some Black Metal influenced blasting. Not bad for an opening song. Next song is "The Night's Theatre" which viciously starts off with some aggressive riffs and more raspy vocals before devolving into a sort of gothic rock section which kind of takes away from the previous arrangements. "Death Vision" suffers a similar fate: the song begins with an interesting dissonant riff, before becoming a more conventional, rockish song that takes away from the aggression.
Most of the material actually suffers whenever conventional rock rhythms with keyboards and clean vocals make an appearance. Not all clean vocal sections are bad, though: "This Is Not the Silence" contains some nice sections where both clean and harsh vocals are used in unison to great effect.
The band has certainly improved their attack when compared to the previous record, but there is a kind of rushed feeling to this new album which is evident in that some ideas seem a bit half cooked. There is no denying that there is potential here for these guys to truly go beyond what they did here, as some parts of the songs show that there is substance to this band, even though they may still need some more time to truly flesh out a sound that truly captures their unique abilities. While they are at it, they could focus on the more aggressive and experimental parts of this record, while dropping the catchy choruses and some of the gothic rock beats that detract here and there.
Review by Titus Isaac