Album Review – Ferum / Asunder / Erode (2022)

A ruthless entity arises from the underworld with an obsessive and monolithic record, showcasing the boldness and rot of American death doom and the introspection and emotion of English death doom.

Formed in 2017 in Bologna, Italy, but currently scattered between Bologna and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, the ruthless Death/Doom Metal entity known as Ferum (which means “wild”, “untamed” or “fierce” in Latin) is unleashing upon us all their debut full-length opus, entitled Asunder / Erode, following up on their 2018 EP Vergence. Recorded and mixed by the band’s drummer Are Kangus at Walter Productions, mastered by Dan Swanö, and displaying a fantastic cover art by Paolo Girardi (read more about the concept and process HERE), Asunder / Erode is a clear step forward in the career of vocalist and guitarist Samantha Alessi, bassist Matteo Anzelini and the aforementioned Are Kangus compared to their previous release, offering fans of heavy music an obsessive and monolithic record showcasing at the same time the boldness and rot of American death doom and the introspection and emotion of English death doom, with its slow, funereal riffs and cavernous atmosphere positioning it as one of the best albums of the genre of the past few years.

The massive, sluggish beats by Are kick off the thunderous opening tune Halfhead, with Samantha roaring deeply like a she-demon while also extracting sheer malignancy from her axe. In other words, it’s dark, sinister and somber just the way we like it in Doom Metal, which is also the case with The Undead Truth, featuring the iconic Mike Perun of Cianide on vocals, sounding even more demonic and grim with Samantha firing obscure riffs nonstop supported by the low-tuned bass by Matteo, not to mention how intricate and vibrant the drumming by Are is. Then continuing their path of old school, sulfurous Death and Doom Metal the trio brings forth the headbanging Desolate Vantaa, a song perfect for breaking your neck in half to the pounding drums by Are while Samantha darkly vociferates the song’s lyrics; and dark clouds are above us in the damned tune Belong, where Samantha and Matteo are in total sync with their stringed weapons, generating a menacing, reverberating sound tailored for admirers of the most obscure form of Doom Metal.

Get ready for almost seven minutes of infernal epicness in Monolithic Acquiescence, presenting elements from Blackened Doom in its core while remaining loyal to the foundations of Death Metal thanks to another awesome performance by Samantha on vocals; whereas investing in a more ferocious vibe, the trio delivers endless violence and heaviness in Entrails Of Linnahall, with Are dictating the song’s brutal pace while also alternating between pure Death Metal and slow, sinister passages. A deep roar by Samantha kicks off the Stygian extravaganza titled Resurgence In Bereavement, another dense, multi-layered composition showcasing Are’s classic Doom Metal beats, growing in intensity and fear until all fades into the void for our total delectation, while eerie vocalizations and minimalist sounds will darken our minds in Outro – Spesso Il Male Di Vivere Ho Incontrato, which is not a bad idea for an outro but it could have been slightly shorter to keep the energy level in the album even higher. Nothing to worry about, though, as in the end the album kicks some serious ass from start to finish.

As already mentioned, the wild and fierce hybrid of Death and Doom Metal blasted by Ferum in Asunder / Erode is a must-listen for anyone who enjoys a good dosage of obscurity and hatred in metal music, proving how focused the trio was while recording the album and, consequently, pointing to an exciting future ahead of them. Having said that, don’t forget to start following Samantha and the boys on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other important information about the band, to purchase your copy of Asunder / Erode from the Avantgarde Music’s BandCamp page or from Sound Cave as a CD, a color vinyl or a black vinyl, and to stream all of their devilish arias on Spotify. Ferum are definitely on the right path to conquer the world of extreme music based on what they have to offer us all in their new album, leaving us eager (or I might even say desperate) for more of their music in a not-so-distant future.

Best moments of the album: Halfhead, Desolate Vantaa, Entrails Of Linnahall and Resurgence In Bereavement.

Worst moments of the album: Outro – Spesso Il Male Di Vivere Ho Incontrato.

Released in 2022 Unorthodox Emanations/Avantgarde Music

Track listing
1. Halfhead 5:24
2. The Undead Truth 6:28
3. Desolate Vantaa 5:15
4. Belong 5:23
5. Monolithic Acquiescence 6:53
6. Entrails Of Linnahall 5:24
7. Resurgence In Bereavement 6:39
8. Outro – Spesso Il Male Di Vivere Ho Incontrato 3:02

Band members
Samantha Alessi – vocals, guitars
Matteo Anzelini – bass
Are Kangus – drums

Guest musician
Mike Perun – vocals on “The Undead Truth”

Album Review – Danger Zone / Don’t Count On Heroes (2019)

Rest assured we can always count on this talented Italian squad to make our lives better to the sound of their first-class, 80’s-inspired Hard Rock.

As we’re quickly approaching the end of 2019, let’s enjoy a melodious and vibrant feast of Hard Rock infused with Heavy and Power Metal elements to properly warm us up for the year that’s about to begin, hosted by Bologna, Italy-based veteran rockers Danger Zone, who have just released their fourth full-length album Don’t Count On Heroes, the follow-up to their highly-acclaimed 2016 album Closer To Heaven. Featuring the same lineup as in their 2016 album, that being Giacomo Gigantelli on vocals, Roberto Priori and Danilo Faggiolino on the guitars, Matteo Minghetti on bass, Pier Mazzini on keyboards and Paolo Palmieri on drums, Don’t Count On Heroes is another ode to 80’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal split into 11 classy compositions, reminding us all once again that although those golden years of rock and metal might be long gone, they’re still alive and kicking inside the hearts of us fans and of talented musicians like the ones from Danger Zone.

As soon as you hit play, futuristic sounds will ignite the Hard Rock party entitled Demon or Saint, led by Paolo’s steady beats and Pier’s classic keys, while Matteo brings thunder to the music with his metallic bass. Needless to say, it’s quite impossible to stand still to this electrifying display of rock music. After such amazing welcome card, the band delivers more melodic and pleasant notes in Faster Than Love, where Giacomo gives a lesson in 80’s Hard Rock on vocals, or in other words, it couldn’t sound more Sunset Strip than this; followed by Somewhere Out of Time, keeping the rhythm fast and upbeat, with Roberto and Danilo extracting sheer electricity form their guitars accompanied by the thunderous bass by Matteo, resulting in a beautiful composition that will please all fans of our good old Rock N’ Roll.

Firing a more melodic and radio-friendly sound, those Italian rockers offer to our ears the ballad Destiny, with the guitars by Danilo and Roberto filling our ears with joy and harmony, all boosted by Pier’s classic keys, whereas it’s time to speed things up again and increase the level of adrenaline in Down to Passion, led by Paolo’s spot-on beats and Matteo’s rumbling bass. Put differently, this is a dancing tune that lives up to the legacy of 80’s Hard Rock with the band’s own European twist, not to mention Pier and Roberto’s healthy “duel of solos”, adding even more energy to the overall result. In Rise Again we’re treated to an acoustic, serene intro where Giacomo showcases all his vocal potency flowing into a beautiful ballad with introspective lyrics and endless passion, while Hang on to Your Heart is another straightforward creation by Danger Zone showcasing classic guitar lines and beats. It’s nothing truly special, but its chorus is indeed catchy and should work really well if played at a rock n’ roll radio station.

And it seems Danger Zone are investing heavily on ballads this time, as Forever Now is one more display of how mellow and passionate they can sound, with Roberto bringing a sensational rockin’ touch to the song with his guitar solos while Giacomo beautifully declaims the song’s positive lyrics. Then rev up your engines for a mid-tempo Hard Rock extravaganza entitled Rolling Thunder, where Paolo doesn’t stop pounding his drums, therefore providing Giacomo all he needs to thrive on vocals and again presenting awesome guitar solos for our total delectation. The second to last tune in Don’t Count On Heroes, titled Breakaway, is faster and more furious than most songs of the album, with its guitars sounding utterly strident and sharp, not to mention Pier’s 80’s-inspired keys bringing even more adrenaline to the music, and that heaviness and fun goes on until the song’s very last second. Last but not least, a piano-based ballad named Eternity closes the album on a melancholic and gentle note, again focusing on Giacomo’s potent vocal lines but with Roberto obviously stealing the spotlight with his lean solos, resulting in a perfect song for listening together with your loved ones.

As aforementioned, Danger Zone have been putting a lot of effort and focus on the melody and harmony of their compositions, which is beyond clear in their new album Don’t Count On Heroes (available for a full listen on Spotify), and if you’re a fan of this very melodic side of 80’s Hard Rock and Glam Metal go check what the band is up to on Facebook, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and grab your copy of their pleasant new album from the Pride & Joy Music webstore, from the AOR Heaven webstore, from CDON.se, from Apple Music or from Amazon. We might not be able to count on heroes to save us in our dangerous society, but we can surely count on Danger Zone to make our lives easier and happier to the sound of their excellent and classic Hard Rock.

Best moments of the album: Demon or Saint, Down to Passion and Breakaway.

Worst moments of the album: Hang on to Your Heart.

Released in 2019 Pride & Joy Music

Track listing
1. Demon or Saint 4:55
2. Faster Than Love 4:40
3. Somewhere Out of Time 4:17
4. Destiny 4:12
5. Down to Passion 4:05
6. Rise Again 4:07
7. Hang on to Your Heart 4:07
8. Forever Now 4:36
9. Rolling Thunder 4:25
10. Breakaway 4:30
11. Eternity 4:58

Band members
Giacomo Gigantelli – vocals
Roberto Priori – lead guitar
Danilo Faggiolino – guitar
Matteo Minghetti – bass
Pier Mazzini – keyboards
Paolo Palmieri – drums

Album Review – Danger Zone / Closer To Heaven (2016)

Let this talented Italian band bring you the best Hard Rock from the 80’s you can think of, and you’ll then feel a lot closer to the always coveted Rock N’ Roll heaven.

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Cover mediumAfter you take a listen at Closer To Heaven, the brand new release by Italian Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Danger Zone, you will certainly start asking yourself why those talented rockers are not among the top Hard Rock bands in the world such as Whitesnake, Scorpions, Def Leppard and Van Halen, even being founded in the early 80’s (more specifically in 1983) like most of our favorite bands from this always pleasant subgenre of heavy music. If you’re a fan of that old school Hard Rock sending a message of love and freedom to the entire world, this album is for you, and Danger zone will soon become one of your favorite new (or maybe I should say veteran) bands without a shadow of a doubt.

Due to adverse circumstances, the band had to go on a hiatus between 1989, a few years after the release of their debut EP entitled Victim of Fate, until 2011 when their first full-length album Line of Fire finally became a reality after so many years on the shelf. However, it was worth the wait, as all their releases after the band got back together in 2010 are beyond awesome, and of course it couldn’t be any different with Closer To Heaven. Always loyal to their roots and never giving up on their dreams, this Bologna-based band offers the listener 11 tracks of pure Hard Rock from the 80’s without sounding cheesy or outdated in Closer To Heaven, and that’s all that’s needed for this album to be considered a mandatory addition to your Hard Rock collection.

I know I’ve already mentioned the name of this band in this review, but if you love the Hard Rock played by Scorpions you’ll go crazy with the opening track Turn It Up and its blazing riffs, powerful keyboards and a gripping rhythm, all perfect for lead singer Giacomo Gigantelli to provide his classy vocal lines. Then in Go! (Closer To Heaven), an acoustic start flows into a powerful Hard Rock ahthem that sounds taken from those cult romantic comedies from the 80’s, where keyboardist Pier Mazzini nicely complements what lead guitarist Roberto Priori and guitarist Danilo Faggiolini offer through their solos and riffs respectively; while in Higher Than High I really thought for a few seconds that the iconic Klaus Meine was about to start singing. This song showcases that traditional Hard Rock that dominated the American territory during the 80’s, with a chorus catchier than anything you can imagine and Roberto kicking ass with his guitar solos.

danger zoneNow let drummer Paolo Palmieri and bassist Matteo Minghetti, both supported by Pier’s keyboard notes, guide us all on a Rock N’ Roll road trip in the amazing I’m All In, with highlights to the great performance by Giacomo with his passionate vocals, followed by Here Where I Belong, a semi-acoustic power ballad where the whole band works together and in sync to fill all spaces in the music with smoothness and energy, creating a pleasant atmosphere for couples to enjoy it together. The following tune, I Love Crazy, is a solid display of American Hard Rock with the traditional riffs by Roberto and Danilo shaping the musicality, and you’ll surely start banging your head or tapping on your desk with the beats by Paolo (not to mention its lyrics will stick to your head and you’ll get yourself singing them everywhere you go).

In the average All For You, a promising start slows down a bit too much, making the whole track sound like filler despite another good vocal performance by Giacomo; whereas in the thrilling T’night, with the keyboards by Pier shining brighter than ever and fire flowing from the guitars, the band blasts a classic Hard Rock chant perfect for people to go crazy on the dance floor at a Rock N’ Roll party. And it seems that the party doesn’t have a time to end based on what the band brings forward in Human Contact, again presenting Scorpions-like riffs and electrifying vocals by Giacomo.

The unstoppable guitar duo Roberto and Danilo steal the spotlight in what’s in my opinion the best of all songs in Closer To Heaven, entitled Not That Lonely, and with Paolo offering the most Rock N’ Roll beats you can think of there’s nothing I can say about this song but that it kicks fuckin’ ass hands down. And lastly, Hard Rock Paradise is an ode to all things Hard Rock, reminding me of some of the biggest classics by Van Halen with all its elements taking us back to the golden years of Hard Rock. Well, I’m pretty sure that was the band’s main goal when they wrote this rockin’ anthem.

You can find more details on the past, present and future of Danger Zone at their Facebook page or YouTube channel, and party until you drop to the sound of their dancing Hard Rock and Rock N’ Roll by purchasing Closer To Heaven at the Pride & Joy Music webstore, on iTunes or on Amazon. You don’t need to travel back in time to the 80’s to listen to good Hard Rock music: simply let Danger Zone bring that for you and you’ll feel closer and closer to the coveted Rock N’ Roll heaven while listening to their powerful hymns.

Best moments of the album: Turn It Up, I’m All In and Not That Lonely.

Worst moments of the album: All For You.

Released in 2016 Pride & Joy Music

Track listing
1. Turn It Up 4:22
2. Go! (Closer To Heaven) 3:50
3. Higher Than High 4:10
4. I’m All In 5:12
5. Here Where I Belong 4:26
6. I Love Crazy 4:26
7. All For You 4:24
8. T’night 4:35
9. Human Contact 4:13
10. Not That Lonely 3:35
11. Hard Rock Paradise 4:29

Band members
Giacomo Gigantelli – vocals
Roberto Priori – lead guitar
Danilo Faggiolini – guitar
Matteo Minghetti – bass
Pier Mazzini – keyboards
Paolo Palmieri – drums