Album Review – Cadaveria / Emptiness (2022)

After almost eight years, one of the torchbearers of Italian Dark Metal is back with a fantastic, multi-layered work that seals the artistic and human path of the band.

Almost eight years after the excellent Silence, Black/Gothic Metal entity Cadaveria, the creative alter-ego of Italian-based frontwoman Raffaella “Cadaveria” Rivarolo (one of the first women to hit the Extreme Metal scene in the early 90’s), is back with an exciting new album entitled Emptiness, a fantastic, multi-layered work that seals the artistic and human path of the band currently comprised of the aforementioned Cadaveria together with bassist Peter Dayton and drummer Marçelo Santos, plus guest guitarist Kris Laurent (Cadaveria, The Providence) and additional guitars by Pier Gonella (Athlantis, Necrodeath, Mastercastle). Recorded and mixed at Rrooaarr Sound Studio, mixed and mastered at Shadows Studios, produced by Cadaveria and Pier Gonella, and displaying a stylish artwork by Roberto Toderico, Emptiness represents a rebirth for Cavaderia after a three-year long pause from the scene during which Raffaella had to be treated for cancer, containing four singles digitally released between December 2020 and June 2021 alongside seven previously unreleased songs which combined will smoothly penetrate deep inside your mind in the name of rock and metal.

The band wastes no time and begins their sonic attack in The Great Journey, with Cadaveria’s raspy vocals being accompanied by the classic beast by Marçelo and the rumbling bass by Peter, followed by Shamanic Path, blending their core Gothic Metal with Death and Doom Metal nuances while Cadaveria does an excellent job with both her she-demon screams and anguished clean vocals. Then in the title-track Emptiness our beloved Cadaveria declaims the song’s poetic lyrics in a dark and sinister way while Kris fires traditional riffs that match perfectly with her voice; and Marçelo adds endless fury and heaviness with his drums to The Woman Who Fell to Earth, feeling utterly electrifying from start to finish. Cadaveria sounds truly possessed on vocals supported by her bandmates in Divination, with Marçelo kicking some ass behind his drums, while Matryoshcada is more sluggish and somber than its predecessors, with tons of groove flowing from Peter’s bass while Kris’ riffage sounds inspired by old school Black Sabbath.

In Silver Rain we’re treated to pensive words declaimed by Cadaveria (“The children of my thoughts are running / Away naked up to the hill / Your seeds will sprout inside me to enjoy new Springs together / My mind is clear I carry no weight, no pain on my shoulders / Your seeds will sprout inside me to enjoy new Springs together”) amidst a mesmerizing fusion of Dark and Gothic Metal, whereas Cadaveria and her henchmen continue to explore the realms of Dark Metal in The Cure, with her she-wolf roars walking hand in hand with the piercing guitars by Kris while also presenting the rawness and fury of Black Metal in its core essence. Strident riffs ignite the melancholic, sinister tune Life After, where Cadaveria flawlessly alternates between her raspy gnarls and mesmerizing clean vocals, therefore resulting in a beautiful creation by the band that depicts everything Dark Metal stands for; while in La Casa dell’Anima the fact the lyrics are in Italian is awesome, although the music is not as exciting as the rest of the album. Lastly, the band offers more of their darkened sounds in The Sky That Screams Above Us, a sluggish composition where Marçelo brings forward pure doom through his beats.

You can have a very good time by streaming Emptiness in its entirety on Spotify, and also by following Cadaveria on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on, by subscribing to their YouTube channel for not only more of their music but mainly for their top-notch official videos, and above all that, by purchasing a copy of Emptiness by clicking HERE or HERE. Our beloved diva Raffaella “Cadaveria” Rivarolo didn’t only beat the shit out of cancer, but she did that while at the same time she worked on the awesome music found in Emptiness, proving metal is and will always be the best treatment for any type of disease and also highly recommended for filling that emptiness we all have inside us. Thank you, Cadaveria, and may you keep embellishing the airwaves with your beautiful fusion of Gothic and Black Metal for many decades to come.

Best moments of the album: The Great Journey, Divination and Silver Rain.

Worst moments of the album: La Casa dell’Anima.

Released in 2022 Scarlet Records

Track listing
1. The Great Journey 4:55
2. Shamanic Path 5:10
3. Emptiness 5:00
4. The Woman Who Fell to Earth 5:52
5. Divination 3:07
6. Matryoshcada 5:09
7. Silver Rain 4:24
8. The Cure 4:52
9. Life After 4:35
10. La Casa dell’Anima 4:55
11. The Sky That Screams Above Us 5:33

Vinyl Edition bonus track
12. Return (Deine Lakaien cover) 4:04

Band members
Cadaveria – vocals
Peter Dayton – bass
Marçelo Santos – drums

Guest musicians
Kris Laurent – guitars
Pier Gonella – additional guitars

Album Review – Coiled Around Thy Spine / From The Ashes (2021)

From the ashes these Italian metallers rise with more of their shredding guitar solos, blasting drums and soaring vocals in the form of their sophomore album, representing an evolution in their visceral sound.

4.0rating

coiled-around-thy-spine-from-the-ashes-2021Three years after the release of their fulminating debut album Shades, vocalist Daniele Rosso and guitarist and bassist Sergio Costa, supported by session drummer Tomonobu ‘Tomi’ Inoue and collectively known as Turin, Italy-based Melodic Death Metal outfit Coiled Around Thy Spine, are back in action with their shredding guitar solos, blasting drums and soaring vocals inspired by classic and new Death Metal in the form of their sophomore effort entitled From The Ashes. A true step up in their career, From The Ashes offers us listeners an evolution in the sound by the Italian duo from their debut album, being highly recommended for fans of renowned acts the likes of Arch Enemy, Death, Trivium, early In Flames and Megadeth, and above all, for anyone who enjoys a huge dosage of violence mixed with great melodies and a very good reason for headbanging like there’s no tomorrow.

And futuristic sounds arise from the underworld in the opening tune Paracosm, before Sergio and Tomi begin their respective riffs and beats attack, exploding into sheer Melodic Death Metal to the wicked roars by Daniele while all is carefully spiced up by a trademark guitar solo by Sergio. Then epic, Stygian background elements set the tone in the visceral tune Back To The Dark Dimension, with Daniele’s growls and screams getting even more enraged while Sergio continues to slash his axe majestically; and there’s no time to breathe as Coiled Around Thy Spine keep crushing our souls with their melodic and intricate Death Metal in Breath Of Existence, where Tomi is once again bestial behind his drums, not to mention the awesome job done by Sergio with both his riffs and bass lines. After such demolishing tune, a sinister and melancholic intro morphs into a mid-tempo Melodic Death Metal feast the likes of early Arch Enemy in Graveyard Of Thoughts, an excellent choice for breaking your neck to the pounding drums by Tomi.

The band keeps exploring darker paths in Burning Souls, another somber creation by Daniele and Sergio showcasing those piercing guitars that only Melodic Death Metal can provide us. It would have been more effective if a little shorter, though, whereas back to a more epic and violent mode it’s time for a fulminating metal onrush entitled Survival Instinct, with Sergio’s riffs generating a flammable paradox with the song’s background keys while Daniele and Tomi fire sheer animosity and hatred through their respective growls and beats. Then get ready to have your ears and minds pierced mercilessly by the scorching riffs by Sergio while Daniele keeps gnarling like a beast in Red Rising Sun, keeping the album as sulfurous and obscure as it can be, while the title-track From The Ashes closes the regular version of the album on a demolishing note, inviting us all to bang our heads and slam into the pit while Daniele vociferates rabidly nonstop. Furthermore, if you go for the special edition of the album you’ll be treated to two amazing cover songs as a bonus, those being Like Hell by Loudness and Bite The Pain by Death (and you can check the original ones HERE and HERE). Needless to say, Coiled Around Thy Spine simply kicked some serious ass with both versions.

coiled-around-thy-spine-2021In a nutshell, the guys from Coiled Around Thy Spine have outdone themselves in From The Ashes (which is available for a full listen on Spotify), delivering a thrilling hybrid of old school and modern sounds that will undoubtedly please any fan of Heavy Metal, even the ones who don’t enjoy extreme music that much. Hence, in order to show those Italian metallers your utmost support, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram, to subscribe to their YouTube channel, and of course, to purchase From The Ashes from their own BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music or from Amazon. And let’s all hope Coiled Around Thy Spine do not take too long to get back “from the ashes” with more of their sick and visceral music.

Best moments of the album: Back To The Dark Dimension, Breath Of Existence, Survival Instinct and From The Ashes.

Worst moments of the album: Burning Souls.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing      
1. Paracosm 5:51
2. Back To The Dark Dimension 4:59
3. Breath Of Existence 5:01
4. Graveyard Of Thoughts 6:05
5. Burning Souls 8:36
6. Survival Instinct 5:51
7. Red Rising Sun 5:45
8. From The Ashes 6:10

Special Edition bonus tracks
9. Like Hell (Loudness cover) 3:40
10. Bite The Pain (Death cover) 4:47

Band members
Daniele Rosso – vocals
Sergio Costa – guitars, bass, synth

Guest musician
Tomonobu ‘Tomi’ Inoue – drums (session)

Album Review – 5 Star Grave / The Red Room (2017)

The six pricks from Hell are back in town, hic sunt the motherfuckers.

This is one of those bands that, as soon as you listen to their flammable music for the very first time, you become addicted to their electricity and rebellious attitude, especially if you’re already a huge fan of the sound by bands like the Misfits, Social Distortion, the Ramones, Minot Threat and so on, but with a heavier and more melodic approach. I’m talking about Italian Melodic Death Metal six-piece wolf pack 5 Star Grave, who have just released a Rock N’ Roll party-catalyst entitled The Red Room, an album that will surely put you to dance, bang your head, slam into the pit, drink a few beers and do everything else we love so much in heavy music. In other words, the six pricks from Hell are back in town, hic sunt the motherfuckers, and there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from them.

Formed in 2005 in Cuneo, a city and comune in Piedmont, Northern Italy, under the name Ground Zero, changing to 5 Star Grave in 2007, the band already released in their decade of existence the full-length albums Corpse Breed Syndrome, in 2008, and Drugstore Hell, in 2012, as well as a single with a cover version for one of the biggest hits by the Ramones, the classic Pet Sematary, before releasing The Red Room now in 2017. Bringing forth a weird and fun combination of several styles like traditional Heavy Metal and Punk Rock with industrial atmospheres, the band comprised of frontman Claudio Ravinale (who’s also the lead singer for Death Metal act Disarmonia Mundi and Industrial Metal outfit The Silverblack), bassist Andrea Minolfi, guitarists Thierry Bertone and Alessandro Blengino, keyboardist Hervè De Zulian and drummer Domenico Fazzari aims at charging the listener with their relentless hardcore/horror punk-influenced metal highly inspired by the golden years of 80’s metal and shock rock, which they more than achieve with The Red Room.

Wicked noises are suddenly joined by the slashing riffs by Thierry and Alessandro in the opening track, beautifully titled Hic Sunt The Motherfuckers, with Hervè and his keys giving it a futuristic aura. Moreover, this amazing tune brings forward the two main characteristics of Melodic Death Metal, those being aggressiveness and harmony, helping the band in breaking down the walls in fantastic fashion. Following that superb start we have the also whimsical and modern Eat You Alive, where Claudio screams like a maniac supported by the potent backing vocals by Andrea, not to mention the song’s fiery guitar solos and catchy chorus; and Once Upon A Time, with Claudio sounding even more demented on vocals, enhancing the song’s impact while Domenico smashes his drums with tons of dexterity, being highly recommended for admirers of modern and alternative music.

The Ballad Of The Vampire is not a ballad at all, but an ode to the fusion of Heavy Metal, Punk Rock and Hardcore blasted by bands like the Misfits, a fast-paced and electrifying hymn showcasing great performances by Claudio and Domenico that will set their live concerts on fire without a shadow of a doubt, while in Alice the keys by Hervè make it sound more melodic and consequently less violent than the other tunes, but still a heavier-than-usual version of punk music perfect for an insane rockin’ party with its guitars burning our ears nonstop. And adding progressiveness to their high-octane Rock N’ Roll sonority, 5 Star Grave offer us Through The Eyes Of The Monster, where Thierry and Alessandro steal the spotlight with their sick riffs while Hervè brings a touch of lunacy with his synths. Put differently, it’s quite impossible to stand still to this explosion of modern metal music.

And those guys definitely know how to blend the music by the Misfits with modern Metalcore like what can be seen in He Never Died, which means you should start banging your head and screaming together with the band as the party doesn’t have a time to end. In Hell On Heels, a mid-tempo rockin’ tune with hints of Southern Rock, we have an acoustic intro as a variation to their trademark rowdy sounding, and at this point of the album you’ll realize 5 Star Grave cannot craft bad music; whereas For Better Or Worse sounds like the soundtrack to a demented circus act, again inspired by old school punk and metal. In addition, the strident sound of guitars increases the song’s temperature quite a bit, with Domenico taking the lead with his spot-on beats. And before all is said and done we have a semi-ballad entitled There Is No Heaven, which despite presenting their rumbling sounds and growls is slightly below the rest of the album in terms of creativity. Actually, to be fair I wouldn’t consider that a problem at all, as the other songs of the album are way too awesome.

In a nutshell, grab your leather jacket, your fighting boots, make sure the beer is crisp and cold, put on your warrior makeup or mask, and join the uncontrollable party held by 5 Star Grave in The Red Room by following them on Facebook, by listening to their music on YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify, and by purchasing this excellent album of modern metal music on BandCamp, on iTunes or on Amazon. And after having The Red Room on your hands, simply hit play and get the party started, motherfuckers.

Best moments of the album: Hic Sunt The Motherfuckers, The Ballad Of The Vampire and Through The Eyes Of The Monster.

Worst moments of the album: There Is No Heaven.

Released in 2017 Sliptrick Records

Track listing
1. Hic Sunt The Motherfuckers 4:14
2. Eat You Alive 4:17
3. Once Upon A Time 3:58
4. The Ballad Of The Vampire 1:43
5. Alice 4:03
6. Through The Eyes Of The Monster 3:39
7. He Never Died 3:00
8. Hell On Heels 4:16
9. For Better Or Worse 4:36
10. There Is No Heaven 4:20

Band members
Claudio Ravinale – vocals
Andrea Minolfi – bass, vocals
Thierry Bertone – guitars
Alessandro Blengino – guitars
Hervè De Zulian – synth
Domenico Fazzari – drums