If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, it should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of experimental groups. I tend to shun the standard verse/chorus paradigm in favor of a more abstract approach and design to songwriting. The more progressive, the better. Considering my affinity for metal that delves into streams of increased complexity, I was taken aback greatly by the latest release from NERO DI MARTE. Their Prosthetic Records debut, Derivae, is out now.
Ripe with dark, enigmatic melodies and perplexing structures, it is easily one of the densest offerings this year. Hell, even with having immersed myself fully in the record for the past week, I still find the ability to get tangled in some of the songs. However, I find this to just be reason to continue listening; a challenge to the intellectual metalhead to, if you will, to solve the puzzle that is Derivae. The seven tracks of the record each run over the six minute mark, yet manage to keep the listener on their toes for every moment of play. “Pulsar” is definitely the song that resonated loudest to my ears, although “L’Eclisse”, “Il Diluvio” and “Those Who Leave” also stand with incredible power.
A dark, brooding tempest of obscurity, NERO DI MARTE have unleashed the progressive gauntlet upon the world of experimental metal. Further, they’ve done so without resorting to many of the standard issue tactics taken by their progressive cohorts. For example, Derivae features a great deal of harsh vocal, yet none of it fits to the typical death metal growling technique, instead, the singer opted for a raspy yelled approach; allowing increased depth of emotion during sections of higher intensity. Overall, the album builds a winding labyrinth, saturated with esoteric passages that are sure to leave even those well versed in cryptic writing feeling a bit disheveled. I highly suggest giving this record a spin.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “L’Eclisse”, “Pulsar”, “Il Divulio”, “Those Who Leave”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE