The Pitch: Experimental fusion of post-metal, black metal, and sludge are what defines Italy's Viscera/// from Drown Within Records. FFO Crown, Ihsahn, Isis
What I Like: First of all, there is a ton of variation on this record from song to song. "Uber-Massive Melancholia" opens with a jarring, aggressive blackened sludge approach with a lot of starts, stops, and sudden pace changes. If you haven't watched the music video, I recommend it as it is extremely, well, visceral and complements this serpentlike track very well. Then you have tracks like "Martyrdom For The Finest People" and "In The Cut" which waver between raging crust and spacey post-metal. These often feature a complete shift in aesthetic with a softer sound and haunting clean singing as opposed to the previous sludgy snarls. But then at the end, the black metal influences pop up once more for "Anxiety Prevails," which is also one of the more straight-forward tracks on the album. And despite all of the freshness and constant shifting in styles, every moment feels very much Viscera/// as opposed to a mixtape of disjointed ideas.
Critiques: I'm not sure these 10+ minute runtimes are always entirely warranted. There is some repetition that could be trimmed, certainly on "In The Cut." My attention wanes at times, but never for very long.
The Verdict: Not a perfect album, but one that feels braver and more willing to push convention than the majority of what I have reviewed so far this year. I am excited by the potential of these atypical approaches to writing a record and meshing of styles. Looking fowrward to hearing more, guys.
Flight's Fav's: Uber-Massive Melancholia, Anxiety Prevails (Web Edit)