Neapolitan Symphonic Black Metal

March 23, 2017


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The Pitch: The mighty Dusktone label brings us symphonic black metal from Italy in the form of Scuorn; a one-man project heavily influenced by the cult of Parthenope and "the most ancient legends and history of the mysterious Neapolitan lands."  FFO Emperor, Nokturnal Mortum, Moonsorrow

What I Like: There's an excellent range of symphonic styles on display with Parthenope.  Some tracks have a more traditional In The Nightside Eclipse sound to them, others have more of a Fleshgod Apocalypse flair, and still others have a folk metal vibe borrowing melodies from a number of Eastern cultures.  Songs like "Tarantella Nera" particularly remind me of early works from Finnish group Moonsorrow, though I also hear influences from Russian and Ukranian music as well as Middle Eastern styles("Averno," for example).  But then again, I'm no traditional folk music scholar.  The bottom line is that you'll get a wide variety of textures and emotions from this content and every track has its own personality.  From a more pragmatic front, the album is consistently heavy, the vocals are consistently harsh, and both the guitars and drums do their part to get you banging your head.

What I Don't Like: Sometimes I feel like these tracks are missing a certain "oomph" factor.  That often indescribable element that moves a composition from great to powerful.  From a compositional standpoint I think this album is very strong, but I need a little more to get me fully engrossed and invested in the drama.

The Verdict: A very impressively written and performed album, especially coming from the mind and talents of just one man.  I'd like to see Scuorn incorporate just a little more of those bombastic, show-stopping elements that have made group like Dimmu Borgir so accessible, but not at the cost of this project's disparate take on the genre.

Flight's Fav's: Virgilio Mago, Sanghe Amaro, Parthenope