It was the night of December 22nd. I was attending a show with Numenorean, Gaerea and Soul Grip and earlier that day I discovered a relatively unknown band called Nero Di Marte with a recently released single called ‘Sisyphos‘. I was talking about it with a friend at that show and he knew the band and ordered me to listen to their latest release carrying the name ‘Derivae’. Me, a fan of true black metal and all its derivatives, was totally blown away by the theatrical and dissonant sound. It was only a month later, on January 24th, that newborn opus ‘Immoto’ was released and that’s when a whole new world opened for me. I had never quite heard something like it. Nero Di Marte are an Italian quartet originating from Bologna, and with the signing of this band by Season Of Mist in August 2019 and the release of ‘Immoto‘, they have captured their well-deserved spot in the headstrong world of progressive and dissonant metal.
‘Immoto‘ is an album that will echo for a long time in the underground metal industry, but ‘Sisyphos‘ is the song that we’ll remember when talking about that legendary album. The songs succeed one another rapidly and a full listening session demands to be accompanied by a bottle of red wine on a Sunday evening. Every song is so dense and full of content it’s probably a “love it or hate it” at first listen. The music itself, however, deserves appreciation from all kinds of (metal) music lovers since this is the result of some seriously devoted musicians that all do what they do best. Just try and tap your feet to the drums of the intro of ‘L’arca‘…
Never before had I heard such a swift blend of theatrical vocals, spoken word and grunts, dissonant filth and melodic pieces, post / progressive / avant-garde / dissonant / black / death / atmospheric metal in a clean and polished package like this, lasting over one hour. It all starts with personal favorite and absolute masterpiece ‘Sisyphos‘. From the moment the track starts, and as soon as you hear what direction the composition and building-up of the song is headed in, until something starts boiling and broiling beneath your feet, those dissonant stomps start kicking in. When finally, nearly halfway the song, a true earthquake unfolds in an inferno of sounds and screeches. The final two minutes offer an oasis of rest to gasp for air and realize what just happened and where those eleven minutes went. This was top shelf progressive death/post-metal and even for me, a black metal fan in heart and soul, this is already the first contender for the AOTY-list of 2020.
About the band’s name, Nero Di Marte is considered the opaquest of naturally occurring black pigments and at the same time the least toxic, as well as the most resistant to light [Metal Archives]. That sums it up for their music as well. Nero Di Marte is a thick black stain that pollutes the whole system for categorizing metal bands into genres we have built up to this day. These Italians sure do know how to properly build up a song, which they have proven in ‘Sisyphos‘ and in the title track. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this progressive death metal machine, both in terms of releases and gigs.
Release date: January 24th, 2020
Label: Season of Mist
- La Casa Del Diavolo
- La Fuga