Here at NCS, our minds are disorderly and usually afflicted with attention deficit plague. Occasionally, though, we find a strangely calming influence from notions of symmetry and connection.
For example, we started the week with a post on an Italian brutal-tech-death band called Blasphemer whose just-released EP was produced by Rome’s Stefano Morabito and his 16th Cellar Studio and whose songs lyrically focused on serious themes. We followed that yesterday with a piece on, uh, banjo metal. Today, we decided it would be pleasing to put a bookend on this side of the banjo-metal post with a piece on Mass Obliteration — another Italian death-metal band who have also recently released an EP, also produced by Stefano Morabito, and also lyrically focused on serious themes. We feel strangely calmed.
But not calmed by the music. The music makes us feel jittery and slightly deranged. It’s a deep throwback to early-90’s death metal, with powerful connections to albums like Incantation’s debut, Onward to Golgotha, or the early works of Immolation and Grave. Are you ready for “a grinding onslaught of rotten anarco-death metal”? If so, then Mass Obliteration is just the ticket for you. (more after the jump, including a track from that EP . . .)
Mass Obliteration was started in 2006 by two cousins, Andrea Lisi (vocals, bass) and Luca Zamberti (drums). After filling out the band, they self-produced one EP in 2007 called Abrahamithic Curse, and earlier this year they gave birth to a second, called Fratricide.
The four songs on Fratricide are loaded with massively downtuned, dissonant guitars that grind and scrape and steamroll the landscape in complex rhythmic patterns, plus occasional brief guitar solos that erupt like an acetylene torch. Bruising drum fills rumble in the background, but without excessive reliance on blast-beats and double kicks. The bass must be in the mix somewhere, but the guitars are tuned so low it’s hard to separate them from the bass.
As for the vocals, you could mistake them for the likes of John McEntee (Incantation) or Ross Dolan (Immolation). They’re deep, brutal, and unforgiving — a sonic wash of bestial roaring.
The production of the EP is also a throwback. It yields a sound that’s completely raw and even muddy. Listening to the EP is like opening the door only to find that someone has just thrown a running chainsaw straight at your head.
We mentioned the seriousness of the lyrics. “Mashom” is about the plight of Palestinians in Israel. “The Remains of Hate” and “Lathe Biosas” (meaning “live secretly” — the motto of Epicurus) are about senseless violence and wars spawned by hate and prejudice, and “Nekare” is about the brutality inflicted on the people of Uganda by Joseph Kony and his “Lord’s Resistance Army”. You can’t hear the words, but the lyrical themes are clearly a part of what makes this band tick.
Mass Obliteration’s music is an uncompromising testament to the early days of Swedish and New York death metal. Fratricide doesn’t dress up the basic template in new garments, but simply keeping that tradition alive is not a bad objective, at least not in our book.
Here’s a song from the Fratricide EP for you to check out:
You can legally download Fratricide for the princely sum of $1.50, or any song on the EP for $0.42, at Crimes Against Humanity Records. And if you go here, you’ll find a link for free download of Mass Obliteration’s first EP, Abrahamithic Curse.
For more info, this is the link for Mass Obliteration’s MySpace page, and this is the link for the band’s on-line blog (though most of the posts are in Italian). Mass Obliteration reports that they are currently working on a full-length album for projected release in 2011.