We’re told that “Odio Sordo” is the Italian translation for “Deaf Hate”, a phrase that connotes bitterness, fury, holding a grudge. And while the Italian trio Odiosordo have embraced those words in their name, and those sensations in their musical hybrid of hardcore and black metal, their new album Con Il Buio Nel Sangue becomes a musical journey in which different experiences also come to the surface. As they tell us, the name they’ve chosen represents internal struggle against personal challenges — “born by the need of merging a strong sense of discomfort, deep disorientation, but also the will of fighting back and finding a way through life.”
As you will have probably guessed by now, the music isn’t “easy listening”. It’s raw, bleak, and ravaging, stripped of pretense, authentic in its channeling of despair and rage, and of misery and defiance. Alternately bruising, oppressive, searing in its intensity, and soaring in its grasp for a way out of harrowing times, it proves to be a relentlessly gripping experience — and we’re giving you the chance to learn that for yourselves through our full-album stream today, before the record’s October 31 release by Third I Rex, VBMF (Italy), and the Third I Rex affiliate, Imperatrix Mundi Records.
Odiosordo may be only three people — Marco P. (guitars, bass, synths), Matteo C. (vocals), and Paolo Z. (drums, lyrics, synths) — but they make a hell of a powerful sound. Produced in a DIY way, and in a way that provides clarity as well as power, the album is extremely hard-hitting, but it’s also dynamic, and the songs are arranged in a way that provides a flow through the album, with the tracks often bleeding into each other to maintain the continuity of the trip.
Vibrating and droning electronics provide an eerie scene-setter in the opening track, and then the band deliver a one-two punch in the following two songs. A writhing riff provides a twisted harmony against a potent drum and bass beat at the outset of “Il Risveglio”, and the song also soon introduces us to Matteo’s scorching vocal fury (which includes throat-lacerating yells and furious roars). The song takes off, providing an amalgam of blasting drums and chaotic, swirling, high-arcing fretwork, as well as slashing chords and punk rhythms, but it also becomes slow, heavy, and stalking, laced with seething arpeggios. The music is bleak and bruising, and also crazed and violent — and at times even gloriously defiant.
Having kicked the energy into gear with that track, “Cranio Ghiacciato” delivers the second hard punch, attacking in a galloping rush, with a vibrantly thrumming bass, and the band again mix heavy, brooding, braying riffs and shrill guitar discordance, whose shrieking and wailing tones give the music a feeling of soul-stripping anguish (the song becomes even more grief-stricken and desolate when the pace slows).
After that opening one-two punch, “Avanzi Irrequieti” provides a reprieve, opening with slow guitar strumming and picking, and long bass reverberations. The vocals change course as well, with somber singing in place of the preceding expulsions of full-throttle fury. But in between these recurrent slower and gloomy, introspective passages there are shocking explosions of rampant, racing mayhem, full of tension and pain.
It’s not a surprise that Odiosordo would dial up the intensity after that last detour, and man, do they ever. “Nell’Aldilá Dei Vostri Giorni” (which is one of the album’s best tracks), is a mid-paced, lumbering brute of a song, shrouded in searing waves of guitar which, together with the return of the extreme vocals, give the track a blistering emotional intensity. The guitars twist the tension like a winding spring until the rhythm section themselves launch into a battering race, adding their own force to those unnerving sensations. The tension doesn’t completely break when the drummer hits a hard-rocking rhythm, but the riffing becomes a swinging, head-moving manifestation of the song’s disturbing energy until the music seems to collapse into grief, before one last whirlwind of rage and despair.
Certainly by now, you’ll have a good sense of the band’s capabilities, which are again on full display in “Senza Promessa”, another tension-building track that pairs heavy-weight, body-moving rhythms, eviscerating vocal intensity, and riffing that’s alternately soul-crushing and oppressive and wailing. This song also surges, but perhaps even more maniacally than we’ve experienced before, though it also hits a punk rhythm as the guitars blare and brawl, and kicks into a compulsive back-beat and bass line, accompanied by soaring guitar agony.
In the atmospheric piece “Elisabeth”, the band again provide a detour, and the rhythm section takes a break (until the bassist surfaces in the second half), with slow, wailing guitar tones (and other shimmering and flickering ambient sensations) providing the backdrop for an animated spoken-word passage (in Italian), and eventually a display of utter vocal wretchedness.
The band leap forward again in “Odio Sordo”, all pistons firing (enlivened by some especially inventive drum patterns), the riffing a blizzard of bleak sound, cascading over and over until becoming a miasma of misery when the drumming periodically slows. Ultimately the song transforms into a crushing dirge, although the vocals still rage against the dying of the light, and the song flares into a frenzy at the end.
On the other hand, “Il Tuo Destino, Un Vile Sentiero” is a mainly a mid-paced crusher, cloaked in waves of debilitating guitar. As is true of all the tracks, the pacing does change, the drums even ceasing as the guitars create an anti-melody that channels abject suffering — and then the frenzies of a tortured mind.
The way that Odiosordo chose to end the album is a bit of a surprise, and perhaps a controversial one. Rather than, for example, the kind of emotionally splintering assault they’re obviously very good at mounting, “…E Che Mai Avrá Luce” (which happens to be the longest track on the album), is like a big bookend that recalls the smaller one in the intro track. It’s an eerie, haunting ambient piece, but one that becomes increasingly weird as freakish, warbling tones appear, and it ultimately carries the album to a close in chilling fashion.
Con Il Buio Nel Sangue was recorded by Marco and Andrea at Embog Studio and Produzioni Fantasma. It was mixed and mastered by Andrea “Spazza” Rigoni at Produzioni Fantasma. And it’s available for pre-order now from Third I Rex, who recommends it for fans of such bands as Église, Czar, and Hexis.