Not all bands or their recordings immediately spring forth fully formed like Minerva from the brow of Jupiter. The album we’re presenting today, for example, is the culmination of creative work that began 13 years ago in an ancient mountain village in the northwest of Sardinia. Then and there, Nicola Piras began writing music as a one-man project. Over the many years that followed, he searched for and finally found a stable line-up of fellow musicians, and together under the name Ganondorf they recorded this debut album, Ancient Ruins, which will be released by Third I Rex through its affiliate Imperatrix Mundi Records on November 30th, along with Slava Satan Records, Nothing Left Records, and LiveviL Records. Based on what we hear, we can only hope that this long-coming first step will be followed by many more.
Ganondorf’s style of black metal is often explosive and ravaging, ferocious and furious. At its foundation are Nicola Piras‘ blazing blastbeats, thunderous double-bass fusillades, titanic kitwork detonations, and rapidly somersaulting fills. But rather than rely entirely on turbocharged assaults, he mixes in a variety of neck-snapping rock rhythms that amplify the head-moving grooves that regularly surface in these songs. And with Piras‘ riveting drumwork (paired an equally fleet and fiery bass performance by Matteo Usai) as the music’s propulsion, guitarists Giovanni Murgia and Riccardo Chessa weave a changing array of seductive and shattering melodies, while Alessandro Ventura‘s scorching vocals amplify the songs’ intense emotional power.