If it is true that as one grows older, memories of the more or less distant past are imprinted more in one’s memory than events that are chronologically closer, then it is not surprising that listening to Manthe took me back, feeling-wise, to the end of the last century. It was 1999 when one of the darkest bands the Italian metal undergrowth has ever spawned, Cultus Sanguine, released their masterpiece The Sum Of All Fears before disappearing into thin air, leaving fans with that sense of emptiness that was so well evoked by their music. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and just as many records have passed through these worn earpads but, only today, have I found someone capable of making me feel that same kind of emotion. The Rimini-based Deadly Carnage, on their third full length, are the architects of all this but, mind you, it is precisely feelings we are talking about, so one should not make the mistake of considering Manthe as only on the level of a belated homage to a band of the past. There is no doubt, however, that the common compositional structure, a black doom characterized by dramatic atmospheres, makes such a juxtaposition plausible, further accentuated both by the apt choice of resorting to a production capable of renouncing any abuse of a technological nature, and by Marcello’s harsh and direct scream that brings one directly back to what was Fergieph’s. A record, this one, that delivers us a band capable of proposing fifty scant minutes of music with an enormous emotional impact, devoid of fillers or moments that are not functional to the final outcome: wonderful tracks such as Dome Of The Warders, with a finale that borders on the most melancholic progressive, and Carved In Dust, with its enveloping rhythm and pathos pushed to paroxysmal levels, are the highest moments of the first part of the work. The conclusion, entrusted with a splendid track such as the long title track, in which no mood is left out, going from doom tout cort, to a guitar style that recalls the Gothic milestone (Paradise Lost), ending by leaving room for some experimentation that is not at all cloying, should not make us forget also another significant episode such as Il Ciclo Della Forgia, sung in Italian and in which, unlike what often happens on similar occasions, the risk of stuffing the lyrics with banalities understandable to all is skillfully averted. Deadly Carnage give us a mature work, oozing with ancient moods without appearing obsolete, thanks to a rare compositional sensibility; Manthe is not an easy-listening work, several passages are necessary before being able to fully grasp its essence and it is equally not said that this is within everyone’s reach, but being able to get into tune with it can provide the possibility to fully savor another small extreme jewel born from our vituperative nation.
2014 – De Tenebrarum Principio / Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum