The long-distance debut of the Sardinian duo VIII (formerly Division VIII) is yet another expression of vitality of an Italian extreme scene in theory non-existent, at least if we were to listen to the individual musicians from time to time questioned, but which, fortunately, continues to churn out punctually bands and records of remarkable workmanship. Drakon is a further example, in its exhibition of a black death that has all the ingredients to satisfy the fans of this sound, especially those who appreciate Forgotten Tomb that, intentionally or not, are often called into question in the most rhythmic parts. If the opener Ode To Qayin gives us a glimpse of a band that moves precisely in the vicinity of a black metal cadenced and highly effective, the next Chalice With Blood Poisoned By Snake Bite, after a start that seems to confirm this trend instead exhibits slowdowns and passages characterized by a gloomy darkness: and this is in fact the real mark of the duo from Cagliari, that is the alternation between the typical outbursts of traditional black and the openings to the darkest death and occult shades, combined with asphyxiating passages at the limits of doom. In short, there’s no boredom with VIII, between the reinterpretation of the funeral march in the changing Exequias Itinera, a song with a funereal touch like In Utero Matris that, thanks to the use of hammond, would have made its excellent figure in the tracklist of Feretri by Abysmal Grief, and the title track, a black doom episode that leaves its mark delimiting the central part of the work. The hallucinated plots of Meta Stasis – Carcinogenic Cell, especially in its second half, and of the conclusive Descending The Abyss, are the tombstone placed on a work undoubtedly complex but that deserves to be examined in its entirety. The risk that it goes unnoticed, confused among the myriad of releases, is quite high, and it is also the task of those who deal with music in print or on the web to ensure that this does not happen, among other things Drakon is an album to which the simple label death black is not only narrow but, in some ways, can also be misleading, in light of the heavy dark doom influences and a certain experimental vein exhibited in different parts of the work. Frankly, well known and publicized names have not reached the level of intensity touched with this first album by VIII, which objectively lacks only a production a little bit sharper and, perhaps, someone who takes seriously the trouble to promote the music in their stead.

2014 – Black Plague Records