Nona Decima Morta – Sands

There are at least two good reasons that make me approach this debut album by Nona Decima Morta with optimism: the first is the young age of the musicians, which is uncommon when one encounters those who offer funeral doom, and the second is that they are my fellow citizens, which is also a fact that is not exactly taken for granted when speaking of Italy as a nation and Genoa as a city. Beyond this corollary, Sands is an album that displays a certain compositional maturity and a knowledge of the subgenre that allows the five guys to push themselves beyond the three-quarters of an hour duration without it seems a gamble; an apparent essentiality, which stems from the insistent reiteration of several passages, is sometimes swept away by sudden rhythmic surges and dissonances that are never out of place, even if the fruition of the album is not very easy due to a rather reduced recourse to melodic or atmospheric openings. On Taxi Driver’s bandcamp, names such as Ahab, Inter Arma, Isis and Shape of Despair are cited as references: I find more than one correspondence with the first, especially with reference to the older works of the German, on the two american slugde post-metal realities there is nothing to object to, while the influence of the Finnish is only in the musical background of these guys, since compared to the atmospheric funeral of Salomaa and associates we are rather far away both in terms of expression and style. Among the four tracks on the setlist, three of which are well over ten minutes long while the shorter instrumental title track should be considered as a sort of extended intro, I think that Fall exhibits the best synthesis of the intentions of Nona Decima Morta, but this does not mean that the rest is to be underestimated, as evidenced by the obsessive and powerful pace of Steps or the experimental vis of Lifeforms. Considering the potential exhibited in this remarkable album, it seems clear that Nona Decima Morta, after a first step on a long distance thanks to the support of one of the best local labels such as Taxi Driver Records, possess in my opinion broad margins for improvement, also deriving from a correct approach to the matter and from a stylistic figure that is already quite personal, to aspire in the near future to assume a prominent position within the Italian funeral doom scene.

2022 – Taxi Driver Records