MMXX – Sacred Cargo

This project called MMXX, born from the encounter between the two US musicians Egan O’Rourke and Jesse Haff, both members of the seminal band Daylight Dies, and the Italian Andrea Chiodetti, guitarist on all of The Foreshadowing’s albums (of which he has no longer been a member for a few years), immediately drew attention to themselves in view of debut full length, given also the large number of prominent guests called upon to lend their voices in the ten tracks that make up Sacred Cargo. The final result is according to the expectations, thanks to a compositional expertise that never abandons the trio throughout the entire work, even if the use of eight different singers ends up partly undermining the compactness of the work, something that always happens in this type of operation. This is not a criticism, but rather a personal sensation that does not preclude one from fully appreciating a very polished work (Dan Swanö’s studio hand is always a guarantee in this sense) and inspired, in which prominent names from the doom scene and beyond, such as Mikko Kotamäki, Mick Moss (the only one twice committed), Aaron Stainthorpe, Marco Benevento, Carmelo Orlando and Swanö himself, as well as the lesser-known in this stylistic area Yann Ligner and Chris Cannella, take turns at the microphone and give convincing performances. On the whole, the sound is less obscure than one might have expected, and any references to Daylight Dies and The Foreshadowing are never too evident, so that rather than death doom, one could speak of gothic metal with modern traits and good usability that, as often happens, absorbs the characteristics of the various vocal performers on duty, also due to the skill of the composers in weaving an appropriate dress for each voice. Among the best tracks are those sung by Moss (Perdition Mirror and The Tower), by the two Italian vocalists (Unavailing and Der Nukleus) and by Stainthorpe (the title track, the darkest episode of the album), as well as the final track (Shadow Haven), which offers the possibility of hearing the voice of Dan Swanö again, who in recent years has limited himself to sporadic guest appearances, as in the present case; if, as is to be hoped, the project will have a future, we will see if it will take a more canonical route with the use of a lead singer, continuing to exploit the compositional talent that the three musicians involved have demonstrated in this first release under the name MMXX.

2022 – Candlelight Records