PEDEMONT SPECIAL! O + Ape Unit

I was born and raised in Asti, a small city in Pedemont, a region in the North-West of Italy. After spending seven years in Milan I went back to my hometown and I’m reconnecting to my roots. I’ve always been very proud of my origins and having the chance to review two bands from my region makes me very happy. Pedemont used to have a GREAT HC scene back in the days, both in 80’s (Negazione, Blue Vomit, Declino and so on) and in the 90’s (Arturo, Crunch, Belli Cosi, Frammenti and a shitload of others), plus giving birth to the most famous Italian grindcore band, Cripple Bastards. Now, there’s not so much to say music-wise and these two records are a great surprise for me. So, let’s go!

O – IL VUOTO PERFETTO

O is the band that spewed from 4 out of 5 members of Deprogrammazione, a band which, some years ago, made a good impact mixing black metal and grindcore. And this is the last time I’ll compare O with their previous band. I think that the band had to make a lot of effort to start being just O instead of “the band with members of…” or “do you remember them? they’re the same, they just changed singer”. The style has evolved, mixed and changed from the past, so I’ll just talk about the present. What we have here? O can be described as a frantic mix of technical grindcore (a bit of Excruciating Terror here, an handful of Nasum there), modern post hardcore (they’re almost all fan of Converge…), black metal (Darkthrone abover everyone else) and experimental stuff (Wolves In The Throne Room, Isis, Old Man Gloom and so on). You know what? I can’t stand no one of the bands above mentioned, the only exception made by Darkthrone, but, wow, those influences mixed and filtered through five different tastes work really, really great. The songs are thick and very heavy, with a lot of layers and a great rhytmn section that exchange a lot of epic moments with the perfectly crafted guitars. Sam is a great vocalist and his throat spits poisonous screams in an amazing way. They managed to make songs that perfectly fit the anxious and sociopathic lyrics, writing compositions which sound both ethereal and asphyxiating. The tempos are almost always on the fast side, but sometimes they switch to a sludgy low tempo which enhanches the feeling of torso-compression of the songs. They like to play with spaces, going from parts that are saturated with sounds to almost blank sections. And let me say it, this record has a bunch of the best ways to start a song I’ve heard recently. Listen to the beginnings of the first four songs. Amazing. So, this album is a tough one. It’s not an easy listening and you should give it a lot of spins before it enters your preferences but, believe me, it’s an effort you won’t regret.

[Let’s just say it. I’m in a very good friendship with the guys from O and I’ve helped them coreleasing an EP in the past and translating lyrics. My opinions on this record are genuine, give it a listen and let me know what you think ūüôā NdPete]

APE UNIT – UNFORGIVABLE HOLIDAYS

I wasn’t a fan of Ape Unit. I’ve listened to their demo but it dind’t quite nail my interest. Then I saw them live, opening for Looking For An Answer, and I really liked their style. I think that most of my problems with them were about the choice of sounds and the fact that the songs were very old and a bit too naive. Anyway, I was lucky enough to trigger my interest in Ape Unit just when they pressed their first album. The first look I gave it wasn’t a good one. The hilarious cover, the funny titles. Everything was screaming “comedy grindcore band”, which is ok, no problem with that but, well, they usually grow boring very fast. Then I put the CD in the stereo and WOAH. Yes there are a couple of funny samples here and there and the lyrics aren’t included (but I can assume they’re on the funny side) but there’s no joke when they go down with music. This is powerful, straight forward and uncompromising grindcore. There are some powerviolence shades here and there but nothing that can change the strong grindcore pattern of the band. What can I say to describe the band? Take a strong Assuck (State To State?) basis and mix it with Cripple Bastards (Desperately Insensitive, mostly), some Czech seasoning (Pigsty, Ingrowing, Plastic Grave) a bit of 90’s grindcore (Groinchurn, Phobia) and a fury and urgency that can be reconnected to No Comment and early Gride. The vocals are very good and Mariano shows a great variety of styles, reminding me some of the more recent stuff from Insomnia Isterica. The record is brief, without fillers and with a bunch of groovy parts that don’t slow down the average (high) speed of the album. This is a great record and very good grindcore effort for Italian’s underground. Probably the best debut from Italy since the Holobscene EP by Jesus Ain’t In Poland.

Thanks to the bands for the CDs.

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~ by petetheripper on August 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “PEDEMONT SPECIAL! O + Ape Unit”

  1. interessante…

  2. Sottoscrivo in pieno tutta la recensione degli Ape Unit…a parte le citazioni dei gruppi, visto che conosco solo i Groinchurn!
    Grandissimo gruppo.

  3. […] Recensioni: Italiadimetallo¬†¬† | ¬† Thenewnoise¬†¬† | ¬† Hardsounds¬†¬† |¬† Blackmilktemporaray¬†¬† |¬† Metalhead¬†¬† |¬† Grindontheroad¬†¬† |¬† Sorenauseaheadache […]

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