By Gruesome Greg
While there are plenty of “noun the verb” bands round these parts, particularly within the metalcore genre, it’s safe to say that when a band’s handle ends in a preposition, they’re probably from abroad. Such is the case of these obscure Italian doomsters, who released a pair of EPs in the 80’s and promptly vanished, only to become yet another underground unearthing decades later on Shadow Kingdom. Put it this way: these guys are so cult that the nine songs on here comprise their entire back catalogue.
“Who Cries for the Children” starts us off with a keyboard intro eerily reminiscent of Goblin. After it fades, we’re treated to some retrofied doomage, akin to 80’s era Pentagram, albeit with a thick Euro accent. But then we get some pre-power metal in “Melancholy,” a more upbeat number with some galloping flourishes you’d expect to hear from a tunic-wearing outfit.
The keys also featuring prominently on near-13-minute epic “My Name is Man,” which again brings Goblin to mind with its extended intro. This one is more trad-metal than doom initially, with riffs that sizzle like vintage Judas Priest (think “The Ripper”), but also throws in some mellow, keyboard-accented flourishes as a change of pace. At one point, the song slows to a crawl, all acoustic guitar and keyboard wahs beneath some half-spoken vocals that bring Klaus Meine to mind. Kinda like a creepier “Wind of Change” with a much lengthier guitar solo. The number ends on sort of a power-doom note, sounding like a somewhat sloppier Atlantean Kodex a quarter century sooner.
As a matter of fact, the bulk of the tracks on here come from the band’s ’85 demo of the same name, displaying a rawer, grittier feel than the first three tunes. Definitely shades of Pentagram’s garage days on tunes like “Occultism” and “Visions,” among others. Alas, this stuff really sounds like it was recorded in a garage, too.
All in all, it’s a neat little reissue, but far from essential for all but the truest of doom-metal maniacs.