Italian progressive and experimental post-metal maestros create a whole new experimental and dissonant masterpiece on their third full studio offering. Donnie pins his ears back and dives in head first.
Heavy duty quartet Nero Di Marte formed in 2012 in the city of Bologna in the North of Italy. In 2006 when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded Bologna a “City of Music” status they probably never had something like NDM in their thoughts. After all the city has a fine reputation in the Classical Music and Operatic genres to revere. One gets the impression that the gentleman that would become NDM would have taken their musical inspiration from other sources less to the taste and thought process of UNESCO. NDM’s sound is forged in far darker places than the often serene and welcoming city of Bologna.
This is studio album number three for the Italians and they immediately set out their stall in album opener “Sisyphos” in which they have a track that defines definition and description. At times slow and hynoptic and at others brutal and uncompromising it is an eleven minute trip into the band’s creative vision that may well leave you blind. After seven minutes it’s feels like the track has reached its natural conclusion but, as with the finest lengthy tracks, there are more hidden depths to be explored.
“L’Arca” follows in a more familiar structure but no less inventive for it. A mere eight and half minutes is this track but you wouldn’t know it on first listen. It’s a claustrophobic track that strangles the aural senses and comes across reminiscient of early Mastodon.
Immoto has been a while coming, six years since 2014’s Derivae was released to much acclaim, but it is more than worth the wait. The delicate opening of the title track mask what is too soon come as a wall of angst is put up and then rhythmically and painstakingly torn down over the course of twelve minutes. That in part sums up what is special about this album as despite the regular ventures into light melody and ethereal landscapes the intensity is always there. Under the surface waiting to be released and when the pressure point is reached there is no holding back.
This is one of those albums that demands repeated listens, not solely because of its quality but also the listeners will need to allow themselves several opportunities to reveal all the layers and moods the album has to offer.
Immoto can proudly claim, at least in the ears and through the eyes of this poor scribe, to have released the first truly great record of the new decade. MAGNIFICO!!!
Donnie’s Rating: 9.5/10
Immoto is released on 24th January through Seasons of Mist.