1. SANGUE NERO – Viscere
First things first. This debut Sangue Nero album is the shit. The band hails from Tuscany and this is their first harrowingly dense breath into this world, and I strongly suggest anyone into the craziest and most “artsy” strains of black metal (Krallice, Deathspell Omega, Negura Bunget) delve into this, as it is truly some next level shit. With a shapeshifting and morphing pletora of songs and individual moments, this album is a true headfuck. Leaning strongly on the “avantgarde” and mental side for things, Sangue Nero (“black blood” in Italian) have taken the most mind-shattering approach to compositional technicality to dismantle the listner’s brain piece by piece, in a cascading chain reaction of total mangled black metal disembodying chaos. Once you’re head first into this album and deep within its spires, you will feel your soul being pulled apart and your flesh being ravaged by shadows. Some authentic mindfuckery to say the least!
2. LACOLPA – Mea Maxima Culpa
Hailing from Alessandria, in Northern Italy, LaColpa play crippling and nihilistic end-times blackened sludge-doom that seems to have harnessed the ultimate concept of despair. Their noise-ridden framework of slow moving dread is harrowing, and the atmospheres summed on their debut album Mea Maxima Culpa are blood-chilling. I hear echoes of Indian, Primitive Man, Swans, Bodychoke, Nightstick, Noothgrush, and Bastard Noise in this filthy debut of theirs, and all I can think of is that this bands’ music is a place devoid of light and hope where all flesh is convicted to wither and suffer endlessly.
3. LVTN – GELU
Once called Leviathan, and now LVTN to not create obvious confusion – this band from Rome is probably THEE best hardcore band from The Boot right now. These guys unleash a firestorm of primordial screamo, hardcore, and d-beat that is impossible to resist and whose impact can not be withstood. With heart-ripping screams, incinerating riffs, furious and pounding rhythms, harrowingly dark as fuck atmospheres, and flailing intensity – on their new EP GELU this band delivers a darkened onslaught of incredibly embittered metallic hardcore that will be impossible to forget.
4. DOMINHATE – Emissaries of Morning
A lost gem from last year definitely worth revisiting… If you like your death metal to be visionary and twisted and to masterfully follow in the footsteps of legends like Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Decrepit Birth, Skinless, Incantation, Hate Eternal etc, then you have found your new favorite band. Pordenone’s Dominhate, bring all the 90’s best death metal glory to the table and then some – spewing forth five tracks of technical and intimating wretched technical death metal that will pulverize your bones. Out now on Lavadome.
5. FIDES INVERSA – Rite Of Inverse Incarnation
One of Italy’s most visionary and twisted black metal bands, Rome’s Fides Inversa have returned this year with a glorious new EP of of their signature strain of virulent and ravaging audial terrorism – a pulverizing onslaught of abstract and shapeshifting black metal mastery that will remind you that bands like Aosoth, Abigor, VI, and Schammasch are far from being the only masters out there in the realm of cripplingly vicious technical black metal. Out now on World Terror Committee.
6. EKPYROSIS – Asphyxiating Devotion take note
Fans of cavernous and infernal technical death metal (Morbid Angel, Incantation, Immolation, Autopsy, early Death etc.) – take fucking note – Ekpyrosis are here to summon the dead and unbolt all tombs with their skull crushing riff insanity. These guys from Milan play hyper distorted, warped, and sick in the fucking head gore-obsessed death metal that sounds like Autopsy on speed, often taking primitive cave man form and clobbering your skull to pieces with their assassin death metal trudge. This is some of the raddest and most compelling death metal in gore-centered Autopsy worship around these days!
7. MACERIE – To K**
Macerie are not new to CVLT Nation – this fantastic black/crust/doom band from Florence had really impressed us when they released their Sentient Ruin debut self titled demo back in 2015. Today the guys have returned with another short but awesome self-released EP mysteriously titled To K** – which once again undeniably demonstrates how on top of their game these guys are at bringing together His Hero Is Gone, Iskra and Amenra to summon some seriously destructive aural darkness!
8. NUDIST – Bury My innocence
Also not new to CVLT Nation, Florence’s Nudist return with a brand new album of their signature off-kilter sludegcore that brings together in a spectacular way angular and discordant noise rock, hardcore, and sludge metal to devastating effects. The result is like witnessing Unsane, Knut, Drive Like Jehu, Noothgrush, and early Isis being melted down into a scorching hot alloy of molten and shapeshifting riff dissonance.
9. ILL NEGLECT / LAMBS – Split
Drown Within Records brings you this flailing split by by Germany’s grind/post-hc Ill Neglect and Cesena, central Italy-based dark hardcore bruisers Lambs. While Ill Neglect isn’t from italy, their grinding and discordant dark hardcore assault is definitely worth checking out. The label describes them as “a violent and barely restrained serving of grind – Imagine Weekend Nachos with bounce riffs,” and we couldn’t agree more. Lambs, on the other hand, do not let the intensity concede, and deliver on the flip side a battering onslaught of snarling darkened mathcore mangled with bloody knuckle-dragging Nails-worship. An authentic clobbering of metallic hardcore hatred that never recedes.
10. OMEGA MACHINE – The End That Comes With the Omega Machine
A bit Godlfesh, a bit Ministry, a bit Skinny Puppy, a bit Pitchshifter, somewhat Fudge Tunell-like, and somewhat also like Prong or Helmet, Omega Machine from Turin, northern Italy, is the industrial/mechanical death machine brainchild of two freaks known as Kaizer Blasted Kosmos on guitar and synths, and Nebular Sub-Terror on bass. With The End That Comes With the Omega Machine the duo have created a white noise wall of soulless and cold as ice guitars, of pounding and obsessive drum machine destruction, and of anti/post-human atmospheres that conjure the darkest side of sci-fi and dystopian arts and literature. If you like the darker side of industrial metal then look no further!