Another one from the “oh, crap – have I forgotten to get this review done?” pile is the new EP from Italian avant-garde metallists Locus Animae. Prima che sorga il sole was released on May 9th and it’s taken me until now to give it a listen so that I can point you in the band’s direction.
Prima che sorga il soleis the combined work of Locus Animae themselves along with Vera Clinco, from Caelestis, and Alessandro Mori, from Total Death. Clinco lends female vocals to partner those of full time singer Gregory, while Mori covers drums as Locus Animae themselves don’t have a permanent skin-basher.
When I saw the description of the band (avant-garde), I assumed that Mori would be taking a break from his usual fast-paced “vegan thrash terrorism” duties, but that’s definitely not the case. With the exception of opening “Intro”, this is an album full of frenetic rhythms – even if they are partnered with slower-paced melodic/operatic vocals and harmonious breaks.
“Sponde” (“Shores”) is the first of these and starts fast, gets faster… and finishes on a lovely atmospheric note. “Prigione” (“Prison”) reverses this, and begins with a gentle, lilting keyboard melody which is joined by the ocarina. It couldn’t be any more different to “Sponde”. Even once it gets going it has more of a ponderous, classical music tone.
“Spente Memorie” (“Off Memories”) and “Orizzonte” (“Horizon”) complete the EP and each have their own feel which add to the whole. If there’s a band that springs to mind when I’m listening to Prima che sorga il sole, it’s Skalmold. Partly it’s the lyrics I can’t understand (I’m pretty much monolingual!), partly the mixed vocal styles and partly the way the various layers of music interact with one another.
This is a great collection of songs, one that can be really listened to rather than just left on to play in the background.