Deathless Legacy – The Gathering (Scarlet Records)Tuesday, 15th March 2016
A female-fronted, horror/macabre outfit from Italy, Deathless Legacy don’t necessarily fall into “acquired taste” territory that a lot of Italian bands do, but oddball they are, especially after several spins of The Gathering. Originally formed in 2006 as a Death SS tribute band (note: Death SS, while relative unknowns on this side of the pond, were one of the first horror rock/metal bands to emerge from Italy), Deathless Legacy have one album to their credit, 2014’s Rise from the Grave, which was released on Goth label Danse Macabre. Italian stronghold Scarlet have since snapped up the band, hence the release of The Gathering.
The immediate divider/unifier with Deathless Legacy is vocalist Steva La Cinghiala. She possesses the same curdling rasp like Cadaveria (she of Opera IX and her namesake band fame), which means the theatrical element is certainly there. When she wants to get hearty and smoky, she’s able to do so, like on “Phantom Manor,” although beware of her “interesting” takes on “Circus of the Freaks,” and “The Dove Has Died,” both of which find her in a twist of vaudeville and a circus sideshow.
Some obvious stumbles abound, like the hokey and weird “Wolfgirl,” and “Smash Your Idols,” both of which are worn down by cheesy keyboard motifs and bland riffing. And that’s when things to start to unravel a bit for Deathless Legacy; they don’t quite have the over-the-top theatrics within the songwriting to overcome the polarizing vocals of La Cinghiala, nor are there enough potent musical sections to compensate for the deficiencies in the vocal department. On paper, theatrical Italian metal may not seem like a terrible idea, yet Deathless Legacy commit the cardinal sin of this style: they made it sound cartoonish.