Nero Di Marte – Derivae (Prosthetic)Sunday, 26th October 2014
While the tendency nowadays is to associate Italy with it’s bludgeoning death metal scene (Fleshgod, Hour of Penance, Hideous Divinity), it’s Nero Di Marte that should rightfully be gaining some traction within the metal realm. Sneaking around under most people’s noses, their second effort, Derivae, takes the Gojira-esque groove and melds it with plenty of atmosphere and dissonance to bring progressive metal to startling heights.
A definitive improvement over the already interesting self-titled debut, there’s not much to complain about with Derivae. For those that have yet to check the band out, it’s a progressive smattering of influences, with some nods to the already mentioned Gojira as well as Mastodon, but with a darker and sometimes almost dissonant approach that is countered by the momentum-building and tension that you can find with some post-metal. One thing is certain, Nero Di Marte have stumbled onto a sound that is, two albums in, already distinctly their own. There are a number of surprises that will catch you off-guard, such as the haunted atmosphere of “Dite,” the chilling conclusion of “Those Who Leave,” and the punishing groove of “Clouded Allure.” The way that Nero Di Marte can balance the heavier moments with breaths of atmosphere is masterful (see “Pulsar”), and the way that they can slowly build up to monstrous climaxes in the tracks is consistently intriguing. Vocalist/guitarist Sean Worrell’s continuously varied and emotive vocal approach will also keep you on your toes and avoids the cliché one-dimensional growls that many a band would employ. The production is being touted for going completely analog, and it does provide the album with a certain richness to it. Despite the often, cold and calculating riffs (see “L’Eclisse”) there is an organic warmth to the sound.
You will find yourself hanging on each riff as you listen to Derivae. That’s a true testament to the songwriting capabilities of the band. It’s also an album that deserves multiple listens to appreciate its true value and impact, and will grow on you with time. Nero Di Marte have gained some buzz here in the States since their tour late last year with Gorguts, and Derivae should undoubtedly give them the boost they need for some real deserved recognition within the scene.