Nerobove – Monuments to Our Failure (Self-Released)

Sunday, 24th June 2018
Rating: 7/10

Rebranding themselves after a 2012 start as See You Leather (clearly a silly play on a metal uniform staple), Sicilian, Italy’s Nerobove have issued a single and EP before this full-length Monuments to Our Failure. Another discovery through Bandcamp, the four-piece aim to cross the lines of thrash/death metal with other outside influences through this seven-song platter. What this means to the listener is a roller-coaster adventure where there’s a certain foundation, plus ladders and launching pads of black, doom, and progressive twists that assuredly make for a unique listening experience.

The longer arrangements allow for these dynamic outbreaks to take shape – even including Italian-sung passages that work better sometimes than the original English-oriented lyrics. Dissonant chord structures that open “Not Waving but Drowning” transform into a thrash/groove effort that sits in that Sepultura/ Gojira meets Pantera sweet spot, the drumming quite kinetic and pops from a snappy snare angular fashion. At other times, Nerobove feel ramped up to blast and showcase some blackened elements – then turn on a dime and be very gothic/doom and gloom-oriented with clean guitars and distant, ambient voices during “Diluvio”, receiving some death growl support vocally from guest Gabriele Catania (Gangrenectomy, Fordomth) to illustrate a love of Behemoth and Opeth. A short track like “Anamnemesis” deposits basic Bay Area thrash principles of the early Metallica days and sprinkles in a bit of that 90’s groove/crunch, the barking order vocals suitable to the proceedings, the guitar shuffling a nice addition to an otherwise maximum headbanging effort.

In theory, this should all work to provide a thrill ride top to bottom, devoid of flatline outcomes. Nerobove succeed in certain parts of diversity, but then struggle to attain a unique style because of the sub-par, by the book growls/roars vocally from guitarists Luca Longo and Salvatore Leonardi. It’s a shame, as their guitar expertise and ability to float through doom, black, progressive parts beyond their thrash/death comfort zone carries the weight of this album’s interest. As such, Monuments to Our Failure has it’s ‘moments’ of excitement, you just keep hoping for a stronger punch on the vocal front to bring this home.

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