Last year the good folk over at No Clean Singing (I think it was them) brought three very impressive up-and-coming American Black Metal bands to my attention – DALLA NEBBIA, OBOLUS and CAPA. Of the three, CAPA had the most pronounced Post-Rock sound, OBOLUS had the most unhinged atmosphere whilst DALLA NEBBIA came front-loaded with the most memorable riffs and melodies. All three bands put their own unique spin on the style, though it’s DALLA NEBBIA’s music that left the most indelible mark on me.
Their Facebook states that they are a band “not afraid to skew genres and eschew tradition in favour of creating a sound that is all their own,” which really sums things up quite nicely. The fact that I actually have a hard time coming up with bands with a comparable sound is a testament to their leftfield take on the genre. AGALLOCH is perhaps the most accurate point of reference here, with DALLA NEBBIA’s chameleon-like take on the genre owing a lot to the melting pot of Black, Doom, Neofolk and Post-Rock of Oregon’s finest. It’s a great mix of styles whichever way you cut it and the riffs and sense of flow is top-notch.
Side-stepping the more overtly grim sonic vistas of many of the genre’s progenitors, these South Carolina natives churn out songs that have an almost free-form vibe to them, somewhat bleak the one moment and raging the next. “Thanatopsis” is easily the pick of the bunch here, imbued with instantly memorable riffs, a somewhat pensive atmosphere and a subtle yet effective sense of tension brewing just beneath the surface. Things get even more multi-faceted on “The Apex of Human Sorrow” which shifts back and forth between grinding riffs, swathes of Doom and occasional detours into more spacey territory which is simply a trip. “Dimmed Through the Smoke” opens up with a synth bit that subtly mimics the great Riz Ortolani before things settle into a more rhythmically charged Post-Rock groove.
It’s all quite varied, though I have to say that the tracks culled from last year’s “Thy Pale Form” are vastly superior to those taken from their first demo. Effortlessly traversing a lot of stylistic ground, the “Pale Form” material is simply ace. Even so, the album remains solid throughout and more than consolidates the band’s status as a very promising act.
(Online November 12, 2013)