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Descent Into Maelstrom - Iconoclasm Award winner

Descent Into Maelstrom
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 14 May 2020, 4:39 AM

There are very good names inside the Italian underground, a scene that is fertile and gave the world great names. But extreme Metal scene on Italy has very good names that aren’t as known as they could, because the fragmentation of scene (people hearing just one Metal genre because someone told them to do that) takes away from them the right opportunity. And names as DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM, a very good quintet from the country, deserves to be heard for many fans, and “Iconoclasm”, their second release, justify such words.

They’re a Progressive Death Metal band that bears the technical approach of names as EDGE OF SANITY, and old school insight like DEATH and PESTILENCE, and some elements from the earlier works of OPETH. Brutality and fast parts contrasts with Jazz-influenced technical moments, but always with that bitter and nasty ambiance from the past. Obviously, they still can do better than is heard on the album, but they’re on the right path, because they’re creating something as technical as aggressive, and full of energy. The old school feeling comes mainly from the sonority of “Iconoclasm”. The production tried to build something that could bear the ambiances from the 90’s, in a way that could be easy to the listeners to understand what the band is playing. Maybe this sound quality doesn’t fit 100% on what they do, but it’s not bad at all. It’s good, in reality.

Their songs are very good, and just little sharpening must be done for things to improve. For now, the bitter and technical essence of “The Misanthrope” (very good work from bass guitar and drums on the rhythmic changes), the brutality imposed by “Saturn”, the incredible rhythmic changes and guitar parts of “The Grim” (melodic and excellent guitar solos are presented during a Jazz-part of the songs), the massive technical weight used on “Monolith”, and the energy that flows from “The Portal of the Elsewhere” (good guttural vocals, but they can be better used in the future) are their best shots.

DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM has to do just little adjustments in their music, but as “Iconoclasm” shows, they really can be great in the future.

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1.  The Misanthrope
2.  Saturn
3.  Red Gaze
4.  The Grim
5.  Forgotten Wisdom
6.  Monolith
7.  Shade of the Night
8.  The Portal of the Elsewhere
Andrea Bignardi - Guitars, Vocals
Mattia Panunzio - Guitars
Pietro Buzzi - Guitars
Michele Augello - Bass
Michele Castelnuovo - Drums  
Record Label: Club Inferno Entertainment


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