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Desecrate - Orpheus

by Rodrigo Hidalgo at 18 February 2015, 12:34 PM

The feeling chaos surrounded me as I was enjoying the brutal output of Italy’s Desecrate and their new album Orpheus as I plugged the auxiliary cord into my iPod and played the whole album during my long drive up North. Desecrate are an Italian underground symphonic death metal band formed in the mid 90’s in the city of Genoa. Desecrate have about three solid album under their belt with Orpheus being the fourth. After about 6 months of being formed, Desecrate released a promo CD called Tranquility that immediately received great feedback and then became greatly respected in the underground Italian metal scene playing at a number of Italian bars and venues. Since then they have made two other albums named “Moonshiny Tales” (1999) and “XIII The Death” (2012) and now “Orpheus” (2015).

The first thing I thought when I heard the opening track “Muse” is what an interesting, dark blend of instruments. I heard some Indian American flutes, a sitar, and some harmonic choir singing on top of a weird distorted industrial bass rhythm going on in the back. When I would later finish listening to the album I realized that this intro really didn’t make a lot of sense for me. I suppose they were trying to set the scene but to be honest the rest of the album as a whole was a completely different story the intro was beginning to tell me. The next track “Tears Of Blood And Sand” was a huge jump from the intro and went straight into the heavy riff that tends to linger around throughout the song but played a number of times with different feels but always goes back to that heavy, chuggy main riff that makes you do the grim face and dance from the neck upward.

One thing I didn’t really like about this song and something that popped up quite a few times during the experience of listening to this album is the occasional very overproduced drum programming like in the first break of Tears Of Blood And Sand and especially in the very tasteless intro to “Blood Prison”, I’m not sure why they did that but it almost sounds like some sort of hip hop electronic drum beat over some simple minor chords. I’m not exactly sure on the intentions of the programmer but it left me confused. The metal drumming done by Paolo Serboli on the other hand sounds monstrously huge, with the thick kick drum constantly pummeling heavy waves through my body with the accompaniment of the very hard hitting, husky bass. These elements are fairly consistent throughout this album which certainly would feel empty and depleted without. Apart from the tight, concrete rhythm section and the hard-hitting melodic instruments consolidating into the heavy rumble the majority of this album is, I just want to say the that vocals sound so brutal! They’re quite guttural at times taking it down to the rumbling bottom notes where the bass lies, it kind of reminds me of “Spiros Antoniou” from Athens’ SEPTIC FLESH. At other times like in the song “To The Hades And Back” the vocalist Gabry Giorgi takes the feeling of heaviness further by doing some screams that almost sounds like black metal screams not dissimilar to GORGOROTH’s Gaahl but being honest I never felt that pure aggression and raw hatred in Grorgi’s vocals that most black metal vocalists execute when screaming until the veins on their forehead pop.

The highlight of the experience listening to this album was perhaps listening to the fourth track “To The Hades And Back” which was one of the more atmospheric yet heavier tracks. The song started with long drawn out harmonic chords played with a nice piano melody following the key of the guitars but being played differently, rhythmically with the drums as they play a simple cruisy beat forming the concrete rhythm that would eventually come to a full stop with the rest of the band except for the pianist Andrea Grillone who plays a creepy dissonant series of notes then harmonizes them with the same notes an octave higher just before the song blows out into some sort of symphonic/gothic-esk black metal track. Because of the average production of the drums I could barely make out what happening at first then I realized the drummer Paolo Serboli was doing a good old ‘Skank beat’ to the largely drawn out harmonic guitar chords but playing some sort of melody while the piano keeps the key but playing every root note every time there’s a new chord. On top of all that chaos Giorgi is going at it with his high screams so intense you can definitely tell he’s pouring all he’s got into it.

Overall I thought the album was an enjoyable experience but i just felt it lacked consistency in emotion and structure for me to consider it a completed album. The emotions that were created weren't that vividly executed so it was hard to identify them all. Even with all its inconsistencies I would still recommend this to everyone who are big fans of bands like DARK TRANQUILITY, KAMELOT, Seventh Wonder and maybe a bit of SEPTIC FLESH.

3 Star Rating

1. Muse
2. Tears Of Blood And Sand
3. Fifteen Million Merits
4. To The Hades And Back
5. Elements
6. The Grecian Urn
7. Blood Prison
8. Nevermore
9. Chaos And A Dancing Star
10. I'm Working On It. 
Gabry Giorgi - Vocals
Paolo Serboli – Drums,  Programming
Cesare De Troìa - Guitar
Andrea Grillone - Piano
Dave Piredda - Bass
Record Label: House Of Ashes Productions


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Edited 22 February 2019

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