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Diesanera - Grudge Award winner

by Mark Machlay at 08 December 2020, 1:52 AM

Born of a studio project back in 2015, Italian alternative gothic metal band DIESANERA are back with their second full-length album “Grudge” released on September 26, 2020. The band was originally the brainchild of Valero Voliani – former singer of ICYCORE, ABSOLUTE PRIORITY, and MOTUS TENEBRAE – and Ilario Danti – formerly the guitarist of DEATH SS and MADNESS OF SORROWS. The duo had produced many tracks and were solidifying the structure of what would become the band’s first album “Crumbs”. The duo eventually decided they wanted to take the act live and set about filling a roster of other instrumental positions. They hired Matt Langella on bass, Aessio Toti on drums and Yuri Giannotti on guitar. Once they completed the line-up, the group took another several months re-working the arrangements so each of the new musicians would be able to put their personal stamp on the compositions and immediately tried them out live before committing to recorded versions in 2016 and eventually released in 2017.

The band are back with their sophomore full-length “Grudge”, furthering their heavy gothic metal dominance on the world. The album is ten tracks of non-stop chugging through all that is dark and foreboding. The songs are held together thematically with “the inability to adapt and survive in world now fictitious, without rules or values, now imbued with anger, gratuitous violence and rancor”. The album was recorded in Italy, but mixed and mastered in Hamburg, Germany at Chameleon Recording Studios Hamburg – famous for several GAMMA RAY albums and Canadian rock band SAGA – by Bengt Jaeschke together with producers Bengamin Lawrenz and Chris Harms of fellow gothic rock group LORD OF THE LOST. Lead single “Black Swan” is getting a lot of attention based on its video and subject matter. Winner of the Music Video Underground International Festival for Best Animated Video, its a poignant song that explains the last days of a woman’s life who was a victim of domestic violence, the fears and uncertainties in a personal battle to find courage and escape from a nightmare that will be fatal.

This is a very solid entry into the gothic metal cannon. It doesn’t take any real chances musically, it isn’t going to break any trends but it was thoroughly entertaining and riveting from beginning to end. Many songs fall into a structural pattern like first track “Anestesia”. They start out with an, ethereal or generally quiet opening, fall quickly into heavy chugging gothic metal similar to RAMMSTEIN – the singer even sounds like a slightly higher register Til Lindeman – then a syncopated, riffy pre-chorus followed by a huge, majestic chorus. Then after a cycle through the verse, pre-chorus and chorus, we’re treated to a slowed down interlude before getting another ultra-heavy dose of the chorus. I am not knocking it, “it if ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, just being honest, and personally my mind started drifting as I prefer more variety in song structure. But then you’re treated to the triple attack of “The Nowhere Man”, “Ring of Fire” and “My Last Words”. “The Nowhere Man”, with the change in vocal style of much vocal fry then a screamy verse and a slow building interlude into a huge chorus changed things up just enough to bring my attention back. Then “Ring of Fire” hits hard with a heavy driving intro and a delicate piano melody featured throughout. Finally, “My Last Words” starts with a gorgeous piano and vocal intro, a violin is even featured, and a slow, dirgy bit carries the listener away. Like I said, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, its solid well-produced gothic metal done well.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Anestesia
2. Free World
3. King of Salvation
4. Black Swan
5. Domino
6. Werewolf
7. My Balance
8. The Nowhere Man
9. Ring of Fire
10. My Last Words
Valerio Voliani – Vocals & Synth
Yuri Giannotti – Guitars & Synth
Ilario Danti – Guitars
Alessio Toti – Drums
Matt Langella – Bass
Record Label: Ad Noctem Records


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Edited 27 February 2021

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