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Nero, or the Fall of Rome - Beneath the Swaying Fronds of Elysian Fields

Nero, or the Fall or Rome
Beneath the Swaying Fronds of Elysian Fields
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 May 2020, 4:25 AM

From their Facebook page, NERO OR THE FALL OF ROME is “an Epic Metal project with Doom/Black influences and total old school attitude, featuring members of RIUL DOAMNEI. Formed in Italy in 2018, this is the band’s debut album, and contains eight tracks.

“The Cross of Nero” leads off the album. Slow, doomy drum beats open the track, followed by the thwacking of bass guitar notes. Doomy guitars soon join in, with Black Metal guitars. The vocals at times carry a NWOBHM feeling to them. It’s an interesting combination of genres. “Coils of Night” opens with melancholy clean guitars and vocals that bring a sense of the ominous. It has a lighter feeling overall…more murky and despondent. “Cold Bones” opens with that traditional NWOBHM riff, mighty and powerful. Here they remind me a bit of FIREBALL MINISTRY. The clean vocals call out like the rider of death, summoned to claim his next victim. The Black Metal vocals augment the track here and there. The sound drops to just some light drums and strummed guitars around the half-way mark, and then the sound returns with a vengeance.

“Beneath the Swaying Fronds of Elysian Fields” is close to nine minutes in length. Opening with clean guitars, and that western sound, they manage to let a little melody into the fold here. But, it’s subdued. The Black Metal vocals trade places with cleans, creating a story here, of longing mostly, but also conquest. “A White Crow in the Blizzard” is another epically long track. They seem to specialize in these. It’s definitely old school in nature. It waxes and wanes, building crescendos along the way, and ends with a statement. “Mortui ut Patria Vivat” is a much shorter song, and opens with the gentle sway of acoustical guitars, while some background ambiance builds. That’s all there is her folks. A track to help break up some of the intensity of the others.

“Graves Above” builds with a steady increase of guitars. The vocals are clean and ominous at first, but the Black Metal vocals bite back. The main problem here is that the song, structurally and in scope, sounds a lot like the others on the album. Diversity is not one of the albums strengths. “Our Epitaphs shall be Carved in Stone” closes the album, and it’s a beast, at just under nine minutes in length. It has a similar structure as other songs on the album as I mentioned…doomy clean parts and intense Black Metal parts. The main problem is it just doesn’t do enough to hold my interest. It’s kind of like discovering BLACK SABBATH…but in 2020. I get the nods to the “old school,” but it just gets “old” for me.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. The Cross of Nero
2. Coils of Night
3. Cold Bones
4. Beneath the Swaying Fronds of Elysian Fields
5. A White Crow in the Blizzard
6. Mortui ut Patria Vivat
7. Graves Above
8. Our Epitaphs shall be Carved in Stone
Federico D. B. – Guitar/Vocals
Fabrizio T. – Bass
Elia M. – Lead Guitar
Luca L. – Drums
Mirko A. – Live Guitar
Record Label: Naturmatch Productions


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