Release DetailsLABEL AvantGarde
RELEASED ON 5/12/2008
Spite Extreme Wing
posted on 8/2008 By:
Oh man, this is good. Avantgarde black metal from Italy with a perfect mix of Scandinavian frostiness and a warm, organic, tremolo filled array of superb riffs that perfectly deliver melody, grandiosity and regal malevolence.
While I had a hard time coming up with any comparisons due to the band’s mix of Mediterranean/Romanic flare and grandeur and classic Norwegian riffs, a starting point would actually be early … And Oceans circa The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts (listen to short opener “I”) mixed with Belgium’s Walpurgisnacht and Olden Domain/The Archaic Course era Borknagar (“II”) as far as the riff structures and synth use. Then add some Fleurety for the more off the wall elements, nine minute songs and ambience, then add a large dash of power chord filled punk (seriously), and you might get some idea on Spite Extreme Wing’s eclectic, but magnificent sound.
What sets SEW apart is their riffs; perfect black metal riffs that are urgent, majestic and melodic but have a ‘twangy’, loose tremolo filled layering, rather than shrill tremolo assaults. Then throw in nine minute songs, an indefinable ethnic sense of almost Hellenic pomp, as well as the aforementioned punk romp (ie. “IV”), and I can almost envision this as the soundtrack to a Praetorian war march/mosh pit. The vocals are the expected black metal screams, but they are very controlled and muted, almost, just ‘there’ as a background to the riffs.
Highlights are hard to pinpoint, as this is one of those rare albums where I hit play and listen to the whole thing, then repeat. Even the rangier, experimental, relaxed moments that litter "III", “VII” and “VIII” are elegant in the experimentation rather than forced mindfucks that throw the album's balance off kilter. Still, if forced I’d say the absolutely raucous “IX” with its killer opening punk meets black metal, meets Western riff was my favorite, albeit short lived track of the album. Track “X” is a rollicking cover of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” giving the album an odd but fitting ending.
With this being the band's fourth and possibly last release, this is a band I will definitely follow up with and track down their discography because if the other three releases are as enjoyable as this, Italy has/had produced a black metal gem of a band that deserves more recognition.
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