When it comes to Black Metal, Italy has never really been a hot spot for the mainly underground genre. Sure they have Symphonic Black Metal band Stormlord, and Blackened Doom band Forgotten Tomb, but for the most part, the Italian scene remains quite unknown. Thankfully for Italy, they have the Genoa-based Spite Extreme Wing, a classic 90's influenced Black Metal band. Their excellent debut record Magnificat
takes Norwegian inspired Black Metal and infuses it with hooky melodies, creating a truly devastating one-two punch combination.
shares many traits with the original Second Wave of Black Metal bands. They feature mandatory razor sharp guitars, hyper-speed blast beats, and indecipherable, haunting screeches. This being said, Spite Extreme Wing also uses healthy doses of melody injected into their raw Black Metal assault. Take for instance opening track Acqua Di Fonte Di Gloria
which rages and pummels like any good Black Metal song should, essentially smashing the face of the listener with a brick. At the same time however, the song contains subtle melodies in the background, ensnaring the listener with it's catchy nature. Another great asset to Magnificat
is it's production. Being how the album actually consists of older songs from the Arcano Incanto
and '99 demos, along with some brand new songs, the varying production qualities (from perfect to slightly muffled) actually works in the favor of the band. With the newer songs, having more clarity works perfectly due to there being much more complicated arrangements, while the older songs feature the quite fitting muffled production, which helps with the tracks rawer composition.
Instrumentally, each member of Spite Extreme Wing holds their own weight. Guitarist/Vocalist Argento does a fantastic job of contrasting melodic/harsh qualities in his playing, keeping the balance even throughout the album. A great example is in song Lotusbluthen I
which begins raw and uncompromising, but progressively, gets injected with melody throughout the course of the tune. Vocally, Argento is also a very strong vocalist, taking ques from established singers Hoest from Taake in the department of phlegm filled rasps. Bassist Azoth also puts on quite a performance, having a solid tone and quality about his playing that really shines on songs such as La Stirpe Divina
and Reminescenza di Illusione Lunare...
. Drummer Fog (a great Black Metal pseudo-name if there ever was one) throughout the entirety of the album provides a solid rhythmic beat for the rest of the instruments to rely on. His highly technical playing is truly standout, and can be seen on every song on the album.
The first out of four albums Spite Extreme Wing's Magnificat
provides to be a great start for the band. From this, they had enough solid ground to continue their journey in creating intense, hook-filled Black Metal and following albums most definitely show them accessing the potential they have shown on this debut record. For anyone interested in trying this band Magnificat
is the perfect starting point, with enough melody and extremity for anyone to be a fan.