Review Summary: The 3rd best thing coming from Italy after Pizza and Monica Bellucci, no joke.
Once in a while you hear music completely unexpected that fills you with joy and excitement. In this early 2014, Destrage’s new album Are You Kidding Me? No! is the album that made feel that way not farther than two days ago. It started about two weeks ago when their single ‘’Purania’’ came in my Youtube feed on MetalBladeRecords’ channel. I didn’t know that the band even existed, so giant was my surprise when I listened to the song the first time. It started straight enough with punchy but generic hard-rock and chugging riffs yet followed by something so right field yet so coherent that I won’t spoil it. That was the moment where I realized that I finally found something new and unique without even searching for it. For the first time in forever, I bought an album without listening to anything but one song, and again that was a good decision!
To describe this album in a few words would be almost impossible because of how diverse and dynamic it is. Think of it like Protest The Hero meets SikTh meets pretty much anything else possible. What is so impressive about it is that it flows so incredibly well. When something is unexpected, it’s almost always for the right reasons (read: holy sh*t!). An example would be in ‘’My Green Neighbour’’, where an absolutely batsh*t crazy mathcore section transitions in guitar riffs with a groove recalling those of Pantera in their prime (oh yes I went there). Another example would be in ‘’G.O.D’’ where the most badass and tasteful drum fill ever created segues into a rocking solo section Dream Theater could have came up with. The band constantly tries to outdo itself, both creatively and technically.
And when they’re creating more focused songs, the band fares just as well. ‘’Hosts, Rifles, Coke’’ for example opens with one of the most metal riffs I’ve heard in a long time and doesn’t disappoint with an extremely memorable chorus. ‘’Where The Things Have No Colour’’ however, is the real elephant in the room. Where most of the others are constantly in your face, constantly shifting and even hilarious, this song is a more serious, laid back and carefully constructed one. It begins with beautiful acoustic guitars and ends with an epic (sorry there’s no other word) symphonic breakdown without changing tone or tempo once, and is an album highlight because of it. It shows that these guys can do pretty much anything they set themselves to do.
So this album is perfect right? No it is not. My main problem is with vocalist Paolo Colavolpe’s vocal delivery. I found Paolo’s singing to be overly aggressive and silly at times where a more melodic approach may have balanced things out a bit. To his credit though, the harsh vocals are extremely well executed and used in all the right places. Also, as good as each song is, the whole gets tiresome after a while because almost all the songs are on a similar level of pace and heaviness. Now, I realize that both my complaints are probably things the band purposefully did. However, I still think they could benefit from expanding their ‘’weird sections’’ sometimes, like make a song a mathcore mindf*ck from beginning to end or refer to the same specific experiment like ‘’salsa’’ multiple times in a song instead of just passing through it.
So this album is awesome right? Oh yes it is. I can’t even remember how many times this album made me both headbang and smile in a matter of a few seconds. It is the 3rd best thing coming from Italy after Pizza and Monica Bellucci, no joke.