Nero di Marte
Derivae


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben Kuettel USER (43 Reviews)
December 22nd, 2014 | 69 replies


Release Date: 10/28/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Derivae will swallow you whole.

There is an endless quality to the mazes of jagged guitar riffs and polyrhythmic drumming found in abundance on Nero Di Marte’s new monster of an LP. Derivae never wastes time cheaply rehashing or repeating ideas, mainly being comprised of long, drawn out musical passages punctuated by endlessly shifting dynamics and no shortage of new musical ideas, twisting and falling through darkened passages of some of the most bizarre sounds and imagery ever put to recording all year. While much of the record is full of aggressive riffs and tremolo picking, light guitar textures are in abundance throughout, mainly in the form of extended intros and interludes within the monolithic tracks themselves. Derivae manages to stand out from its equally impressive predecessor, surprisingly doing away with much of the inaccessibility and repetitiveness characterized by Nero Di Marte. Guitar riffs, drum beats, and vocal styles are almost constantly changing, and sections within each track rarely repeat themselves.

Influences from bands such as Ulcerate and Neurosis are apparent, but while they were more obvious on the debut, Derivae makes use of much more diverse components and ideas. At times heavy and discordant, other times calm and meditative, it manages to restrain itself just enough to avoid overwhelmingness. This is lended to an overall restraint of crushing brutality and opting instead for a hypnotic blend of post-rock meanderings and experimental dissonances. Album opener “L’eclisse” begins with unsettlingly grim opening guitar leads, but their calm and brooding nature quickly transitions into much heavier territory with tremolo guitar picking and chaotic off kilter drumming.

“Pulsar” exhibits atmospheres and shifting dynamics almost constantly. It also contains one of the best examples of the change of vocal styles in Derivae, surprisingly opting for moments of clean singing and calming atmospheres before gradually building the intensity and speed until suddenly ending. While the vocals have managed to diversify and make a more lasting impact than the debut, the lyrics remain largely mysterious and unconventional, centering on otherworldly and celestial imagery. Swedish band Meshuggah’s shadow looms over the lyrical themes, centering largely on the otherworldly and supernatural. “Eyes as our time here ends one sneers - one opens. You've returned. The eyes of Dis are mine.” “Undo what was done, the beasts emerge beneath the stone from deeper than what we recall. So unfamiliar, we are deluded insignificance with empty thoughts and empty faces. We are fixated on our invention, and erect imperial walls of design.” Nero Di Marte’s knack for writing meaningful and poignant lyrics can be easily linked with their stark and visceral wall of sound, even if the vocals are often difficult to interpret.

Album closer “Those Who Leave” is Nero Di Marte’s most significant achievement yet. Running at over ten minutes long, it delicately weaves together all components of the album while simultaneously bringing its contrasting elements to an apocalyptic and stunning end. Guitar riff after riff follow each other, building and exploding into intensity before calming down again for one of the greatest and most dynamic guitar leads of the album. It continues to build in atmosphere and intensity until ultimately descending into spacial effects and atmospherics. “Those Who Leave” saves Derivae from collapsing beneath itself. While other albums of this nature could easily contradict itself beneath its own lofty ambitions, “Those Who Leave” instead introduces even more new sounds and riffs while representing the album as the eerie, colossal experience that it is until fading Derivae back out of existence, as monumentally and mysteriously as it appeared.



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user ratings (89)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
December 22nd 2014


13140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Big thanks to user JohnnyOnTheSpot for proofreading this for me, it made a significant difference.



This is definitely in my top 3 metal AOTY, about on par with the new Morbus Chron and Thantifaxath. Hopefully this review will give the band more exposure.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
December 22nd 2014


16831 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So I heard these guys sound like Ulcerate?

TalonsOfFire
December 22nd 2014


13140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's more influenced by bands like Cult of Luna and Neurosis than tech death stuff, but there's some definite Ulcerate and Meshuggah influences in there.

ShadowRemains
December 22nd 2014


22444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ulcerate with a significantly larger post-metal helping jac

Digging: Cemetery (US) - Wind and Shadows

Relinquished
December 22nd 2014


29085 Comments


This is what The Ocean could've made along the way after Precambrian if they didn't go suck

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
December 22nd 2014


22843 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

about time this got a review. nice job

Digging: Lamb of God - VII: Sturm und Drang

TalonsOfFire
December 22nd 2014


13140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It definitely did Ins, thanks

beefshoes
December 22nd 2014


5589 Comments


This looks pretty sweet, and good review.

Digging: Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

titanslayer
December 23rd 2014


2644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yeah, I was wondering if this would get a review

wacknizzle
December 23rd 2014


13951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is super rad, even the super Italian clean vox. Can't believe this is its first review. Sput needs an update on the metal. That Banner album is okay but other albums that came out this year deserve more love

Digging: Whorls - Petrichor

Wizard
December 23rd 2014


19897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

So I heard these guys sound like Ulcerate?



So why haven't you gotten on this yet? I rec'd this to you months ago.



One of the best dm releases this year (if you consider it more so than anything else) and one of the best releases this year too.



Review was badly needed. Spot-on write up except for this statement after the fact:



It's more influenced by bands like Cult of Luna and Neurosis than tech death stuff,



You have it backwards.



This is definitely in my top 3 metal AOTY, about on par with the new Morbus Chron and Thantifaxath.



You and me seem to be the only ones who consider Thantifaxath amazing.

Thibs
December 23rd 2014


2266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

about on par with the new Morbus Chron and Thantifaxath.[3]

adr
December 23rd 2014


6919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

about on par with the new Morbus Chron

fix'd

Digging: Today Is the Day - Willpower

RivalSkoomaDealer
December 23rd 2014


1334 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess the Thantifax trio is now a Quartet, Talons.



I fucking love this album. Great review, agree on all points.

Digging: HEALTH - Death Magic

TheCrocodile
December 23rd 2014


799 Comments


This is pretty cool.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2014


7517 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah. It's good. I'm not high on the vocals, but the music is really solid.

Digging: Clarence Clarity - No Now

zaruyache
December 23rd 2014


9263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It's more atmospherical and sludgy than ye olde Ul'cerate band. IT'S OK I GUESS.

Sniff
December 23rd 2014


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thantifaxath. Count me in.

Artuma
December 24th 2014


19745 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

talons' recs are the best



"Job For A Cowboy Sun Eater"

Digging: Soda Bomb - Wanna Jam?

adr
December 24th 2014


6919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's a good album tho



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