Nero di Marte
Nero di Marte


3.5
great

Review

by J.C. van Beekum USER (20 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: On their debut, progressive-metal group Nero di Marte brings us a wonderful, transdisciplinary metal record that is often as technically complex as it as musically diverse.

Italian metal-outfit Nero di Marte is a group that will certainly appeal to the more progressive minded metal listener in more ways than one. Their sound can be comprehensively characterised as a competent amalgamation of the more heavier side of progressive metal with the more technical and atmosphere focused side of death metal, with perhaps a hint of post-metal. When the first notes of opening track hit you, one can immediately start to decipher the array of musical influences which constitutes this European band’s sound: a rather unique and idiosyncratic mixture of proggy bands such as Gojira and Mastodon to death-metal bands such as Gorguts and Ulcerate, with elements from Neurosisesque post-metal sprinkled throughout. This wide array of discrete influences allow Nero di Marte to construct a sound palette which is both dense, atmospheric as well as quite diverse and varied.

What is noticeable in Nero di Marte sound is the way in which their vast array of influences are, as it were, disseminated across their album’s musical spectrum. The record’s compositional structures are more akin to what one might expect from a post-metal or progressive-metal release: their song structures are convoluted and varied in their style, as they give the impression of being both meticulously construed yet remarkably fluid and unpredictable. The music constantly oscillates between various musical extremes constantly ebbing and flowing along countless compositional peaks and valleys, seemingly never remaining stuck in one place for long; never stagnating and always moving back and forth. This fluidness accords the various compositions on this record a certain flare, a certain unexpectedness which rather appropriately fits the relatively long runtime of the tracks on this record. You can tell Nero di Marte’s compositional models were picked with due consideration and accommodate their artistic inclinations quite wonderfully.

The same can, at least to a certain extent, be said of the various kinds of instrumentation on this record. Again, one cannot help but notice the way in which the band’s transdisciplinary propensities manifest themselves discretely among the musical expression found on this release: the roaring, crunchy guitars accompanied by the murky bass produce a sound that sounds similar to a more polished iteration of sludge-metal, yet the rhythmically intricate, often blazingly quick, fill- and blastbeat-heavy drumming feels far more analogous to what the drums on a Gorguts or Ulcerate record might sound like. The vocals on the other hand seem more akin to an idiosyncratic combination of harrowing shouts and gut-wrenching belches apace with the occasional clean part here and there (see track five), again recalling a more hardcore-inspired post-metal sort of sound. It is these many artistic disparities that make it hard to adequately describe this band's sound.

A sound that is in and of itself difficult to properly follow, with its off-kilter, syncopated rhythms, strange feel changes or unpredictable tempo fluctuations. It is a sound which is full of juxtapositions and contrasts which force the listener to always be on their toes as they move through the record’s musical landscape. Certainly, this music is an acquired taste and by no means an easy listen. This is not necessarily helped by the production on this record. Although the production isn’t terribly unpolished, thus somewhat befitting of Nero di Marte’s textured soundscapes, one might question whether the production is polished enough. Perhaps making the production even clearer might further enhance the listener’s experience and bring out the music’s many layers even more. There is a fine line to be tread, production wise, between making the complexities of music such as this clear enough to be fully appreciated and making its sound overly mechanical and emotionless. One might question whether this album’s production treads that line as well as it should or could be able to. One might also wonder whether Nero di Marte adequately fulfilled the musical potential they overtly display on this release. Although their base musical template is quite varied, they refuse to move beyond this musical paradigm throughout this record, which causes the freshness of the record’s sound to wear of quickly.

Moreover, it does seem at points as if Nero di Marte are wearing their influences on their sleeves a bit, with certain drumming sequences creating the impression as if I’m listening to an actual Mastodon record and certain chromatic guitar riffs making me think I’m listening to an actual Ulcerate record. This doesn’t necessarily mean their music is entirely derivative. There are novelties to their sound, which although not fully explored on this release, are indubitably present. One might only hope Nero di Marte will continue to evolve their sound as they did on subsequent releases, but one thing is certain: this eponymous release was one hell of a starting point for a band that may yet prove to be one of metal’s most interesting outfits.



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user ratings (75)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Surprised this didn't already have a review.

This is a nice read, pos'd. Make sure you're paying attention to the site come Feb.

MementoMori
December 23rd 2019


910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Nocte. I was equally suprised this did not yet have a full review so I took my chances. Plus, it gave me an excuse to listen to this great record again.

P.S. What is happening in February?





Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wonderful things.





Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also, I'm pretty happy with the new album so far. It's ticking a lot of boxes off.

MementoMori
December 23rd 2019


910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It seems that since this release Nero di Marte has just kept improving their sound more and more. The album after this was already excellent and if the pre-released tracks are any indication their newest will be just as good, if not better than Derivae.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Better by a margin. Just haven't decided on the gap yet.

MementoMori
December 23rd 2019


910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds... quite tasty.

DANcore
December 24th 2019


589 Comments


That’s awesome to hear. Derivae was one of my favorite metal albums of the decade, so if the one’s better i’ll be one happy camper

Willie
Moderator
December 24th 2019


20217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I'm glad this finally got a review. I've only heard the new one once, and it was kind of in the background, so I can't really speak specifically about it... but it was definitely another great release. They've definitely improved with every release.

MementoMori
December 24th 2019


910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Willie

I second your comment. This band has amazing potential and as of right now they're starting to showcase this more and more.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I guess that means I can talk shop with Willie. It's one of the most frustrating things about promos (apart from the obvious upsides) that you have to wait weeks to discuss it casually with people.

MementoMori
December 24th 2019


910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh the humanity.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Them feels, true.

Willie
Moderator
December 25th 2019


20217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I'll take a good listen later tonight, and we'll meet back here ;)

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2019


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a date. I'll bring the picnic rug and some muffins.

DDDeftoneDDD
January 29th 2020


22562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah...this album is sweet bros...its very Gojiresque but very experimental at the same time...prob their strongest one for me...

DDDeftoneDDD
January 29th 2020


22562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nero di Marte from Nero di Marte on Nero di Marte is fuckin amazing!!!

or

T/track from S/titled from Nero di Marte is fuckin amazing!!!





NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

DI MAAAAARTEEEEEEEEEEEEE



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