We don't find all of our new music by spending hours a day cruising the interwebs, doing random Google searches. No, unfortunately there are day jobs that get in the way of that. Sometimes, we have to rely on bands, labels and fans for help. It was about a year ago that we starting corresponding with Enzo, from Bakerteam Records. And through his e-mails, we have been introduced to a slew of new bands; some great, some not. So, when his name pops up in our e-mail, it means we have something we have to hear.
On November 9th, we received a promo of the new album from Malnàtt, a four piece avant black metal band from Italy. Admittedly, with black metal not being my favorite genre, it took far too long for me to sit down and listen to the album, "Principia Discordia." But when I finally did, something clicked in my head that had never really happened with a black metal album before. It all made sense, despite having a lyric sheet that was written completely in the Bolognese dialect. The production values were excellent, leaving each layer with a crystal clear place in the mix. There were melodies, there were thrashing guitars, and there was a vocalist who either didn't know his limits, or simply didn't have any. I read their two paragraph bio over and over, trying to figure out what it was about this band that was different from my previous black metal experiences.
Malnàtt is an Italian black metal band formed in Bologna, Italy in 1999. They are the first and only extreme metal band who have introduced an accordion in the line up and, and before many others, female screaming vocals, trumpets and lyrics in Bolognese dialect. People were astonished by the extreme contrast between their humorous approach and obscure lyrics, focused on decadent poetry, death and nihilism. The band was also chosen to play themselves on a very successful episode of the popular Italian TV show ‘L’ispettore Coliandro’, a crime fiction broadcasted on the national TV networks.
‘Principia Discordia’ was recorded and mixed at Domination Studios in San Marino, with the artistic supervision of renowned musician Simone Mularoni (DGM, Empyrios). ‘Principia Discordia’ moves away from the folk approach of the early albums to focus on much more extreme and experimental sounds. The lyrics take their inspiration both from the great Italian poets and the band’s mastermind Porz himself, who enjoys writing hermetic songs struck between suicide and irony.
Whatever it was, the album had struck a chord with me, and reinvented the way I listened to not only black metal, but metal in general. It asserted two things that I had always suspected, but never had proof of; first, black metal is evolving and changing day to day, and there simply isn't room to be complacent. Second, Italy may very well be the home for the future of metal. With hundreds of great new bands cropping up almost every day, we need only look to the country shaped like a boot for the next big thing.
In the meantime, buy this album and enjoy it. I know that I did. And I have Enzo and Malnàtt to thank for it.