The first release from the Milan label that I'm reviewing is a split between Asofy and Sleeping Village, once again in the format the record company loves (something between a digipack and a cartoon CD in a very limited amount of copies).
One long song for each outfit, with Asofy singing in Italian, and the latter in English; both of the lineups are allied by marriage, with Asofy having Empio at the vocals, and the latter unit Tryfar.
Asofy deal with melodic Black metal sometimes exploding in blastbeats; this brings the gasping vocals to turn to agonizing vocals in a manner halfway between Black screams and some Hardcore vocals. The slow parts are decidedly the most satisfactory, just because the programming doesn't have good sounds and mostly since it tries to fill too much even when there're no blastbeats and the guitars are more atmospherical. It sounds as if it were in a loop out of control, and whether it is intentional or not, the effect isn't pleasant.
As for Sleeping Village, the recording is louder, the drums thicker, tribal and the bass distorted. The ghostly vocals by Tryfar seem to be coming from the fog connecting to the otherworld, like some unresting soul were coming out of the grave; that's one of the reasons why I prefer this track far more, and the second is due to the guitar work, sometimes extremely acid, on other occasions more open to playing strokes avulsed from the rest, making the style melodic Black metal with moribund vocals and Alternative rock riffs. The guitar seems to be flying over the rest of the instruments, as though you were watching two separate movies at the same time. In theory it would be a mistake (like the literature about mixing has been teaching for years), in practice this dichotomy works pretty well.
Of course two lengthy tracks don't represent a problem if there're no other songs as in this case, so I gather the record should be desirable for a large number of Black metal connoisseurs.
Another positive aspect relies upon the artwork, offering 3 cryptic pictures enclosed, which make the item even more precious in everyone's collection.
I'm anything but patriotic, yet the effort to give birth to new shapes of Black metal from these two squads is another thing for Italy to be proud of.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - JANUARY 20TH, 2012