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'Il fuoco non si è spento'

(CD - October 1st, 2021 - Demons Run Amok Entertainment recs)

MARK: 80/100


The Turin Oi! Punk/Hardcore act born of the ashes of Banda Del Rione and Youngang has walked the threshold of the third album (first on the German label Demons Run Amok Entertainment), after the successful 2008's "Strade Smarrite" and the comeback "Vita Libertà" 8 years on.

The artwork is all digitally made, with the front cover portraying a long-haired skeleton with a halo and a tunic (maybe Jesus or a saint) holding a cross in its left hand, which shows a stripe with the sentence 'ecce augusta tabernorum', probably a word pun on 'ecce augusta treverorum' (Augustus' colonization of Trier), and its right hand pointing to the sky. The background is black and everything is surrounded by a white frame.
The back cover portrays the magnification of a high part of the skeleton (besides the logo, the album's title and the tracklist as usual).
As to the 12-page-booklet, it contains the lyrics - all in Italian - and that's a courageous choice that makes the band's product more particular; on the side is the English translation for every lyrics and on the white background appear faint images related to the words. The last pages also feature two pics of the group, one live and another in a promotional shot.
Finally, the disc itself maintains the leading white colours together with album title, logo and the same detail magnified which is also present on the back cover artwork.

The said lyrics cover the following topics:

* Bull Brigade's members' comeback to a city with empty streets.
* the time passing in a rush and the end drawing near
* unrealized dreams and longing to flee routine
* feeling not conformed to the majority of Turinese
* anxiety, misanthropy, and suicidal thoughts
* observing the new Punk generations and comparing them with how one's has become after many years in the scene
* someone immersed in a rebel life
* going to the stadium to support one's favourite team
* sports or other life experiences in another city (Vicenza) or at the popular Centro Incontri in Vanchiglia (Turin)

The songs were recorded at One Black Sock Studio in Turin and later mixed and mastered by La Distilleria - Produzioni Musicali in Bassano Del Grappa, and the result is a modern, balanced, clear, robust and lively production. I appreciate the fact that the bass is always audible and not sharing the same frequencies as the drumset, and the other instruments are all well defined. Finally, the guitar really has a good tone, and that's a strong plus indeed.



As for the musical aspect, the CD, vinyl and digital version all include 9 brief tracks lasting about 33 minutes altogether. 3 songs are additionally enriched by 3 different guest vocalists (one for each song).
The opener "Ultima Città (Last City)" has a melancholic beginning, then it recurs to a powerful Punk riff ensued by a very catchy refrain. There's also space for a minimalistic guitar solo for this song accompanied by an official video shot by Giacomo "Josh" Giorgi available at portraying the band bringing a bag of money to a (criminal?) boxer in an isolated area.
"Cuori Stanchi (Tired Hearts)" kicks off with dizzy bass lines that prepare the listener for the attack of drums and guitar. After an Oi! refrain is a break and later on a heartfelt guitar solo which is repeated in the last part of the composition before the last strophe. That's definitely a tight track with just a few slowdowns during the anthems.
Dropped as a single earlier on, "Quaranta (40)" starts with a contrast between a massive guitar and a melodic one in the sign of Pop Punk. This piece is bound to become a classic for sing-alongs in one's room, car or in a live situation. Here too we find a nicely chiselled guitar solo repeated in the finalé. There's an intervention sung in English by Roddy, courtesy of The Oppressed, which tastes '77 Punk so hard.
The title track is opened by an insistent riff and then by rocky drumwork; soon the guitar turns penetrating again, and with pleasure we face energetically stimulating vocals which are tied well to the music and which are based upon rhymes that decidedly work smoothly.
"Ansia (Anxiety)" commences without any pause from the previous track; fast, frantic, and slamdancing-provoking, it's gonna make you think of the best material from No Fun At All and the likes. Finely integrated are the youthful guest vocals delivered by Samall from Slander, reinforced by a supplementary layer of distant vocals in the background. It's a tight track from beginning to end with the exception of a rhythmic variation at one minute and half before the conclusion. Echoes of Negazione's Hardcore flashes, the toughest Kina and in general the most striking 80s Italian Hardcore loom during the whole number, where the drummer stands out thanks to his outstanding work performed here.
Another track of shameless Pop Punk is "Strength for Life", fortified by a refrain which proves to be indelible just after the first listen and a guitar solo riding between Rock and Punk which in turn precedes a new strophe and is duplicated next. Once again a mention is worth for the refined closure executed by Bull Brigade's skinbeater.
"Sommersi (Submerged)" might be summerized as Bad Religion-influenced tunes blended with sort of Oi! vocals. On this occasion the guitar is fabulous in its intense riffing. I'm not afraid to say that the best refrain, guitar and drum parts are comprised in this song, which is enhanced by more rhythmic nimbleness and composing variety as well. Even unexperienced ears will confirm you that this track is a cut above the rest and - as if it weren't enough! - it is made even more precious by Arsenico's Fabio's adrenalinic vocal parts.
If you're in search for one of the most traditional harmonies written by Piedmont's gang, then skip to "Partirò per te (I'll Set off for You)" right now, and enjoy its incisive guitar plot and hammering drumming, along with stadium choruses and a guitar solo loyal to the tradition.
The closure of the album is entrusted to "Anche se (Even if)", which is a tad less dynamic and aggressive than the other 8 works of music; yet, it is improved by a mesmerizing refrain, a guitar solo with a Metal/Rock tone, an unexpected acoustic interruption just before the end, which tastes so similar to the feeling you have when you're aware you're about to have your last ride on an attraction in a fair.

True, there's nothing original or genial in the music of Bull Brigade, but if you like the genre and especially combos such as Husker Du, you're not gonna press 'stop' and put the CD or vinyl back into its case assailed by a sentiment of unsatisfaction, cos the guys constantly demonstrate they're not new to the game.

  MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 31st August, 2021


01. Ultima Città
02. Cuori Stanchi
03. Quaranta
04. Il Fuoco Non Si è Spento
05. Ansia
06. Strength for Life
07. Sommersi
08. Partirò Per Te
09. Anche Se


Strade Smarrite (CD - 2008)
Vita Libertà (CD - 2016)
 ‎ Heritiers Des Luttes D'hier, Militants D'aujourd'hui (split withAction Sedition - 2016)
The Chaos Brotherhood (split with Non Servium - 2018)
United and Strong (Split with Curasbun - 2019)
A Way of Life (7" - 2019)
Stronger Than Time (7" - 2020)
Quaranta (single - 2021)
Il Fuoco Non Si è Spento (CD - 2021)

Line-up on this record:

Eugenio - v.
Luigi - g.
Alessio - g.
Stefano - b.
Mark - d.


Turin - I

Official sites:

(home page)