'De Rerum Natura'

(Nocturnal Brights productions)

Listen to "Nightspell under a Funeral Storm" MP3

MARK: 93/100


To be the first release from this newborn label and distro, nobody can deny they've begun with the right foot. 10 tracks of Pure Italic Black Art drenched in wickedness, dismal and warlike spirit, demolishing the standard boundaries of raw fast Pagan Black metal in the shape of an original enough sound matrix.

"Discovering Heathenism Through Pagan Pride" is the intro, first mysterious and then backstabbing with its freezing and evocative vocal parts, while a superb example of speedy and furious Black metal is "Pseudo Monarchy of the Demons"; the wonderful brutal vocal patterns will conquer you together with the majestic and massive guitar lines; as if that weren't enough, here is a hyperfast tom drumming with few keyboards in the background; occasional growls and demonic vocals appear too, but it's the dynamic break standing out to prepare for the crescendo final onslaught. The guitars are really crushing and scratching, the fast-as-hell axe solo makes me go mental before the arrival of the middle part, melodic yet very disquieting at the same time. Useless to say this song raises hell no matter what volume you're playing it at!

"Nightspell under a Funeral Moon" mixes harsh and symphonic Black metal elements; even here the riff is as rapid as it's cool, and the drum sounds crisp and hammering; there's also a impetuous time change halfway bewteen Black and Death, anticipating spacial keyboards opening a chasm in the sky and in the underlying ground; they'll make you travel in time for such a lot of aeons and only a heartfelt guitar solo will be your companion, both rocked by the bass lines. The concept of Pagan Black metal is fully represented in "Ineffable Ode to a Heretical Convivium", whose keyboards owe very much to Goblin and Lucio Fulci's flicks atmospheres. You shall feel the fog wrapping your legs and afterwards your legs, while a while later Valpurgis's screams will lead you to the blaspheme banquet, of which the central riff is the core of the Sabbath. The 2 hatchets here cut like sharpened sword blades in ode to the god of war Mars; yeah, guys, that's definitely what I like to call 'play Black Metal with Pagan pride'.

Through "Underground Hypostile of Darkness" it seems clear the 5 demons are bringing us lower and lower, so as to reach the deepest hellish rings in a journey without return, a place where God has had the courage to put his feet into only once in his existence. And now...it's time for another very high quality moment of the disc opened by a scorching in-your-face shout; "Death to the Weak"; everyone take their hat off to Sigma Draconis for composing this pearl! It leaves no doubts as to their social views, that is failure of a peaceful coexistance amongst opposite cultures, religions, and ethnic groups.; the differences are unbearable, the resources aren't enough, that means that one species will prevail on another and nobody wants to belong to the losing one. It's the same principle happening in Nature, and this is what the world's oligarchy never talks about and doesn't want you to think until it's too late. We should all be grateful to Sigma for reminding us the end of mankind is near and this song contains all the characteristics to represent this omen: gloomy, rife with epic prophetic vocals in the foreground with the 2nd guitar busy with embroidering after the lead has opened the way for that. The sound of the drums is different here, yet quite well-chosen for a not too quick song, which also requires a more complex drum work, with the keyboards following its every move. A fierce headbanging is urged by a riff, and even better the 2nd one, full of hatred with punishing vocals that will make you feel as though they were knifing you from side to side, not to mention the mind-boggling final acceleration; this is sheer war apocalyptical Black metal!

"Winter of My Soul" starts quick at once with a rabid guitar matched with the other, occupied with making up a twisted riffing; later on, an absolutely worthy Black/Death riff entertains us before the extremely unkind blast, in which 2 intermezzoes of magical Black metal find a place, substained by a mesmerizing guitarwork; the surprises don't end here though, since we have the pleasure to meet a break in the sign of the purest 80's Death metal alà Dismember/Unleashed, joined with Dark Funeralesque black screams, in a way reminiscent of Swedish masters Dissection. There's still time for the unexpected by a bridled passage before the nth blast with unmerciful shrieks. Wholly unlike is the beginning of "Visions of the Holocaust in a Landscape Buried by Time", atmospherical and bucolic, even including an acoustic guitar playing with the keyboards of Golgotha (who left the band after the recording); nevertheless this doesn't last long, for a sword is unsheathed and soon after hyperdistorted downtuned Death guitars chainsaw all, during the slaughter caused by Janicot's double bass, here sounding like a rain of granites. The rest of the song is based on the contrast between screamed Black parts and symphonic interruptions; the drum parts are tremendous and the time changes sometimes show no mercy and some others are elegant and medieval; really a strange mix, buit the thing is that's the only song that doesn't satisfy me 100%, because after the final tom roll hymning to a bloody body-to-body fight, I feel there should be more aggressiveness and not the same medieval riff that just makes the tension go down.

However, the following "We Are Legion" is another track destined to make a slaughter live; I strongly appreciate the union between vocal and drums; the sounds are top-notch and the mid-tempo kicks some ass around and no-one's able to escape the terrorizing attack of the final battle throat emissions, acoustic guitars on a harsh texture; this is another kind of Black metal I've never heard before! The closure is entrusted to "In the Fallen Gates of Oblivion", the only track in Italian (and with howls); Valpurgis ain't got time to waste and sums up all his creed with delay effected proclamations; exactly like the opener, this song'll make your blood freeze in your veins, deignly sealing the end of this 54-minute-CD.

Keeping in mind that Sigma Draconis sell this long CD, enriched with professional artwork, layout, recording at Fear Studios and so on with nothing to envy more popular bands, at only 7 Euros (almost a gift!!!), it's crystal-clear that you must be stupid beyond any imagination not to get hold of a copy. We gonna hear about them again and I'm dying to listen to their new material. In the meantime, thank you all guys very fucking much for showing us the beauty of battle and the true face of hell on earth.



E-mail: sigmadraconis@sigma-draconis.com