Regardless of Me - Pleasures and fear 4/5

Reviewed: 10-1-11





Tracklist:

1. Pleasures and fear
2. Until I die
3. From a darkened sky
4. The way you are
5. Dispositions
6. Frozen
7. Made of steel
8. Never lose myself
9. My bitter end


Regardless of Me is a lightly progressive gothic/death metal band from Italy and this is their 2nd studio CD. Indeed, the band describes their music as “melodic progressive trip hop death metal” which nicely summarizes the main influences that go into their rather unique style of metal. Every song features modern-sounding hard-rocking groovy gothic death metal passages; these passages are generally fast, crunchy, dense and busy with thunderously heavy bass and drums. They can be almost exhausting in their wall-of-sound pummeling intensity, so the band frequently breaks up the fury with very catchy choruses and extended heavy rocking progressive instrumentals. There are sparse but well-placed trip hop touches throughout the instrumentals with heavy, jazzy bass guitar leads and spacey electronica.

The vocal style is “beauty and the beast”. The beauty is Pamela Manzo, and she has a terrific enthusiastic rather poppy style that fits perfectly with the modern and groovy feel of the arrangements. Her voice is strong and expressive and often soaring, so she is able to easily get way out in front of the bombast and lighten things up with her catchy choruses. The beast is Emiliano Sicilia, who has an usually fierce growling style; sometimes he roars, sometimes he shouts, yet he manages to convey tension and angst rather than aggression and anger. There are also occasional clean backing male vocals as well.

Those who are familiar with their debut CD ‘The world within’ will barely recognize that ‘Pleasures and fear’ comes from the same band, although after several listens one almost feels the transition was inevitable. ‘Pleasure and fear’ takes the modern, lush, melodic, lightly progressive trip hop approach of ‘The world within’ and really makes it rock, though sometimes to the point of fatigue. The result is a fairly challenging but still generally accessible CD that really doesn’t sound like any other band I’m aware of, though a more progressive version of the Swiss band Ever Since comes to mind. ‘Pleasures and fear’ is highly recommended to the more adventurous listener, especially those who like to have some melodic death metal in their current rotation.



CHRIS




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