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The Black (Italy) - 2004 - "Peccatis Nostris & Capistrani Pugnator"
(76 min, Black Widow)

TRACK LIST:                             
"Peccatis Nostris": 
1.  Pigritia 6:50
2.  Avaritia 5:22
3.  Soperbia 8:20
4.  Luxoria 4:41
5.  Gala 4:40
6.  Invidia 3:22
7.  Ira 7:42

"Capistrani Pugnator": 
8.  Kardiophylax 1:38
9.  Praetutii 7:58
10. Miscrere 6:14
11. Date Illi Honorem 4:34
12. Capistrani Pugnator 14:00

All tracks: by Di Donato.
Produced by The Black.
Engineered by L. Angeloni.


Mario Di Donato - vocals; guitars
Gianluca Bracciale - drums & percussion
Enio Niccolini - bass
A few guest singers

Prolusion. Here we have an Italian trio named The Black with their brand new album "Peccatis Nostris & Capistrani Pugnator". Next year the band will celebrate their 15th anniversary. Please note that Black Widow Records release all their production in two forms: CD and LP. This album goes as a single CD and a double LP.

Synopsis. The Black's fifth outing is over 76 minutes in duration and, in fact, includes two different full-fledged concept albums. The first, "Peccatis Nostris" ("Our Sins"), was inspired by Dante Alighieri's iconography and consists of seven songs, each being somewhat of the analysis of each of the seven deadly sins. The second, "Capistrani Pugnator" ("The Warrior of Capistrano"), is based on the band's fantasy story about the ancient statue, which has been found in Central Italy, and the mysterious civilization Capistrano, which left this artifact. Musically, however, there are more similarities than differences between the albums. To be more precise, the second looks like a logical continuation of the first, especially from a progressive standpoint. The opening track Pigritia is the only accessible number with the obvious Black Sabbath influence. The level of progressiveness and originality grows while the CD unfolds and reaches a peak on the fourth track, starting with which the music becomes really bewitching and is the embodiment of my dream of complicated heavy music. This is what I would call progressive Cathedral Metal at its best. Mario's vocals are extremely unique (something average between exclamation and operatic singing) and are surrounded by authentically gothic musical atmosphere, which is mysterious rather than dark. The guitar work is amazingly intricate, and the interactions between all the band members are truly progressive, from top to toe. A quiet motion of the rhythm section is in the beginning of most songs, but as time goes on, the work of bassist and drummer becomes more and more speedy and complex. Many instrumental parts are as eclectic as those in the most intricate works of classic Prog-Metal. The only instrumental composition: Kardiophylax exceeds the bounds of the album's basic style. The slow, Doom Metal-related bass riffs and the hammer-like drumming are combined with rapid, Thrash-y guitar solos, and all this often borders on Industrial Metal. If the last song on the first album: Ira is the hallmark of it, all the further songs are made just in that manner: with lots of unexpected changes of musical direction and tempo, etc, and are marked by a truly original and serious approach to all the arrangements in general.

Conclusion. The Black is one of the brightest contemporary representatives of the Italian school of Doom Metal (in a general sense), which, as well as Italy's Progressive Rock in general, is famed for really major achievements in the development of the genre. Free of any commercial aspirations, the band presents a serious, exceptionally interesting material, which needs many listens to be comprehended. It will be a dainty dish for those who like their music both intricate and heavy regardless of any stylistic peculiarities.

VM: October 25, 2004

Related Links:

Black Widow Records
The Black


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