At its high points this third album from Italian instrumental band Tomydeepestego is heavy, deep and intense. “Nero” has some great lighter moments too – the band clearly looking to add to the basic formula and provide some contrast to the heaviness. Sludge can get hard going after a while and you have to admire the effort to mix it up, although it’s not entirely successful and at times feels it can’t settle on where it wants to go.
For the most part the heavy sludge/post-metal with down-tuned guitars and heavy bass work well and you can feel those thick coiled wires thumping out notes that hit you nice and hard. There are some nice guitar riffs and the drumming is varied. There is a lot of repetition that comes in neat chunks of a few bars before moving to the next chunk, but not all these chunks work well together and too often the common thread that runs through them gets lost.
When the lighter post-rock guitar appears I keep expecting it to freshen and liven things up, perhaps add some dynamics and soar into the stratosphere, but it rarely eventuates. Granted there is some good layering but not enough melody to carry you between the shifts as it continues to plod aimlessly never getting anywhere. The contrast with the heavy sludge just doesn’t seem to work because you never fully relax into that deep trance that this kind of post-metal can take you to, nor do you get that feeling of highs and lows that crescendocore can deliver.
There are some very good songs on the record – ‘Pece’, ‘Grafite’, ‘Monster’ and ‘Nero’ all move with heaviness but a faster pace and are as good as songs like Pelican‘s ‘Lathe Biosis’. Unfortunately ’23-45′, ‘541’ and ‘Petrolio’ don’t work as well and the album itself doesn’t stack up against bands like Glowsun or Isis who really know how to carry a song while providing contrasting heaviness and lightness.
Despite its shortcomings “Nero” on balance is better than a lot of similar stuff out there and is clearly seeking its own variation of the sound. Lovers of post-metal and post-rock are bound to find something here to satisfy them.
“Nero” is out now - tomydeepestego.com