After Table, Gay Rights and other un-googlable bands comes O, an Italian band that has decided to call themselves not by a letter but a symbol, a circle. An original choice but a questionable one since it results in less people hearing the music you have created, especially when the end result is quite strong.
Unlike The Secret and Hierophant, two Italian band who have mastered the art of the blackened crust, O has chosen to play black metal in the early Norwegian vein or mixed with an intense grindcore beat and some atmospheric parts akin to what Cult of Luna used to play on their self titled and on The Beyond. Furthermore, the screams are only in their native tongue, a decision more bands should make instead of relying on English as the universal language of rock and roll. It is essential to speak English to book tours around the world nowadays, but music should be more personal, particularly when it comes to lyrics. Less and less people pay attention to lyrics, so why not making them even more obtuse?
With only five songs, this EP clocks at 22 minutes and does not let up to create a bleak and suffocating atmosphere. The production pushes the vocals in front of the riffs which reduces the impact of the guitars but helps making the album more textured rather than hard hitting. The drums are well very played with an excellent and constant natural beat on the fastest parts. Probably the best performance overall on this EP. The vocals on the other hand could have been pushed to the background a bit more but there is a distinctive feel to the screams which makes the EP stands out a bit more than a lot of other releases.
Pietra should make of O a band to look out for. Their mix of black metal and postcore atmospheric with some added grindcore puts them in the same category as Dephosphorus from Greece or the latest release from Regarde les Hommes Tomber. A coherent and dark piece of music that delivers as much thrills than promises of an exciting future.
Pietra is available to download for free via Bandcamp