Hailing from Bologna, Italian extreme metallers Across The Swarm are an emerging force destined to great and major things if their self-titled debut EP is anything to go by. Consisting of five fascinatingly inventive and irresistibly brutal tracks entwining everything from groove and nu-metal, hard core and drum and bass into their persistently evolving and violating landscapes of sound, the release is a towering and gripping onslaught of intrigue drenched ferocity. It is a startling entrance by the band, one clad in an invigorating unpredictability and exhaustive experimental attitude which is seemingly rare to absent in a great many new bands.
Formed in 2013 out of Lacerater, which released a series of demos itself, Across The Swarm set about working on their first release last December. Recording it at Sliver Studios, the quartet of vocalist Francesco A. Flagiello, guitarists Luca Sammartino and Marco Lambertini, and drummer Riccardo Grechi brought in NK and Sygo from Hallucinator for the DnB samples as well as Simone Bertozzi (The Modern Age Slavery, Mnemic) to provide bass for the recordings. The result is the exhilarating torrent of ideation and voracious sound found on their self-titled introduction, a proposition inflaming ears and imagination right through to hungry passions.
Hang Out is the first pestilential treat, a grievous rhythmic assault and similarly bred riffs flying at the senses within the first second. It is already more than a straight forward confrontation as varied vicious vocal squalls alongside vitriolic grooves wreak havoc with toxic intent and craft, whilst the unpredictable drumming of Grechi disorientates as it impresses. The track is from start to finish incendiary to the imagination, torrentially blasting and irrepressibly seducing with mouth-watering enterprise and striking ingenuity as in its successor Just Bodies. Once again first touch is as barbarous as it is heavy, beats and riffs churning up the senses for bass and guitars to offload a venomous bait which itself twists with a breath-taking ideation. Swinging temptation of drum n bass bred invention soon adds its weight to the suasion, though its brief entrance is soon lost under an avalanche of rhythmic hostility and rigorously intensive grooving. Raw and uncompromising yet precise and deliberately structured in its creative fury, the track consumes an already keen appetite for the release with its staggering endeavour, the smile on the face at its departure the sure sign of something special.
That grin is never far away from the EP to be fair, reprising its joy with Cynical Eyes and beaming even more loudly with the outstanding Formless Wreck. The first of the two is sonic and rhythmic savagery driven by vocal and creative predation. The track starts in a rage and boils up into a carnivorous rabidity yet from its first caustic touch it unleashes waves and veins of acidic grooves and invention sculpted twists which enslave the imagination. It is a contagious tempest of malevolent beauty matched and exceeded by the second of the two, bass and guitars coaxing and licking ears with invention beneath a scourging wind of sound before that previously only glancing bait of drum n bass makes a more thrilling and provocative presence on the release. At any point on the EP it is hard to find true comparisons to suggest and here especially difficult, yet essences of The Browning, Bloodsimple, and Dark Tranquillity is some kind of clue.
The release closes with the virulently compelling Like Water, a hellacious inventively twisted slab of extreme maliciousness cast with technical rapaciousness and imagination bred toxicity. It is a colossal closing to an immense and enthralling incitement. Across The Swarm has uncaged one of the best metal debuts certainly this year and last whilst suggesting a potential which if it comes to bear, and you dare not doubt it, could see the Italians setting new levels and templates for extreme storms ahead.
Across The Swarm is available now @ http://acrosstheswarm.bandcamp.com/album/across-the-swarm
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