Cuore Nero


KAISERREICH are one of Italy's premier Depressive Black Metal acts. In a country that's renowned […]
By Danny Sanderson
May 16, 2016
Kaiserreich - Cuore Nero album cover

KAISERREICH are one of Italy's premier Depressive Black Metal acts. In a country that's renowned the world over for its intense and vicious Technical Death Metal scene, it's sometimes easy to overlook some of the best that the rest of Italy's Extreme metal underground has to offer. The Brescia based quintets latest, third full length record, "Cuore Nero", is the culmination of their characteristically dark and morose sound, and stands as one of the bands most impressive musical offerings to date.

The albums opening effort, "Unico Sole", is an incredibly atmospheric affair, that is slow, eerie and brooding in its approach. The riffs and drumming on this track are very solid, methodical have a dense, dirge-like quality to them. It's hard not to get engrossed in this dissonant and depressive piece of music, with some disturbing vocal howls and measured, but still intense, take on Black Metal. "Bianco Freddo" continues in much the same vein, with a morose and oppressive sound and slightly quicker, chunkier guitar lines. The relentless, vicious guitar lines are genuinely mesmerising, and they grab and maintain the listeners attention throughout, until the music slowly begins to fade away. The song that follows, "Senza Luce", is every bit as miserable and melancholic as the two songs that have preceded it, and the sparse, melodic hooks that are interspersed across this span of this grim monolith work really well with the funereal pace and tone of the song. It's another excellent piece of music that sounds amazing from the first note to the last. "Ombra Infranta" experiments with a few cleaner, but nonetheless gloomy, guitar licks, before launching into the songs main motif. If anything, this song is more bleak and dreary than the three songs before it. This song also sees a faster tempo come to the fore, which makes this music sound absolutely ferocious. This is the point where we get to see the band beginning to branch out somewhat from the formula that has marked the first few tracks on this record.

   Whereas the first half of this record consists of long, sprawling songs, the second half is made up of much shorter ones. "Vuoto Assoluto", opening with the ominous sounding of a church bell, is yet another misery drenched slab of Black Metal drudgery. The guitar lines are razor sharp and hair-raisingly good, coupled with hellish howls that absolutely consolidate this track as one of the records finest moments, raising the bar significantly. "Zero Negativo" is a really solid piece of raw, bestial Black Metal with juggernaut riffs that gradually grows into a powerful statement of visceral, primal aggression. The second to last track on the record is a cover of the PINK FLOYD classic "High Hopes". The mark of a good cover is when a band are able to take a great song, and reinvent it in their own style, whilst maintaining some of the originals recognisable features. In this regard, it's a fairly good rendition of the song. It certainly reinvents the original, which was a much more mellow and relaxing piece of music, into a really fierce and speed-driven Black Metal tune. There are points where some of the key features of the original shine through, like the tolling bells at the beginning of the song, and the melodious solo that closes it, but there are some quite substantial parts of this track that are unrecognizable as the song, and the band, they are paying homage to. Nonetheless, it is a pretty good take on a classic track. The final song on this excellent record, "Solitude of Infinite (Reprise Edition)" is much cleaner, but nonetheless dark, song with a very expansive sound. It definitely has a very climactic sound to it, with powerful, emotive riffs and impassioned vocals that leave the listener wanting more as its final notes begin to fade away.

This is a really solid slab of dark, miserable Depressive Black Metal. It's got a great mix of music, with long and morose tracks sitting alongside much faster and far more intense pieces of music. This particular strain of Black Metal is often easy to get wrong, but KAISERREICH manage to pull it off with ease and finesse, blending some of the hallmarks of this genre with lots of classic Black Metal flourishes, all complimented perfectly by the tight production which brings a lot of the records more subtle sounds to the fore, without losing the all important rawness that Black Metal is renowned for. If you like your Black Metal grim, funereal and oppressively bleak, then this is a band, and a record, that you should definitely check out.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Cuore Nero" Track-listing:

1. Unico Solo
2. Bianco Freddo
3. Senza Luce
4. Ombra Infranta
5. Vuoto Assoluto
6. Zero Negativo
7. High Hopes
8. Solitudes of Infinity

Kaiserreich Lineup:

T. Morgan- Bass
Serpent Est- Vocals
Abraxas- Guitars
Luce- Guitars
Amon- Drums

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