The first of two promo CDs to recently come my way from the fine folks at Atomic Stuff Promotion and Logic(Il)Logic Records (Badmotorfinger, Twintera, Steel City, Hex, Nightglow....), "Embryo" is the latest release from this long-standing melodic death metal band from Cremona, Italy. Formed in 2000, with vocalist Roberto Pasolini and guitarist Eugenio "Uge" Sambasile the sole original members and influences listed as Fear Factory, Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad*, Embryo first hit the scene with the demo "The Source of Hate" in 2001. Following the release of "Promo 2002" the band issued their full-length debut album, "Chaotic Age" in 2006. Another demo ("Promo 2009") appeared before the band would release the highly-rated "No God Slave" in 2010. It was "No God Slave" that truly brought the group into the limelight with stellar reviews pushing the band upward and onward. Here it is 2015 and the band is finally rolling out album number three, the self-titled "Embryo". Currently rounded out by keyboardist Simone Solla, bassist Nicola Iazzi and drummer Enea Passarella** this five-piece band falls somewhere between melodic death metal and standard death metal with the harsh voice of lead singer Roberto Pasonlini often times moving this metal band into deathcore and/or extreme territory! With a grand total of eleven-tracks and a run-time of over forty minutes the recently-released "Embryo" (recently-released as in the 10th of this month!) is all at once intimidating and intriguing. Lyrically-speaking the album "Embryo" is "a descent into the Maelström of human soul 'til the door to the abyss that is the denial of being part of mankind" even if you'd have a hard time catching on to that given the otherworldly/demonic delivery of Roberto Pasonlini. As stated it's his unapologetic approach to "singing" that gives this Italian band that extra edge making this self-titled studio recording excessively brutal! By balancing out his beastly voice with complex arrangements that are deep and soul-steering an album like this becomes much more than merely a LOUD death metal release. That isn't to say that "Embryo" isn't LOUD as it is! It's also extremely HEAVY as touched upon. But, thanks in no small part to the fact that "Embryo" was recorded, mixed and mastered by the skilled hands of producer Simone Mularoni (DGM, Empyrios, The Modern Age Slavery, Vision Divine...), it is all that (LOUD and HEAVY) and so much more! This Italian band plays with purpose and the various musicians involved with this recording did more than just unleash unholy amounts of hostility and vulgarity dressed up as "music". These numbers offer interesting riffs and imaginative keyboards. The bass parts are progressive and the drumming (while certainly pummeling!) shows passion and personal pride. When brought together the music gives the listener a reason to pause and reflect what Embryo is really about. "Embryo" is worth tracking down as there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to this particular death metal band.
*Given the band's complex arrangements and the compelling ingredients that found their way into this mix those three influences don't even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to everything that "Embryo" has to offer. Whether you are into melodic death metal or extreme metal this album has something worthwhile to say to you if you should choose to listen!
** Drums on "Embryo", which by the way are freakin' smashing(!), were performed by the talented Francesco Paoli (Fleshgod Apocalypse).