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Simulacro – ‘Echi Dall’ Abisso’ (Album Premiere)

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To quote Jon Rosenthal from yesterday’s Upcoming Metal Releases column: “It goes without saying that the whole “dissonant”/post-Deathspell Omega sound in black metal has been more than oversaturated.”

But, as Rosenthal also noted a moment later, that oversaturation hasn’t killed the sound. Far from it, in fact. Italy’s Simulacro play in the same sandbox – opera accents supplant gregorian chants in “Ecco I” but the modulating guitar riffs and dry distortion still call back to France’s finest trio of anonymous misanthropes. Toward the second half of the song, though, things take an oblique turn. Melodies take a more central focus. Some light filters through the haze.

Simulacro dwell in the same evil black metal universe we’ve grown to love, but don’t sound as if they’ve abandoned hope entirely. There’s some evidence in my corner, as well: If you want to buy a download of their new album Echi Dall’Abisso now, you’re going to have to fork over 777 Euros. The black metal arrogance of old is recast with a more holy number, and a little nod to Blut Aus Nord.

Not that I expect Simulacro to save my soul. Far from it. The juxtaposition of Satya Lux Aeterna’s crisp classical melodies and Fabrizio “Xul” Sanna’s bellowing growls serves to make the opera more uplifting, and the growling more menacing. In the same way, the scattered straight-up rock bits only make the jazzy drum rolls elsewhere on Echi Dall’Abisso more chaotic.

If I were feeling more cheeky I’d call it a ceremony of opposites, but instead I’ll just say it rocks. This kind of arch and dissonant black metal is hard to pull off. Simulacro don’t just pull it off. They excel at it.

Echi Dall’Abisso will be released on September 26 via Third I Rex. follow Simulacro on Facebook.

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