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A REPIT / INFEREN / MALAURIU / VULTUR - Teschi Ossa Morte Split 2019

Release date March/19 (Black Tears/Southern Hell/Masked Dead/The Triad Rec/Ira Aeterna/Nebelkorps/The Last Step)

Italian black metal is alive and well as can be heard through this four-band split album.

Initiating activities is A REPIT (a reference to shrines dedicated to rebirth rituals for stillborn babies). Providing two tracks over thirteen minutes, the band stretches out and covers a lot of ground on this. First track 'La Roccia di Jean Grat' is a mid-tempo stomper that gets the head banging right off the bat, some vicious cackle and melodic backing vox adding to the ambiance. Second track 'Ventre di lupo' starts with haunted melodic guitar strumming, church organ, clean singing and flute, before bursting forth with another moderately paced riff that kills. Really good, strident and atmospheric stuff. [7.5]

INFEREN (translation - 'Hell') are the second unit on display here, opener 'Volti di pietra' mixing mid and up-tempo riffage, with some mighty fine layered vocals (throaty roar and rasp) really bringing home the sense of desperation. The unit closes off their piece of the action with the more aggressive 'Discensio ad Inferos', a track that feels like the listener is being pulled down to the abyss with the band. Mighty fine, indeed. [7]

MALAURIU are no strangers to this site, having been reviewed previously (refer link below), so we weren't surprised by the bulldozing brutality that hit us between the eyes with their two tracks. Definitely more aggressive and violent than the two preceding entities, Malauriu relentlessly batter and use confrontational throaty roar vocals to drive the point home during their eleven minutes here. A battering ram of a listening experience. [7]

The package is closed off by a lone, but lengthy (12 minute), track from veterans VULTUR (at it since 2005). Embracing speed and, dare I say, a little thrash in their BM, the production here is spot on, especially allowing the cool bass and lead guitar work to be clearly audible. Attacking rhythmic strength is the band's forte, the unit moving in lock step throughout the various different passages. The final ninety seconds of sound effects could probably have been jettisoned, but that doesn't take away from what is the standout track of the whole package to these ears. [7.5]

Altogether a very impressive display of BM might from Italy.

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