Under The OceanStick the word ‘Lovecraftian’ in a description and I’ll always give it a second glance. It’s a reflex action as despite all the crap shovelled under the word. It is still the measure for all true horror for me particularly with the way it handles my deepest held fears of psychological isolation, abject fear, paranoia and not being believed. Nice cover and packaging to this too. Subtle. Good outward start for this Italian band.

Musically? We’ll first song ‘The Leper Town’ is a little shock: This is bright, sharp, technical deathcore with a side serving of At The Gates and Meshuggah jerks rather than calamari and atmosphere. Strained screams, machine gun battery precision, death metal. All highly competent if a bit generic. ‘The Bell Tower’ does pretty much the same until near the end we are suddenly gifted with some real atmosphere on the back of a dark ATG melody style and a shift in the backing vocals. This is kind of carried on into the next track ‘The Riverbank’ with its voice-over and slower pace and finally ‘The Creeper’ managing the same.

Despite growing out of another band, this is their first release and as such it shows a lot of promise: Tight band, well drilled and with a vision if the PR sheet is anything to go by. Now my big reservation is that I am not convinced that technical deathcore is entirely the natural vehicle for esoteric and Lovecraftian musings but that in itself shouldn’t stop anyone from trying; after all self expression and experimental exploration are what this is all about. Just at the moment it is pushing the music into a generic form (which hopefully time will sort) and the technicality is sanitising too much atmosphere.

I have hopes they will get to where they want to but at the moment it’s OK but not yet fully formed. Good start though.

(6/10 Gizmo)