MONDOSCURO_COVER-ARTWORKCadaveria (herself) and Flegias of Necrodeath have worked together since the early 90’s when they were involved in cult Italian act Opera IX. They both left that band in 2001 stripping it of most of its identity in the process. Cadaveria started up with her self-titled group and Flegias continued with Necrodeath who he joined as vocalist on their reformation back in 98. Also he plays drums under real name Marçelo Santos in Cadaveria’s band; yep all very incestuous.  What we have with Mondoscuro is both bands working together and playing a couple of each other’s songs along with some role swapping and a couple of covers on this ‘blood pact’ of an EP.

Starting off we have Cadaveria covering a Necrodeath song which itself is also partly a cover, confused? Well it might make more sense when you learn the number is called ‘Mater Tenebrarum.’ Not having heard the Necrodeath original I was slightly bewildered on first listen expecting something else from the black thrashing madness the number conveys which I had to take as a tribute in name only to Dario Argento’s unholy second mother Inferno. It’s got rage and atmosphere aplenty and I love Cadaveria’s snarly and harmonic vocal presence of which she utilises both sides. However there was something missing but then the final part delivers, romping into Keith Emerson’s excellent pompous main theme from the film. I am impressed, you kept me hanging there but delivered a great pay off. ‘Spell’ is a classic cut and opening number from debut Cadaveria album ‘The Shadows’ Madame,’ well known by fans and a natural choice for Necrodeath to interpret. It’s got the neo-classical fervour and heavy jagged riffs of the original but takes on a different vibe with the male vocals, making it a partly identifiable but different beast rather than a straight up cover.

Up next we have two songs courtesy of Cadaveria the band and Necrodeath with their respective players swapping over a bit. You’d probably have to know each band inside out to realise this but what we get are a couple of solid numbers in their own right.  Cadaveria’s Dominion Of Pain is a driving number at first with pounding drums before it slows into a brooding atmospheric part and charges off with a solo thrown in from Necrodeath guitarist Pier.  Rise Above is not a Black Flag cover which I at first anticipated but sees Cadaveria and her band’s guitarist Dick Laurent joining in on a song performed by the rest of Necrodeath; it does all get a bit confusing.

Covers next and these may well be seen as blasphemy to some. First up Cadaveria handles the holy-grail that is Type O Negative classic ‘Christian Woman.’ Obviously vocally she is never going to get that deep rich baritone from the late great Pete Steele down but musically it’s quickly identifiable and an interesting twist on such a classic number. You’ll probably find yourself singing along with the image of Jesus Christ looking like a fiery Italian vocalist. Finally Necrodeath deliver a fast and furious rendition of The Beatles, Charles Manson inspired Helter Skelter where they go at it with musical hatchets and axes, turning it into a right vicious massacre.

This is a fun and interesting collaboration and although labelled as a mini CD you get over half an hour’s playing time to keep you occupied. If you’re a fan of both bands it delivers the best of both worlds too and provides a good stop-gap whilst we await them to deliver new albums themselves.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)