I have not quite worked out whether it is deep space that Italian cult act Necandi Homines have been mining or the void beneath the crust of the earth but they have certainly dredged up some obsidian gold in their travels with this intriguing EP release. The quartet include past and present members of Infernal Angels, Haegen and Rise Of Tragedy and formed back in 2007 taking a whole decade to release debut album Da’at. Apparently this is looked as at “one of the true gems of the Italian underground” and I probably need to seek it out. I guess with the time taken, this 28 minutes of music has surfaced relatively quickly by the groups standards but the weight behind it is formulated in a way that suggests it is something that has been brooding and gestating in the players fevered minds for quite some time. Although divided into three parts symbolised by dot like title structures the best way to listen is definitely as a whole and see how the symbiosis of the elements gel together in one fluid motion. Although the component parts are quite varied the overall result is definitely a strange and beguiling one that sees genre definitions inverting and doing very odd things.

Development is slow and gradual as a mournful sole guitar tone weeps in giving a very post rock and cinematic feel in its calm lonesomeness. Drum beats and clean hymnal vocals chant mournfully leaving you with no real idea of where things are going. Gradually building with vocals getting rough and raw in the process and the melody infecting this is a fairly mesmerising affair and one prepares for more in the way of turmoil as the black hole looms ever closer. Bosh, we are caught in its gravity field and guitars suggest that main rearward thrust is engaged. Not much in the way of hope though as things get ever more angry and hostile albeit in a doomy kind of way. Blackness intensifies, the finale of the part ending in a welter of drums and a soul shredding yell. Part 2 sees us floating lifeless in the void, engines useless and only life support and the low hum of lights maintaining things. Our crew come round violently with a blackened surge full of pain from screaming vocals, battering drums and clamouring guitars. It’s like Darkspace thrown into an event horizon and this middle part is going to drive black metal fans into a demented maelstrom of hateful energy. But it is the longest and third part that will be the one to bamboozle the listener, drummer Hagen finalises the second with solo drum rolls that continue to bounce away into this and near gothic atmospheres are reached by slow guitar and evil rasps and whispers in this very strange new world we have entered through the other side of the black hole. It’s totally alien but is it? Musically perhaps not especially for an Italian act as this long meandering piece reminds of everything from Tony Tears, Steve Sylvester and Paul Chain affiliated acts and even Italian cultists Black Hole themselves. The whispering and chanting vocals have a more than creepy impact a bit like Goblin chasing witches in Suspiria. I’m not sure what the words are saying exactly but it all seriously puts me on edge. The labyrinth 12 minutes of this also is a bit reminiscent of a band like Mortuary Drape crawling beneath stygian passageways deep beneath the earth. This is seriously disconcerting horror music whatever way you look at it. The one complaint is that I guess it has to end somehow and I don’t like the way it does even if it perhaps has some deeper meaning?

To find out how this unfolds though you will have to listen yourself, go to the Bandcamp link below and be prepared to have your senses torn askew. If you have half an hour to spare, rest assured Necandi Homines take you on a wonderful and terrifying journey.

(8/10 Pete Woods)