Italy is a country with a strong heavy metal and hard rock scene throughout all the decades that these kinds of sound exist. The most interesting thing though with Italy is that it also gave us some bands that can be described as innovative in the hard rock and heavy metal sound. I think that NERO ALCHEMIST who is actually a one man band is such a group. It was formed in 2008 by Silvestro Ascari and on the same year the band released their first demo under the title “Experiments Vol. I”. Their new full length album, which I will present to you here, has the simple and meaningful title “Vol. II” and it is an effort of 2 years. So let us see what you can expect here…
THE COVER: I think the cover is visually representative of the band’s sound. In one word I can say that it is a strange image and kind of psychedelic. It looks like a desert plain and some white natural formations that look like anthills and from the one in the center pops up something like a black cloud. I think it is a cover open to interpretation, so I live it up to you to make your own assumptions about what the cover depicts.
MUSICAL STYLE: Here are the hard things for me. I think that the sound of NERO ALCHEMIST is based on the 80’s heavy metal and hard rock, but the way they build their compositions is not so conventional. I think that in their sound you can find strong atmospheric/gothic rock elements. Based on my personal experiences the whole album brought to my mind bands like JUDAS PRIEST (“Turbo Lover” era) and SISTERS OF MERCY. Actually I can say that NERO ALCHEMIST sound like a mixture of the above mentioned bands, but they have their own personality.
CONCLUSION: “Vol. II” is not your typical hard rock/heavy metal album and of course it is not an album that you can fully comprehend from the first listening, but on the other hand it is a release with a strong character and of course it brings new ideas to a sound that we all consider classic. I think that they deserve your attention and patience and they will pay you back.