Intrepid Italian quintet La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio hurtle ever further into the deepest depths of the cosmos for their second full-length, with those they encounter along the way left babbling about mysterious forces and beings far too sophisticated for the human mind to comprehend. While 2018’s Sky Over Giza was relatively easy to get your head around – cinematic in scope; psychedelically progressive in outlook – Trivial Visions is anything but, seeming more purposeful and yet vastly more cracked than their debut.
Opener Lost Horizon makes this clear from the get-go, its somnolent burblings building towards a cataclysmic squall of FX-damaged drums, squiggly riffing and untethered electronic swooshes. The jawbone-loosening intensity of the title track somehow blends motorik thrum, wayward flute and pillowy psychedelia with the ravening attack of black metal, while elsewhere Spectrometer sounds like a starbound armada lifting off and the sample-strewn Ashes features a classic Ozzy vocal line as interpreted by saucer-headed aliens.
While all of this makes Trivial Visions an infinitely heavier record than its predecessor, this heaviness is nevertheless harder to interpret. It’s definitely metal-informed, but rather than throw in their lot with one specific subgenre, La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio have filtered their sound through the very idea of metal – a feat that lends their squelch-edged riffs and bangover-friendly moments a sense of familiarity while also rendering them undeniably other. Similarly, the band’s heaviness tends towards the psychic rather than the sonic; theirs is a clamouring, anxious, groggy-headed sort of weight that doesn’t beat you about the head with lumpen brutality but instead forces you into a perpetual stoop by dialling gravity up to 11. Bewildering as it all is, it’s also a rare and joyous experience – a giddy step into the vast unknown, and a tantalising glimpse of where this wonderful band might be headed next.