Take the more overtly Morbid Angel-derived bits of Gojira’s furious sound and add proggy Mastodon-esque sludge, you get Nero Di Marte, and they’re almost as good as that implies. But not quite, as the technical ferocity of the former and the primal scream of the latter aren’t wed perfectly here.
The directed ire of the Gallic influence is a little at odds with the animal rage of the US side, and this ends up feeling slightly remote – chin-stroking, even – and that’s clearly not the intention. That said, this debut has a fuckload to get excited about. The riffage is crushing and vicious, the vocal performance shifts smoothly between fearsome roars and more melodic anger in a skilled, articulate fashion, and the whole thing is so heavy it’s bordering on the painful, in the best way possible.
There’s promise of genuine excellence dripping through Nero Di Marte, and there are individual shit-losing moments, but the essence hasn’t been finely distilled enough to truly shine yet.