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PONTE DEL DIAVOLO - Fire Blades From The Tomb

Please no, you can't do this! I really don't want to be that guy, but come on:

You're an Italian band and not only does your name immediately make me think of a spicy pizza, but your first full album's cover also looks like a fitting motif for a pizza plate!

PONTE DEL DIAVOLO - Fire Blades From the Tomb (2024)

Ok, I'm being unfair. The whole band name actually translates to "The Devil's Bridge" and refers to... oh damn... of course it's a tourist attraction.

Luckily it only takes seconds into the immediate Black Metal ambush of the opener "Demone" to forgive Ponte Del Diavolo. And a couple of seconds later you also know that epic Post Black Metal is only one little brick of this impressive bridge.
Their natural and fearless approach to connecting genres obviously points to several spiritual predecessors and siblings like Messa, Dool, E-L-R or Gold (deliberately in the old spelling). And can we make Healthyliving a genre description already?

So yes, we have a charismatic versatile female singer, whose range lies between almost operatic Doom and sharp New Wave shouts, and we hear the occasional exotic guest instrument (theremin and clarinet) bringing even more variety into an already very wide sound based on Black, Doom and Post Metal on one and Post Punk and Darkwave on the other side.

With an average of around six and a half minutes their songs aren't colossal in length, but while they last they seem huge both in sound and addictiveness.
No matter if it's the mighty stomping and blasting of "Zero", the tight Gothic Rock groove of "Covenant" or the eery drama of "Red as the Sex of She Who Lives in Death" - these Ladies and Gentlemen just know how to write great tunes with a recognizable atmospheric flavour.   

Ponte Del Diavolo are even confident enough in their songwriting to end the album with a cover version of a pretty iconic piece, which they successfully convert into their own style. The very theatrical Metal version of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' "Weeping Song" (with guest vocalist Davide Straccione singing Cave's parts, while  Erba Del Diavolo takes over the duet role of Blixa Bargeld) stands out as a welcome surprise, but is in tune enough with the rest of the album not to overshadow it.

As a whole "Fire Blades From The Tomb" could easily justify a longer playing time than its forty-four minutes, but it's also ok as it is. I guess the band just couldn't record more because they had to get outside into the sun to sip their coffee. And if you look really close at their cups on their promo picture... oh those sneaky tourism emissaries!

This more than just respectable full-length debut - which really makes me want to see  Ponte Del Diavolo live - comes out via Season Of Mist ten days from now on February 16th.

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