Nerocapra - La Serpe In Seno

Nerocapra are a three piece from Italy that perform a very raw style of Death Metal that has that old school feel to it in the vein of Dismember or Bloodbath meets Necrophobic. Expect a very noisy sound, almost Grindcore-esque, that is ugly yet catchy. “La Serpe In Seno” is the band’s 4th full length album and also the one that took their longest time to get out (5 years since 2018). The lyrics are still in Italian and the sound is minimalistic with the dual guitar approach and pounding drums along with the shrieked/ snarled vocals which are a step away from the typical grunts and growls. Think very early Carcass style but buried behind a wall of guitar fuzz. That is the one thing about this band that will intrigue or push away listeners: the instruments are pushed in the front while the vocals are almost in the back. With no bass to speak of, some might expect the music to be a bit whiny, but while some tracks have that extreme distortion like ‘La Serpe In Seno’ which is as ‘garage raw’ as one can get, other tracks feature a bit more of a rumble to it like ‘Sistema di Protezione Perverso’ so it actually does sound like bass work is included. The vocals here are a little bit louder, but between the hisses and whispers it is clear that the guitars are the star of the show.

While “La Serpe In Seno” is indeed raw, and unfortunately short (under 30 minutes whereas past work from these guys has been longer), each track has little fat on it so to speak. The groove/ catchy factor definitely feels where the Necrophobic influence comes in, especially with a piece like ‘La Fortezzo’ which is a little slower than some of the others, but much catchier as it oozes and slithers along with those razor sharp riffs and almost guttural snarls, making this track one of the ugliest pieces Nerocapra have done and yet almost perfectly fitting for the old school genre. Those who like grim and twisted Death Metal in the vein of Incantation will enjoy this. Towards the end of the album though we get a bit of a 2 part instrumental. The 1st half with ‘Grumo di Sangue’ is still in that Incantation vibe with grim, dark, slow riffs almost Industrial Doom like less dancey Godflesh pieces with how it just goes for the noise factor. Not quite a groove laden but certainly the band’s attempt at going for an uncomfortable sound. Then it suddenly jumps to the more groove laden ‘Lemo di Pelle’ which is more Nerocapra’s style, but compared to the other tracks, the drums really take the center stage here, pushing the guitars back, which can be considered good or bad if you don’t mind the guitar solo being buried in the pounding, save for the very static, bubbling end. It is a weird split, making it seem like the band could have just lumped the two together for an epic Metallica level instrumental.

Despite the long time gap, this album does feel a little rushed and brief, making it seem like more of an EP than a full length. Longtime listeners will probably feel it as the typical walk in the Nerocapra park with the usual riffs and production approach and be pleased, but only disappointed it wasn’t longer. Newer listeners will not find “La Serpe In Seno” a bad place to start, but not quite enough to immerse themselves fully in the band’s sound (check out their debut album “Vox Inferi” for a more broad scope for what the band can do). The music here is not meant to be melodic or pleasant though; expect and uncomfortable listen by Funeral Doom noise standard but in shorter doses but soak up the distortion with an open mind and appreciate the raw sound as these guys go for as minimalistic as possible. Nerocapra do present a short, but honest approach with their music on “La Serpe In Seno” and show how a guitar centered album can really get some decent riffs across without too much variation or distractions to boot. This isn’t probably going to impress the average Cannibal Corpse fan, but those who like the more murky style anywhere from old Darkthrone to the Doom soaked Mortiferium will enjoy this album in all its glorious ugliness.

3 / 5 STARS

1. Grido Mai Udito
2. La Serpe In Seno
3. La Fortezzo
4. Dietro Una Porta Le Mille Porte
5. Sistema Di Protezione Perverso
6. Grumo Di Sangue
7. Lembo Di Pelle