Urban Being

One of the first two releases from Italy’s fledgling Coroner Records, (the other being a re-issue of Disharmonia Mundi’s under-rated 2002 debut, Nebularium), despite the cover art and name, I actually came away impressed with Destrage’s take on groovy, thrashy, rocking take on melodic death metal.

With a healthy dose of commercial rock, some death ‘n’ roll elements and thick, atypical production, Urban Being is about riffs, plenty of them; earthy death ‘n’ roll riffs (Finnish boozers Calmsite come to mind), and some groovy melodic death metal riffs a la The Duskfall, mixed with plenty of up tempo slicing riffs similar to Carnal Forge and their ilk. The thing is, with some clean but gravelly choruses and a pretty hazy, unique take on song writing that never veers into typical Gothenburg territory, Urban Being ends up being an enjoyable melodic death metal record that never really sounds like one.

Starting with the rollicking and aptly titled “Thrash For Sale”, Milan’s Destrage saunter and sneer through 11 tracks in a slightly overly long 49 minutes, and each track displays a different character and dynamic at least making the 49 minutes anything but predictable. Amid the more than competent, driving, catchy riffage and solos (for example “Self ID Generator”) “Art For Free” has a lounge music interlude, “The H Factor” has a almost flamenco start, then some well done, proggy clean vocals and some really off the wall riffage, the almost Slipknot/Nu metal chunk of “Joker the Fast” and commercial “Very Important Point”. At times it walks the fine line between being far too much and a bit jumbled, but strong backbones and riffs bring everything back (“Infinite System Dump Circle”, “Beauty Clown”, “Digital Abuse”).

The 6+ minute title track closes thing out with a virtual mix of everything mentioned above highlighting Destrage’s sense of ambition within the confines of a pretty restrictive genre and potential to give traditional melodic death metal somewhat of a dusting off and injection of originality and energy.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 22nd, 2009


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