Some kind of obscure mathematical puzzle…
Review by Paul Castles
Release date: 1 April 2014
Quiescent has been out a little while now but it would be a regrettable oversight if we allowed this debut release from Italian newcomers Shores of Null to pass by unnoticed. There’s much to endear it to the listener but essentially this is energetic melodic metal with vocalist Davide Straccione comfortably alternating between some clean precise singing with a few croaky cries for the great unwashed.
With an opening track resembling some kind of obscure mathematical puzzle it’s not quite clear initially what to expect. ‘01-0x0000’ is in fact a demonstrative intro piece that would be the perfect accompaniment to a funeral march, dark, moody and deliberate. Quiescent is not though another sorrowful slab of gothic doom as the intro initially suggests. The first song proper, ‘Kings of Null’, has an almost jaunty vibe surging through and once Straccione joins the fray the song evolves into a sweeping penetrative piece that just invites you in with its soaring rhythms and vivacity.
‘Souls of the Abyss’ – the longest of the 10 tracks – is a belter, surging forward with the power of a tidal wave, with Straccione in full flow as Shores of Null stamp their authority with a high octane charge that showcases the Italians’ style as sharply as a Hugo Boss whistle. Shores of Null are not pigeons to be buried in a convenient hole, instead embracing a wide range of metal musical influences. Straccione carries a hint of Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost, and on the heavier moments such as ‘Night Will Come’ it’s pretty much full on growls although not the indecipherable barrage of death metal.
The title track is an achingly somber song, with piercing clear vocals over blue sky landscapes before the mid-track intervention of a few growls to prevent you from taking a step backwards into the abyss and falling off the cliff completely. ‘Quiescent’ does come to an unnecessarily emergency stop that any learner driver would be proud of on their test.
Katatonia fans will recognize something of the dark Swedes in the moody ‘Ruins Alive’ and ‘Pain Masquerade’ and Shores of Null certainly look set to emerge as among the front-runners of the blossoming Italian metal scene. Shores of Null are among a great cast-list appearing at Candlefest at the Camden Underworld on October 4.
8 out of 10
- Kings of Null
- Souls of the Abyss
- Night Will Come
- Ruins Alive
- The Heap of Meaning
- Time is a Waste Land
- Pain Masquerade