Now they've released their second album under this new moniker so how does it hold up? Read on and find out.
Whereas the first album blew me away instantly this album's slow but gradual growth has gotten it lodged in my system beyond repair and that's a good thing 'cause if this is what broken feels like I don't want to be fixed.
Despite this special mention of the vocals I am in no way implying that the rest of the band have been left behind. The songwriting is better than ever, the riffs, the grooves, the beats and the fills are all in top form and it all comes together to form an album that is no doubt going to have a firm seat near the top of plenty of "best album" lists when the year comes to an end, at least it's definitely going on mine.
Making an album with these extremes of soft and hard isn't the easiest of jobs but each instrument really holds its own and gives the listener plenty of opportunities to listen in awe as the aural ocean Nero Di Marte have created washes over them wave after wave, song after song.
This, like the vocals, is quite an interesting departure from the self titled album. While I think this album is definitely stronger overall I feel like I have a harder time figuring out a standout track or moment. Despite how negative that may sound it actually makes the album feel a lot more cohesive and enjoyable in its entirety to the point where I'd rather listen to it all the way through every time rather than skipping to "that track".
As with previous outings Nero Di Marte pride themselves on going all-analogue and while I'm usually one to praise realistic drum machines and Axe-FX I've got to admit that the sound on this album is just perfect and a big part of that is the natural sound that comes with not only the analogue recording methods but also working with Italian studio wizard Riccardo "Paso" Pasini.
A comparison that never really came into my mind with the first album was Eryn Non Dae but I felt them popping up quite frequently, mostly in the ambient sections though. So if you dig the whole "heavy riffing plus ambiance" but don't like the fact that this usually describes djent bands who own a delay pedal check out the album Meliora as well. It's good despite a lot of (in my opinion) wasted space, i.e. long intros that don't really seem to serve a purpose to me except as ambient padding. This, however, is not true for Derivae (or the self-titled for that matter) where honestly everything seems to be there for a purpose.
because honestly it's extremely good. I had really high expectations after the first album and although it took a couple of listens Derivae has blown me away and topped it in almost every way. So give it a couple of listens on Bandcamp, if you don't love it by the second or third listen it may not be for you but if you keep coming back for it searching for something that maybe isn't there maybe, eventually, it will be.
Let yourself go and become swayed by Derivae, it's one hell of a ride.