Caligari Records is quickly shaping up to be a label that can do no wrong. First, they ripped us to shreds with the black thrashing excellence of DeathCult. Then, they pummeled the gory remains into dust with the chaotic, noise-damaged black metal of Unru. Now they’ve unleashed the unholy Italian trio known as Fuoco Fatuo to finish us off with a limited run cassette that collects two impressively gnarly EPs (Fuoco Fatuo and 33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale Nell’Abisso Nero) worth of obsidian doom metal.
Fuoco Fatuo aren’t your typical blackened doom band. On the 33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale Nell’Abisso Nero tracks which lead off the tape, they infuse their slow-motion slugfests with a horrific atmosphere that owes much to the sinister soundtracks created by their elder countrymen Goblin. This fusion of styles is no mere gimmick; these tracks legitimately sound like they could back the next Dario Argento flick, but also stay true to doom metal’s affinity for skull-crushing heaviness and black metal’s seething hatred. Imagine Electric Wizard jamming with Varg Vikernes and the aforementioned Goblin and you’ve at least got some idea as to where this dark musical trip is headed.
The remaining material is culled from the band’s slightly earlier self-titled EP, and while it might not be as innovative as the tracks from 33 Colpi…, it’s every bit as satisfying. This half of the tape hews closer to traditional sludge, coming off a bit like a blackened Church of Misery with its penchant for deep grooves and hints of psychedelia. It’s atmospherically suffocating and loaded with rock-solid riffs, perfect for a bout of glacially-paced neck-wrecking.
If this compilation is anything to go by, we’re going to have a beast on our hands whenever Fuoco Fatuo get around to cranking out a full length; these guys are definitely onto something and it will be interesting to see what direction they take it in next. It also continues Caligari’s knack for unearthing excellent bands that fall within the black metal paradigm yet sound nothing alike. Another home run for the label and a killer new band to keep an eye on; you can’t ask for much more than that.