Italy is known as one of the world’s leading melancholy capitals. It seems that even though the sunny existence of Pasta, Tuscany and the San Remo festival, the gloom is flowing and floating endlessly in the boot land. Like every decent scene, name-dropping will be long, exhausting and surely won’t help to understand how this lively land has become one of the major forces when it comes to the dark streams of metal (and beyond, if to mention the vast Italian involvement in the Goth and Neo-Folk territories). Perhaps through today’s subject, I’ll try to shed some light upon this so-called phenomenon of Italian gloom. Neronoia, very much like its older sister Canaan (as it’s officially a side-project of all the band members, only with a different vocalist, courtesy of electro-outfit Colloquio), reflect a mission of closing the gap between Goth rock, Dark Wave and metal, and conceive some resort for all kinds of dark atmosphere. One can also try and stick the “dark metal” badge to the band, but we have learn that there’s much to it, behind this strict tag.
At first listening, maybe the term “metal” does not fit. It’s much more light metal-oriented dark wave layer-cake with Goth sprinkles above. The immediate power of Neronoia, exactly like Canaan, lies in the grand lands of what sounds clean guitars can produce. They swing slowly dark melodies, dreamy and distant as if Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins was the composer. The band’s using of light industrial samples in the background and as some percussion unit can be regarded as a difference from Canaan. Nevertheless, it is clear that the mother band will appear over and over again along the review, for the essential differences are quite slim.
Another difference is Neronoia expresses itself in Italian only. It gives the known sound tag more mysterious aroma, which stands as an absolute opposite from the cold winds, breathing of the music. The supposed warmth of the southern European lands is somehow lingered in the collective cliché memory as an obvious object. Well, one night say that Neronoia display the other mood of Italy. Maybe it got to do with the band creating in the northern hemisphere of land, sharing something from the core of all the northern areas of the world. And maybe no matter what reason stands behind it, for it is spellbinding – imagine “La Primavera” in this bleak vision, how the colors trembling and shaking into some cold grey melody.
However the character Neronoia is claiming to have, all in all, the album is a direct continues of the excellent Canaan effort, “Brand New Babylon”. Despite Neronoia is more atmospheric, and emphasize the ethereal layers more than the sacred presence of the elusive guitars, which are more far more present in Canaan’s song-building and arrangements. Moreover, the vocals of Gianni Pedretti reminds of its Canaanian colleague, Mauro Berchi – the rough whispers, the recitation, the hypnotic half-singing. There is even resemblance in engineering the atmosphere. One might sense that despite the electro background of Pedretti which could be an interesting spice that could separate the bands common identity, the curtains are still the sole turf of the Canaan gang.
The bottom line of the Neronoia existence is being the Doppelgänger of Canaan. It might be a harsh conclusion, but it doesn’t lessen the sheer dark and gloomy enjoyment of listening to both entities. After all, a double portion of this enchanting Goth-dark-wave-dark-metal is always welcome. And the Italian gloom? It will remain the ceremony of opposites.
01 – I
02 – II
03 – III
04 – IV
05 – V
06 – VI
07 – VII
08 – VIII
09 – IX
10 – X