Distributor/label: The Path Less Traveled Records
Released: 9th April 2013
Buy Album: http://thepathlesstraveledrecords.bandcamp.com/album/heartworm
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/dementiasenex
Mattia Bagnolini – Drums,
Cristian Franchini – Vocals,
Filippo Merloni – Guitar,
Marco Righetti – Guitar,
Federico Cucchi – Bass.
1. Unscented Walls
2009 was the last time Italy’s DEMENTIA SENEX released material: a demo in the form of the independently-released “Sun Goes Down Behind”.
Showcasing a melding of death metal, post-metal and doom, it proved to be a solid statement of intent for bigger things. Flash forward five years and the band returns with their latest EP “Heartworm” which is just over fifteen-minutes consisting of an interesting and progressive mixture of metal that once again reasserts the band’s intent and hints at a future release.
Opener “Unscented Walls” erupts abruptly with dissonant, spiky guitars and Franchini’s dry roar and meanders on through a heady mixture of flash blasts and Cucchi-led bass-heavy doom passages. Anchoring this all is Bagnolini’s drumming which, considering the intricate and musical cymbal-work, makes for an enriched listen. There’s a weighty feel to the song, where the ambient leads hint at some form of abstract emotion behind the track – it almost insists and intrigues.
At the heart of “Heartworm” is the short slice of death metal “Kairos”. Fast, furious and with a generous helping of groove behind Merloni and Righetti’s riffs; it provides a heavier and more bruising alternative to other EPs where they slow down midway – and it is most welcome. It does feel a little unfocused, but a slight chaotic feel has never hurt anyone in this genre!
The EP’s closer and title track flares into life far slower, but packs just as much punch when it eventually bursts into life. A seamless blend of GOJIRA-like riffs are stitched together with softer ISIS-style cleans; the track seems a little lighter in feel than it’s predecessors, even featuring some clean/spoken passages. They don’t seem to work as well, but fortunately they feature very little. Closing melodically and slower, “Heartworm” works well to round the EP off as a whole and make for a climatic finish.
It is a balanced release, and DEMENTIA SENEX have a great starting point to release their first full-length. Mixing three subgenres together can occasionally feel disjointed, but these Italians have succeeded in making them work together to create a quality EP. If this is the EP that serves as their springboard to the first album, then bring it on. Look forward to 2018 (though let’s hope the full-length emerges before then!)