Italian power trio Bottomless are about as ‘classic’ as it’s possible to be without wearing a toga 24-7 and spouting Sophocles to anyone within earshot; Their debut full lengther, self titled and immaculately produced, is a hulking, black-hued specimen, bristling with elephantine rhythms and chugging rifferama, and it’s hard to see any fully-paid up member of the Sentinel Daily legion failing to take the album to their heart on first hearing.
Not that it’s full of ear-worm doom lite, you understand; this is actually an album that actually rewards repeated listens and studied immersion. It’s just that, as soon as you hear the first drum fusillades from David Lucido, coupled with the bubbling Butlerisms on bass from Sara Bianchin and Giorgio Trombino‘s well-deployed guitar arsenal, you’ll realise that this band are worth a bit of time and effort.
The epic Ash (wherein Trombino, who combines axe duties with a nice line in seventies-inspired vocalisation, comes on like a reanimated Jim Morrison) and the superb, motoring hard rock of Losing Shape are the fulcrum on which the album balances, but from the opening heavy metal thunder of Monastery to the closing notes of bonus track Hell Vacation, the quality dips not once, with every track engaging and energising the listener with superior musicianship and intelligent songwriting.
Put simply, this album has presence. An indefinable yet tangible presence; it’s a weighty, substantial collection of music first and foremost, a lesson in doom done right secondly and ultimately a tribute to all the Gods that have come before in this style of music. But – and it’s a big but within the context of a metal scene that is becoming ever-more mired in nostalgia – that tribute is used as a launching pad for the band’s own ideas rather than as an excuse to hack out a few reversed chord sequences from Vol 4; this is worthwhile stuff indeed, and I’d suggest you avail yourself of an opportunity to wallow in it’s grandeur at your earliest convenience.
Bottomless releases on July 16th.