Spawned by the little-known Italian post-hardcore scene, Fall Of Minerva demonstrate on their new album, Portraits, that there is definitely something in their country’s water as, even by the end of the first track, “Beyond The Pines”, the quality on show is quite outstanding. Switching between swathes of beautifully-crafted melodies and jarring bursts of post-hardcore thrashings, it may be a format that many of you will be familiar with already but it’s one that the Italians deliver in way that will undoubtedly leave you impressed.
From vocalist Simone Dal Pozzolo who unleashes all manner of abrasive vocals throughout this record, to the flawless drum patterns of Pietro Bigatello, Fall Of Minerva’s sound may be one that, in principal, is built around shuddering post-hardcore but it is really the layers of atmospherics that add a dramatic, haunting air to proceedings. That being said though, it’s hard not to sit up and take note when the band blend it all together immaculately on tracks like “Träume” where the whole album teeters on the edge of utter musical carnage before the band just about rein it in keeping a modicum of control over the whole package.
Likened to post-hardcore big-hitters Devil Sold His Soul and Isis, Fall Of Minerva certainly have the ability to keep your attention throughout this record, diluting the chaos with tracks like “Green Ghost” where the use of abrasive vocals just sits perfectly in with the dark, emotional, melodic direction the band shift their sound in.
In a genre that is already so overcrowded, you’re often left asking if a band can do anything special to stand out. Throughout the course of this record, that question never rears its head once so, if you were finding your interest in this genre waning a little in recent times, trust me, this record will certainly restore that faith.