Just when you thought it was impossible to invent new sub-genres within metal, In Tormentata Quiete comes atcha with their very own metal subdivision: avantgarde emphatic metal. With seven members and three previous full length albums (in addition to the debut 2001 promo CD and a self-released MCD from 2012), the band clearly has gathered quite a lot of experience. But what about that avantgarde emphasis?
Well, In Tormentata Quiete’s music could probably be equally well described as progressive black metal, but there are sufficient influences from other corners of the musical world to avoid such a term. In terms of atmosphere, it is rather similar to Empyrium, even if this is thicker on the female vocals and additional acoustic instruments (even including a clarinet). There are also hints of Moonspell’s Wolfheart in the clean, Latin language vocals over slightly Southern European folky sounds, and once again also in the atmosphere. I’ve been dropping Cradle of Filth references in the most unsuitable places lately, so I might as well do so here too: certain passages has the vibe of early CoF stuff, but it’s usually rather brief.
References alone do not a review make, but it is certainly easier to describe In Tormentata Quiete by hinting at vibes and atmospheres rather than explaining outright. Finestatico is a complex puppy. What can be said is that almost all songs mix four diverse components: very melodic and orchestral music, heavier and more extreme black/death metal riffing, male and female clean vocals and rabidly screeching black metal vocals. While lesser bands could have shifted back and forth between these different forms of expression, here they are combined in different ways almost constantly. It is not rare for a heavy, distorted rhythm guitar to serve as a foundation for several layers of male and/or female cleans while the black metal wails tear through your ears. Peppered over all of this is also a heavily progressive element, expressing itself both in peculiar synthesizer sounds and inventive string work.
In Tormentata Quiete sound like they could be a much bigger band than they are – they have the skill and the ideas, and while extreme their music is fairly accessible. On the other hand, it is highly likely that their relative obscurity has left them free to do exactly what they want to do, and that this is the reason why the album is so full of surprises and gives you the odd sensation that you are hearing actual original music. However that may be, Finestatico is smashing: aggressive, beautiful and confusing, and really one of the better progressive albums we’ve heard so far this year.