The first thing to get out of the way here is that O are not going to win any prizes for their band name. Try searching for that without knowing the album title. Nit picking aside, these Italians’ full-length album Il Vuoto Perfetto (translated as The Perfect Vacuum) is a triumph in the game of blackened grind. The band has taken a grind and crust template to begin with and crafted a record inflected with searing BM riffing and moments of trudging sludgy doom to boot.
At a scant half an hour, O conjure an holy barrage into the running time but one that effortlessly swans in and out of different paces. Opener Apnea kicks in with juddering guitars but soon descends into an eerily mellow mid passage before erupting again with the grooves of the second track (simply titled .) Il Vuoto Perfetto’s greatest strength is its relentlessness and ability to throw new curveballs within nearly every song. There are riffs that are shamelessly black metal and others that are akin to fellow countrymen The Secret’s assiduous BM/hardcore balance. All the while, songs like Non e Vivo sculpt towers of melodic, often groove laden riffs and Di Vita e Altri Veleni, with its slight post rock influence, interrupts the punishing onslaught. There are plenty of derivative elements here on this album but O have still unleashed a merciless, but equally interesting and evocative, hail of blackened hardcore that is their own.
Coarse dissonance is the flavour of Il Vuoto Perfetto and not much else. O’s modus operandi is ferociously and fiercely clear in the opening notes of each song. The vocals really make the delivery all the more caustic with scorching shrieks and screams piercing through the riffs and heavy atmosphere, simply sounding possessed and manic.
Manic is often where O drag us into, like the hazy wash of guitars that emerge on Contemplando, which plummets into the noisy and feedback laden Creatori Nascoti, another song that is quick to change the tide again with a swerve to some haunted ambience then counteracted by a heavy crescendo. It’s just one song but it so effortlessly switches between totally divergent moods and tones. Il Vuoto Perfetto is definitely the band’s finest moment yet, in their short history. If anything, it alludes to greater things to come.