When I think brass instruments and metal, two things come to mind. Either it’s something really progressive and technical, as if jazz was not complicated enough for the musicians and they decided they want to spice it up with some rock & metal flair, or it’s cheesy Metallica S&M stuff. Ottone Pesante are neither. They are a trio that make – as they call it – brass metal. Not familiar with their previous records, I can only judge them by the material they provide on their latest full length DoomooD – so let’s do that.
First things off, the line-up is interesting. Ottone Pesante are a trio, not an orchester-style outfit. No metal without drums, so this is taken care of by Beppe Mondini. Then there are no guitars or bass though, the other two members are Francesco Bucci on trombone and tuba and Paolo Raineri on trumpet and flügelhorn. The two musicians devide the frequency ranges amongst them similarely to how bass and guitar would do it though. Stylistically, DoomooD leans heavily towards doom metal (might have guessed from the name, hm?), with occasional excursions into black metal territory. The mix is really interesting. Whether it is due to the instrumentation or due to the composition, certain moments reminded me of Summoning, while in other instances I suddenly had to think of Ennio Morricone’s brilliant Western soundtracks.
Most of the songs here are instrumentals, with three exceptions. There’s track number 3, Tentacles, which features Sara Montenegro from Italian’s doom/drone band Messa and was released as a single. This track is a smart choice for a single release, as it is the one probably easiest to sell to a wider audience. Sara has a great voice, and the song is a groovy doom track with some nice fills and flourishes on the drums and atmospheric trumpet play. Then there is track number 5, Serpentine Serpentone which starts with a weirdly up-beat and downright happy melody and then turns into a quite well done, frantic black metal track. This one (and presumably the third track with vocals, Strombacea, track 8) features Silvio Sassi from Italian’s black/doom metal band Abaton and packs much more of a punch.
This is not a long record. With a runtime of only 34 minutes, plenty of stylistical changes – from slow doom passages to frantic black metal back to atmospheric ambience – and 2 distinctly different voices on 3 tracks, it flies by in a breeze, but leaves me plenty satisfied. I was very positively surprised by Ottone Pesante. Even if this were not a brass+drums trio, but the songs were performed by a typical metal outfit, DoomooD would be a darn good, atmospheric mix of doom and black metal and worth checking out. But the additional experimentation in the sound spices up things even further – without being gimmicky – and enhances this sonic experience. Whether you like doom, black or anything else that’s moody and dark, or whether you come here for the novelty of the instrumentation – definitely give this one a listen. I doubt you will regret it.