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Black Metal

A Posthumous Glimpse
Into Suffering and Pain: Il Male
“RITORNO” Review + Stream

Up until only a few months ago, the peaceful and quiet hills of Emilia Romagna – Bologna to be exact – in central Italy were the unexpecting home to one of the most tortured, tormented and venomous blackened crust bands we have come across in a long time. Il Male (literally “The Evil”) were an italian four piece anarchist punk/metal band formed by Enrico (guitar) Stella (bass), Silvia (drums), and Sabbo (vocals) who are now recently disbanded for reasons unknown and who in the span of only two albums (“Ritorno”, released by Hanged Man Records last year, and their self titled debut from 2009) and a few years of activity have left an invaluable mark on the sub genre of blackened crust, donating to the genre two of the most blistering, concise, memorable and downright destructive releases this style of music has ever seen.

Unforgivably underrated, overlooked or simply shamefully unheard of, this band deserves and demands, especially now that it is no more, everyone’s most dedicated and sincere attention. “Ritorno” is a release that literally overboils with rage and despration. Every single instant of this excruciating album is a horrifying scream of rage. A relentless, desperate and overbrearing call for war and destruction. The lyrics, rigorously entirely in italian, are spiteful anthems of cultural emancipation, self-empowerment, peronsal independence and about the enternal struggle to free one self from the establishment and modern-society morals that cripple our everyday lives. Exceptionally well crafted and assembled, the message this album carries is heart-splitting it is so steeped in philosophical and social anedocts about today’s society  (especially Italy’s which in recent year has notoriously taken a plunge in political corruption, economic recession and social dismemberment) and eye-openong in its raging quest to dissect all of today’s society’s failures and faults. While the production is at par with what you would expect from a release like this (necro as fuck and completely emaciated) the songwriting is stellar and the intensity of the performance is simply gut-wrenching. While keeping everyting extremely to the point and completely devoid of any kind of pretention or overbearing complexity, Il Male have managed to seemlingly and brilliantly bring together Slayer, Amebix, Darkthrone and Black Flag with out explicitly citing any of them, but hinting at their invaluable heritage in an extremely evocative and almost emotional way. If you thought that Iskra was the only blackened crust band capable of busting out an authentic warzone of crust punk, primordial thrash and black metal like no other while brilliantly gluing it all togher with explosive social commentary, think twice and get familiar with this band, you will be absolutely blown away and ripped apart by how insanely intense, vicious, and menacing this venom-injected album is. R.I.P. Il Male, you will be missed.

il male


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