A melodic black metal album focusing on the concept of organized crime (the mafia, specifically) in late 1940’s / 1950’s America? Well color me interested! The music through which Misanthropia channel this concept is equally intriguing. This is not surprising considering that this is not exactly a new band (they’ve been around for since the dawn of the millennium) and that ‘Omerta’ is the band’s third full length effort. A good way to imagine Misanthropia’s music is like old Dimmu Borgir, had they not been overtly obsessed with making their music symphonic and rather focused on guitar based melodies with the assistance of keyboards that are not too overwhelming. Then again, why imagine all that when you can just stream the entire album below?
Misanthropia’s fascination with melody, does not impede in the black metal side of things. Rather, the band manages to make an inseparable amalgam of the two, with melodic, and almost progressive guitar / keyboard leads mixed amidst dark, blackened riffs. The symphonic elements here (by that I mean the keyboards) do a good job in giving the black metal riffs an epic, grandiose feel, without stealing the limelight. Misanthropia maintain that old time-y mobster jazz feel in the melodies they incorporate and the fact this doesn’t feel forced is a mark on the band’s ability to write good music.
The album has a rich, layered sound that lets one truly appreciate the different elements at play. This can be attributed to the involvement of Mike Wead (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate) in the mixing process. The album as a whole has a very immersive flow, right from the instrumental opener Morte Dei Capi to the exquisite closer A Membership of Violence and Blood, carrying a narrative quality in each track. Who would have imagined that black metal and the mafia go so well together? Then again, this just goes to show how malleable this style of music can be and how bands like Misanthropia can use it skillfully to tell tales outside of the normal topics of Satan and darkness.
‘Omerta’ will be released through Via Nocturna on 30th November 2016. You can get yourself a copy here: https://vianocturna.bandcamp.com/album/omerta