07/25/2024

Menervah – “Hard Times” [Self Released]

Menervah are a group from southern Italy (Calabria) that debut with this good EP of five songs, for a total of about twenty pieces of music, where anything (or almost) can happen. Starting from a bizarre base that mixes alternative metal and gothic/dark rock, this band seems to have great technical-compositional qualities, but which perhaps get lost a little in a group of songs that go nowhere.

Probably inexperience has played a bad joke on this band and therefore the many good ideas present in this ep are dispersed a bit in indecision and in a somewhat confusing approach. Let it be clear that this ep is not bad or insufficient, the ideas are well present and the band knows how to play, but in the long run it is not clear whether this is intended to be a gothic metal album a la Paradise Lost or an album released from the Seattle scene of the Nineties. At times the band manages to combine these styles, and songs like “Animals” and “Destiny” demonstrate grit and inventiveness, but already with a song like “Incipit!” the band fully embraces electronics and seems to want to move the bar towards something that has little to do with metal.

In short, ultimately this is the classic debut work that presents lights and shadows, which however is striking for several positive elements that will have to be developed and brought towards something more defined and convincing. Alternative rock or gothic metal? Well, this band has to choose between these two options when they release their first full-length.

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