Aggressive vocals, heavy intense riffs and groove-infused drums is the description that accompanies the blub accompanying 74 Days Staring At The Void, the second album from Die Ego. It’s an accurate description, but it fails to convey the atmospheric excellence of 74 Days… I really enjoyed their debut, Culto, and now they have raised the bar higher.
Die Ego – 74 Days Staring At The Void (Independent)
Release Date: 31 March 2023
Words: Steve Ritchie
One of the earliest ‘aggressive’ albums I covered for MetalTalk, had these tinny drums on, with that double-bass drum sound that made you think it was generated on some poor ’80s low-quality drum machine.
There is no such worry with 74 Days. Drummer Edoardo Mariotti, who was not playing on Culto, is in great form, and it is a testament to him and the production/mixing/mastering process of the whole album that this aggression really shines through.
I’ve seen Mariotti pay live, and just like my old mate Marlon (Greaves, 23/11/1996 – 24/03/2007 RIP), he has this visual style which can really grip and entertain an audience.
For a three-piece to produce this kind of music and do it justice live, each link needs to be solid. Diego Fardel (Lead Guitar) and Gabe Scapigliati (Vocals and Bass) again hit the spot.
Opening on Serpent Bearer, you are immediately into crunching riffs. There is a wonderful time change in pace to the latter part of each riff line at the beginning. It’s enough to pique the interest on the first listen, sucking you in on the second and by the third, you are joining in with the ‘hey, hey, hey’ in the chorus part. Second half has a great simple doomy riff, leading to a cool solo, and then you’re running to the end of the track. It’s a ‘want to see live’ opener.
Consumed By Mediocrity follows, opening on a super chunked riff. The opening vocal lines showcase Scapigliati’s awesome vocal range. This will be pit-inducing to those who like that sort of thing. The stomping slow-down part is great, but the last two and a half minutes host a staggering instrumental section, leading to some break time for Mariotti for the last minute. After the crushing beginning, it is atmospheric beauty.
We are back to it again with Sons Of Devotion. The main riff is finger stretchingly wonderous. A fierce uptempo ‘pre-chorus’, and then we’re into a great solo, backed by fine bass from Scapigliati. Mariotti gets a proper workout for the back end of this exceptional track.
I Think Therefore I Hate is a beast. Full of tempo changes, that guitar squeal in parts is fist-clench-inducing. 74 Days Staring At The Void follows, a brief instrumental that is sure to be the walk-on music for the live shows.
Final track The Executioner is a blast in the ears. Fast, aggressive and in your face, the breakdown to the slower, repeating second half grows, and you can imagine the condemned being brought before the man with the axe as he prepares to chop his fucking head off.
Six songs and 23 minutes long, but there is lots in there. It’s well thought out, wonderfully recorded and full of little bits of ear candy. Live it will crush. I turned up the headphones, and I can smell the sweat already.
Die Ego have an album listening party at Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, Islington, from 8 pm tonight.