Ottone Pesante

Label: Aural Music
Three similar bands: Drabikowski/Tchornobog/Ex Eye

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Intro the Chasm
2. Distress
3. Tentacles
4. Coiling of The Tubas
5. Serpentine Serpentone
6. Ocean on a Eco
7. Grave
8. Strombacea
9. Endless Spiral Helix
10. End Will Come When Will Ring the Black Bells

Francesco Bucci – Trombone, Tuba
Paolo Raineri – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Beppe Mondini – Drums

Ottone Pesante (EP 2015)
Brassphemy Set in Stone (2016)
Apocalips (2018)

Sara - vocals

Recorded at Studio 73 (Ravenna, Italy), Studio Pesante (Faenza, Italy) and Zeta Factory (Carpi, Italy)
Mixed and mastered by Riccardo Pasini at Studio 73
Artwork by Ram Das Foschi

Released 2020-09-18
Reviewed 2020-09-12


aural music

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I think that the press material is right in claiming that Ottone Pesante probably is the first brass metal band in the world, they have a different way of doing thing with trumpet, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn as leading instruments, not the guitars, bass and keys as it usually is – brass and drums, how about that? They released their self-titled debut EP in 2015 and have released two albums before this one, this one with a pretty dull artwork. DoomooD, stylised with a capital D at the end of the word, probably to make it seem the same back and forward – try and play it that way and see if sounds the same as well.

It makes for a different tone when using brass instead of guitars and keys, but their style is still doom or sludge if you want to have something to compare with. They have one track with female vocals by Sara from labelmates Messa, and there is some growly and more sludgy vocals as well, the female vocals adds an element while the growls kind of blend into the whole things and almost goes unnoticed – and that is lucky considering how poor those vocals are, the female vocals are quite good. The playing time is pretty sensible, and the album is quite varied as well, and thanks to the brass it sounds different, but it still sounds pretty typical of the sludgy metal style, I didn’t even notice the brass that much first time I played through the album (though I didn’t listen that carefully).

It is an exciting release; the soundscapes are very interesting, and it is great that they try to find their own voice in a very saturated form of expression. Still, just going for instruments seldom used isn’t a sole means to achieve this and overall, I think these guys kind of fail to use this unique expression to create something good. The track called tentacles with female vocals is a good haunting song that shows how good this band can sound. The tracks with growls sound pretty dismal and most of the album seem to lack direction, it feels like it isn’t really going anywhere, or even wanting to go anywhere and that leaves us with a pretty average end result.

Ottone Pesante has this clever idea with the brass, perhaps they need to use that to reinvent the metal genre by pulling in directions that will surprise you, first time I heard this one I figured it was just another sludgy album as the brass aren’t as prevalent as you think, they make it sound like any other metal band for big parts of the album, that can’t be what they were hoping to achieve – if it was, then what is the point of the band, to show that mediocre can be done with different instruments too? The track called Tentacles is the highlight on the albums for me, and had they gone more in that direction it would have been really exciting. But in the end, this album is a pretty dreary one, with some flashes of brilliance.