De La Muerte is a brand new Italian modern hard rock band with touches of heavy metal formed by Solisia guitarist Gianluca Quinto, Christian D’Alessandro (guitars), Claudio Michelacci (bass), Luca Ciccotti (Drums), and Gianluca Mastrangelo (vocal). According to the album press release, the music on the self-titled debut album was “charmed by the Mexican Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte cult, which inspired each of the 10 “damned stories” contained in their debut album. So my first thought was, an Italian band singing songs based on Mexican cult folklore is probably the most original concept I’ve heard of!
De la Muerte was recorded by Simone Mularoni (DGM) and Simone Bertozzi (Mnemic) at Domination Studio in San Marino, Italy and was also produced, mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni.
The short intro track Tequila Funeral sets the tone with whistling wind, tolling bells, and a harmony guitar melody over powerful drums and leads into the first proper track Fallen Angel, with a driving drum beat, heavy guitar work, and Mastrangelo’s melodic, theatrical vocals. Mastrangelo’s vocal style can take a little getting used to, switching from a dramatic style to a more down and dirty rock and roll vibe. Case in point, the processed vocal effects of the verses on the lead single Silver Bullet are more of a modern rock style that you would expect from the likes of Godsmack or Alter Bridge, then once you think you have the song figured out the do a 360 degree turn during the Therion-esque chorus.
The heavy riffing on Desaparecido is more in a metal vein with some intricate drum work by Ciccotti and there are some tasty guitar solos by Quinto and D’Alessandro. The rhythm section of Ciccoti and Michelacci keep the power groove flowing nicely. The band show their penchant to rock on the appropriately titled Die n Roll, a rollicking fun tune reminiscent of Motorhead with lots of punch and raw energy, although again Mastrangelo’s theatrical vocal style doesn’t seem to fit the style of the song but he still puts his heart into the song.
I’m Not A Legend slows things down with a more bluesy groove. Mastrangelo’s vocals are a highlight here with a rough edge and powerful delivery. Secret Witness is a more traditional old school metal song with some Southern rock influences. The band throws the listener a curveball with a cover of a Mexican classic Malaguegna Salerosa that is given a heavy metal makeover. Strangely, this song works well and fits the overall theme of the album. I’m Alive gets things back on track with a groove heavy shot of heavy rock and strong vocal work.
The albums final track, Sorrow has a slow deliberate bluesy rock beginning and builds in intensity as the song reaches the soaring chorus. The debut from De La Muerte is not a perfect album, but what I like about it outweighs any objections I may have. The band takes a lot of chances; some don’t quite work, while some work extremely well. I would recommend this album to fans of bands like Godsmack and Adrenaline Mob as well as classic bands like Motorhead and Pantera.