Disarmonia Mundi: Nebularium (2001) Review:

Back when they were trying to make prog…

+ Restless listeners?
+ Restless listeners?

For those that don’t know, Disarmonia Mundi is an Italian melodic death metal band known for two things: firstly, one guy – Ettore Rigotti – plays all the instruments (unfortunately not at once), while Claudio Ravinale provides most of the vocals and secondly, they have gained a name for having catchy choruses. Both of these facts however are not true for their first album Nebularium.

Indeed, Nebularium was made by no less than five band members, even with a different vocalist – Benny Bianco Chinto. With Nebularium, Disarmonia Mundi wrote a more progressive sound, which is at times reminiscent of earlier In Flames and Opeth to some extent. However, this is an album full of great guitar solos, nifty riffage and blast-beats.

Nebularium starts strongly and in its second track in particular (Blue Lake) you will find the album’s most technically diverse song, moving from death-metal sounds into almost jazz-like territory at one point, and while this may sound odd, it totally works, making for a seven-minute track that never feels like it drags. There are four seven-minute tracks on the record, Blue Lake, Guilty Claims, Demiurgo and Nebularium, and although none of them quite match the early potential of Blue Lake they are written well-enough to hold you attention.

Technically and musically, Nebularium is a sound album, it was performed well and the instruments were mixed well. Unfortunately, the vocals are not great, adopting the early-2000s approach of a slightly monotonous screaming voice, one which is perhaps a tad quiet in the mix. It’s a shame that the vocals don’t quite work as well as the rest of the mixing and production values.

There is also something about Nebularium that marks it down from its peers – it never gets awfully exciting, while technically sound, it never really breaks into anything particularly impressive, and it never seems to slow down. Essentially, Nebularium is a good album, but nothing particularly great, with a better vocalist and mixing, combined with a few more exciting moments however, it could have been great.

Summary:

A good album let down by a below-par vocalist and mix for the vocals as well as a lack of anything that will make your hairs stand on end. However, I’d recommend picking up this along with any other of Disarmonia Mundi’s records as they are all good – more people should know about them.

A good album that started something better.

74/100

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