Saturday, March 21, 2020

Verano's Dogs - "Summoning the Hounds" (Metal Age Productions, 2018)

Band: Verano's Dogs
Title: Summoning the Hounds
Genre: Death/Grindcore
Time: 23.38 min
Release date: 15th June 2018
Vote: 85/100

And after many live reports about the Verano's Dogs and also after their inclusion in "Come on, burn my ears! #4", here you are the review about their debut album "Summoning the Hounds", that was released in 2018 only on CD version by a Slovakian label called Metal Age Productions. The Verano's Dogs have a very interesting moniker because, on a hand, the Campo Verano is a famous Roman cemetery and, on the other hand, the term "dogs" comes from their fascination towards all the different religions and ancient beliefs in which the dogs are the bringers of the dead in the afterworld. In addition, the band is composed of veterans of the extreme metal and also hardcore punk scene with past and/or current experiences in bands like Taste the Floor (Pompeo) and NIS (Ulderico) while Pablo (the original drummer of the band), now replaced by Valerio of Seventh Genocide's fame, plays in the thrashcore act Injury Broadcast. But now fuck all these infos and let's start to talk about "Summoning the Hounds", also because we need finally some fuckin' action!

So, "Summoning the Hounds" is a 10-track album in which there is a putrid and repulsive death/grind with some thrashing passages that is clearly inspired by masters like Autopsy, Impetigo, Repulsion and Terrorizer and with some similarities with modern day bands like Nuclear Holocaust. But, differently from these last ones, the Verano's Dogs have a more dynamic approach that allows to them to range from the usual blast-beat parts to slower moments, and presenting from time to time also some groovy passages (like in "Deadly Whispers"). I found always fantastic the vocal department of the band because the screams of Ulderico, whose bass is well listenable in the mix, are really fuckin' caustic and sick, and they are occasionally helped by the deep growls of the guest Alex Gore (The Juliet Massacre), who has an important role in "Bark at the Grave" while Demian (Scheletro), spews forth his raucous growls in the closing song "The Rising of the Necrotic Hound". Very good is also the guitarwork of Pompeo, who sometimes spit out frantic solos that can be so simple that the one present in "The Hound (A Lovecraft's Tale)"... is composed of a single riff!
I shot this photo during the gig of the band at
the Torre Maura Occupata squat on
19th January 2019

There are some songs I would like to mention in a more specific way. For example, the titletrack, opening the same album, starts with a violent sample taken from the first minutes of the cult spaghetti western movie "The Brute and the Beast" (1966), a perfect intro for an album of this kind. Then, I must absolutely mention the "very long" "Rabid Moments", a piece of pure grindcore madness lasting only 11 seconds that spreads always some laughter during the live gigs of the band because of its lenght. The following track has a particular place in my heart since "Deadly Whispers", the longest song of the album due to its 3 minutes and a half, is my favorite one thanks, among the others, to some zombielike mid-tempos. Finally, "The Rising of the Necrotic Hound" offers, even though briefly (maybe too briefly!), some black metal influences that I like a lot.

Said all this, it's time now to face the lyrical themes, that deserves attention because, in some ways, "Summoning the Hounds" can be considered as a sort of concept-album around the role of the dog in the religion, the mythology and also in the literature. So, in the lyrics you can find references to the Greek mythology with the figure of Cerberus or to the Egyptian mythology with the figure of Anubi. And, as I anticipated before, there are also literature references since "Holiday in Baskerville" is influenced by "The Hounds of the Baskervilles" (1902) by Arthur Conan Doyle while "The Hound (A Lovecraft's Tale)"... well, its title is really self-explanatory, don't you think?

So, after the Lovecraft maniacs Voidwatcher, Rome Caput Mundi strikes again on these pages with the Verano's Dogs! They released a very impactful album lasting only 23 minutes where there is a destructive and stinking death/grind in the old-school way whose main point of force is represented by the crazy screams of Ulderico. Maybe "Summoning the Hounds" is not so various but the band is working a lot on this aspect since their new songs present not only crust punk but also more black metal influences. Ultimately, after a break, they have been very active on the live front because of gigs shared with bands like Steinbock, Neid, even Schizo (GULP!), and we mustn't forget their participation in the HC punk/Oi! festival Questa E' Roma. And it seem that the Verano's Dogs will enter again the Hombrelobo Studios (where their debut album was recorded) to record their second album. FUCK YEEEAAAAH!

1 - Summoning the Hounds
2 - Keeper of Hades
3 - Bark at the Grave
4 - Mind Necropolis
5 - Cannibalism and Agriculture
6 - Holiday in Baskerville
7 - Rabid Moments
8 - The Hound (A Lovecraft's Tale)
9 - Deadly Whispers
10 - The Rising of the Necrotic Hound


Ulderico - vocals/bass
Pompeo - guitars
Pablo - drums


Alex Gore - vocals ("Bark at the Grave")
Demian - vocals ("The Rising of the Necrotic Hound")

Metal Age Productions:

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