|Label:||Il Male Production|
The linear progress of history is a myth that has been proven wrong so many times, just like that of infinite economic growth should be, impossible on a planet with limited resources. Musically speaking, we have witnessed countless times young bands releasing absolute works of art with their primordial energy, while in later moments the same bands couldn't meet the same quality standards again. Speaking of black metal, the genre that I follow more closely, you can easily think of what Emperor did with "In The Nightside Eclipse" at a really young age, or of the general work the whole Inner Circle was able to put together in the early Nineties.
Porz and his creature Malnàtt seem to be one of those usual exceptions to the rule: ignored by many at the beginning, and half-jokingly taken as a black metal parody over time, the project from Bologna has actually seen a significant artistic growth — especially with their two latest albums "La Voce Dei Morti" and "Principia Discordia" — that even I wouldn't have imagined. This journey has presently led the project to the latest record named "Swinesong", a compendium of how to play extreme metal in a clever, personal, and effective manner in 2015.
"Swinesong" is an eco-friendly album, that shoots everything it has to say (which is a lot) without dragging on for too long, no frills: as if it were grindcore. It is a continuous source of surprise, switching around a wide range of different genres, going beyond the usual black-folk style that has always been the band's trademark, up to the unexpected electro-ebm intermission "Teschio": just like an avantgarde group. In addition, this record goes on with a captivating and contagious energy; just like the best heavy metal tradition.
It is also quite a knowledgeable album, where Porz/Helios Pu alternates different conceptual registers and plays with language, a (non neutral) matter that shapes reality. He can take a piss on the many retards that surround us if he wants to, he can utilize only words starting with an "A" (in "Jormungand, L'Euroboro"), while he forces us to question ourselves about the topics that are treated (knowledge, memory, awareness of death), also using some figures from Norse mythology, although adapted to modernity. All this is done with a progressive band's subtlety.
Porz's rich cultural background allows him to adjoin Norse folklore and futurist poetry in "Sleipnin, Il Progresso", in what feels like some sort of new syncretism for a present-day avantgarde. In fact, we are here confronted with a political work, a piece of social critique that strikes really hard because it focuses on many of this world's shortcomings, and it reminds us the dirt that soaks our existence ("La Lancetta Di Longino"). Blood and shit for each and every one of us: Christ on the cross, Hitler in his bunker, Che Guevara in the forest, they all met their demise; and this is not even a hardcore album!
However, you can't get depressed while listening to "Swinesong", because the histrionic Porz doesn't really want to a serious moralizing figure, and he has never stopped being a medieval jester, capable of telling the (sad) truth through a veil of black humour and laughter. It all starts from the homage to the Swine in the title and the self-celebrating artwork, up to the Tibetan chants sung by a wild boar in the tribal "Il Sigillo Del Gastronomicon", up to Gino Paoli's room that doesn't have walls anymore, and that has now become a labyrinth in "Min8auro"; an amusing quotation in Elio E Le Storie Tese's vein.
Reading through this work's credits, I can't but notice and praise the immense and splendid contribution in terms of composition and guitars by Mort — Simone Lanzoni (also known for his work with In Tormentata Quiete and Eva Can't) — that features both a wide style diversity and a praiseworthy melodic taste. This was arguably a fundamental addition in order to allow Porz's multi-faceted art into music, putting together something which is impossible to label, but that has excellent value.
"Swinesong" has been announced as the musical testament for Malnàtt after fifteen years of existence, and therefore the final song "Vota Cthulhu" attains an even bigger value, almost prophetic: Kali Yuga's senators have already closed the match and fucked us again, while we — eternally unaware — keep on rushing around, trying to put up surveilled fences on a xenophobic craze, in a derelict Italy. Fortunately, though, the Divine Pig and his clique try and keep our morale high when he Armageddon sets in: don't hurry, we are doomed, but we still have time to enjoy one last course.