While I can't say for certain but Italy's Mortuary Drape (love the name) probably have the distinction of being one of the country's oldest band in the black metal underground. Around in some form or another since the mid 80's their output has been rather sporadic over the years but they appear to be still active even though their last full length album came out in 2004. This brings us to this slab of burnt offerings entitled Secret Sudaria originally issued back in 1997 and re-released on Mexico's Reborn Records last year. The production job sounds like it was cut via the warm glow of analogue tape, but what's really surprising is how much the rhythm section dominates the mix. While the bass and drums do come through crystal clear, there's a significant lack of punch overall, which unfortunately carries over to the guitars as well. Thankfully there's no high frequency, lightning fast tremolo picked guitar work to be found anywhere on this disc as the twin guitarists keep things interesting with an abundance of evil sounding riffs and well executed solos. Again though I can't help but think how much better this would have sounded had they beefed up the guitars to give it some more punch. The vocals are your typical extreme gurgles and menacing growls and they augment their sound from time to time with some fairly subtle keyboard additions.
Overall Secret Sudaria is a pretty decent album that unfortunately suffers from a limp sounding mix. These sinister Italian's deserve to have their black metal filth come exploding out of the speakers at you, but that just doesn't happen here.
1) Obsessed By Necromancy
2) Wandering Spirits
5) Evil Death
7) Secret Sudaria
8) Cycle Of Horror
12) Beyond The Veil (Live in Italy '98)