First things first; major props to the album cover art of Oscuropasso, which is not only humorous but also damn cool in a gnarly, psychedelic sort of way. OK, on to the album itself.
Doctor Cyclops (love the name!) are a three piece heavy rock band from Italy, and this is their second album after the acclaimed 2012 debut Borgontondo. Here, Oscuropasso contains five mostly lengthy tracks of heavy blues rock, stoner, psychedelia, and doom, all of it steeped in the greatness that was the '70s hard rock scene. The band, Christian Draghi (guitar, vocals), Francesco Filippini (bass), and Alessandro Dallera (drums), have obviously studied their Black Sabbath, Cactus, Led Zeppelin, and Pentagram classics well, as tracks like "Cobweb Hands" and "The Monk" just drip with effective, delicious heavy riffing and white hot blues based solos. Vocals are mysterious yet powerful, fitting perfectly alongside the dark, ominous nature of many of these songs. The closing near 16-minute tour-de-force that is "Rotten Trolls" is a must hear for anyone who loves the recent output of bands like Orchid, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, or Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. Chock full of crushing Sabbath styled heavy riffs and pounding rhythms, this epic takes you on a bruising journey you won't soon forget.
Though the whole 'retro hard rock' scene is starting to get a little crowded of late, there's still room for some new players to squeeze in and make a name for themselves. Not content to let the Swedes take all the glory, Doctor Cyclops are here to tell you that the Italians also know a thing or two about heavy hitting '70s styled hard rock. Recommended.
1) Waterfalls (6:10)
2) The Monk (10:01)
3) Angel Saviour in Cannibal House (6:52)
4) Cobweb Hands (7:18)
5) Rotten Trolls (15:50