With cover artwork that almost seems to be a homage to the classic Italian horror films of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci (drawn by none other than acclaimed movie poster artist Enzo Sciotti), Danza Macabra, the latest release from Ravenna's Arcana 13, is steeped in lyrical imagery from many of those lurid movies, as well as the music of doom legends Black Sabbath and Pentagram. The eight songs here each individually took inspiration from eight vintage horror movies, and there are little bits of music & movie edits from these films thrown in to add to the overall creepy vibe.
While "Land of Revenge" has a haunting yet melodic edge that reminds of Ghost, "Dread Ritual" and "ArcaneXIII" both offer some beefy Sabbath inspired riffs and chilling vocals, perfect elements to add to the horror imagery of the lyrics. "Oblivion Mushroom" slows the pace down even further, a deliciously sinister slice of occult doom featuring ominous atmosphere and massive guitar riffs. Arcana 13 even tackles the classic Goblin track "Suspiria", complete with the lilting guitar lines, crashing percussion, and eerie synths, but giving their own spin with a sledgehammer finale that rocks quite hard. The groove laden but dark & heavy "Blackmaster" is a must hear for any fan of '70s hard rock and early doom, as is the Pentagram inspired "The Holy Cult of Suicide", complete with a haunting chorus and plenty of hard driving riffs. Perhaps Danza Macabra's creepiest dirge is saved for last in the form of "Hell Behind You", a plodding death march of yearning vocals, wild Sabbath/Zeppelin inspired riffs, sizzling guitar solos, and crushing atmosphere.
With so many solid albums coming out that dip into the whole '70s retro thing, at times it can be a chore trying to keep track of them all. Danza Macabra is certainly one you'll want to put on your radar, not only if you love those heavy & hard rocking sounds of the '70s, but also for those who appreciate many of those chilling horror movies of the same time period. If you heavily fall into both camps (like me), this is a no brainer that you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Dread Ritual
3. Land Of Revenge
4. Oblivion Mushroom
7. The Holy Cult Of Suicide
8. Hell Behind You