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Prestissimo: Heart of an Inferno

Sounding a bit like a mishmash of Opeth's mellower moments and a campfire jam with Satan, Prestissimo delivers an almost entirely acoustic 5 track EP in Heart of an Inferno that pulled several emotions (good and bad) out of me during its short runtime. Initially, I had no idea what to expect as I popped the disc in and pressed play. The album cover features what appears to be some sort of campfire (or just A fire) on a black background, which lead me to suspect one of two things; grimdark lo-fi black metal, or dark ambient dungeon crawling tomfoolery. I can be a bit of a pessimist I suppose.

Turns out I was closer on the second guess, but that's not totally accurate either. Prestissmo appears to be a one man project that plays "Dark acoustic, ambient, and metal music so primitive it can be played on acoustic instruments around a bonfire". Well, I can't speak of their (or his/her) previous output, but Heart of an Inferno certainly isn't metal albeit a short sputter of distorted electric guitar during one of the songs. This album is all acoustic guitar with some moody/spooky/ghostly vocal howls and chants at times. As advertised, it's incredibly primitive stuff, and there's not much in terms of instrumental virtuosity to be had. Safe to say, you should already know if this is something you'll be into or not.

As all 5 songs droned and meandered their way out of the speakers, I gradually began to embrace (at least to some degree), the earnestness in Heart of an Inferno. It does deliver a listening experience that would be right at home around a campfire, or as the backing track to the town of Tristram in the PC game Diablo. It's dark, moody, caveman folk for nerds. And it just so happens that I'm quite the nerd, so while the individual guitar and vocal performances are severely lacking in some cases (the vocals during "Cerebral Ignition" jump out at me)... I can't help but "get it" if you know what I mean. It works. There are moments during the 6+ minute title track that actually exude a "Night on Bald Mountain" vibe, which is pretty unexpected and great.

That's not to say that this is something I'll be coming back to repeatedly (or at all), but for what it is Heart of an Inferno is a charming, primal listen that in the right setting would be right at home. And that setting is a goblin lair during your D&D campaign. And there's nothing wrong with that.

1. Fire Chant
2. Cerebral Ignition
3. Moonburn
4. Heart of an Inferno
5. Lost in Thought

Added: May 19th 2021
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 510
Language: english

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