Sunday, May 22, 2011
Get into: Spite Extreme Wing
This right here is what I got into metal to listen to. In fact, this is exactly the sort of black metal I like best: ultra-riffy, fast, raw yet melodic, and possessing remarkable scope yet deceptive simplicity in songwriting. Spite Extreme Wing is an Italian black metal band that never received much recognition while they were around and even less after they broke up, but to me, they're the definition of an underground gem. Plugging away at their unique and stirring style of black metal for a decade before the project's end, I can only hope to expose a few more people to this band's unbelievably great music.
Spite Extreme Wing play black metal- after a fashion. It has blast beats, tremolo riffs, and high-pitched, screaming vocals. It has all the basic musical elements of black metal, but at the same time it doesn't FEEL like black metal in any way. The atmosphere isn't cold, warlike, or pagan- it's just peculiarly romantic and speaks to the same sort of spirit that I imagine Hirilorn did in their music. At no point does this band ever resemble the Norwegian or Swedish crowds- there's something uniquely Italian about all of it, from the melodic style of the riffs to the creaking, always audible bass tone to the unusually battering drum performance where fills always come out in FLURRIES of something, never something precise and designed.
The band was apparently a part of the B.M.I.A. (Black Metal Invitta Armata), some sort of Italian collective of extreme musicians, but unlike more popular metal circles like Blazebirth Hall, it doesn't seem like Spite Extreme Wing ever took a lot of time to advertise the fact. I'm not sure it was a musical collective so much as an ideological collective- looking through Spite Extreme Wing's lyrics and general aesthetic seems to imply some sort of crypto-fascist ideology, though it's never made especially clear. In any case, I think that Mussolini was something these guys had in mind while making their music- it radiates that sort of oddly flamboyant, excessive reveling in power and strength.
Truthfully, I've never heard another band in the world sound quite like these guys, and it's hard to express exactly why they're so brilliant. Listen to the song above, possibly my favorite song by them. What do you notice? The creaking bass tone is very unique, to start, and the riffs aren't particularly complicated, but they're oddly engrossing despite this, showing a sort of melodic elegance rare to black metal bands in general. Then the screams and blast beats kick in, and I think that's the moment where you realize these guys are amazing: because they actually convey the sort of sheer intensity and emotion we all probably felt the first time we heard a metal song in general. The only difference is that Spite Extreme Wing were able to do it time and time again.