Review: “Projections” by Across The Swarm

Italian Death Metallers Across The Swarm formed in 2013 and rose to prominence with a reputation for an exciting and charged live show after sharing stages with the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Modern Age Slavery, Electrocution, Hideous Divinity and Hate. The bands self titled EP appeared December of the same year and when they released 2016 single “Waiting for the Hyenas” single to considerable acclaim, they inked a deal with Time To Kill Records, a label who had been watching them like a hawk, for their debut full length “Projections“. But Francesco A. Flagiello (Vocals), Marco Lambertini (Guitar), Luca Sammartino (Guitar) and Mirco Diana (Bass) would have to wait six months from the originally scheduled release date for the record, produced by Simone Mularoni and Simone Bertozzi at Domination Studios (Rhapsody, Labyrinth, Gory Blister) and mixed by Steve Wright (Dying Fetus, Misery Index) to see the light of day, thanks to a Global Pandemic forcing it’s postponement. But all good things come to those who wait and this album is one that is well worth it because while the band maybe tagged as being Death Metal, they deliver a blend of aggression, flair, expression and attitude while taking influence from genre heavy hitters like Suffocation, Despised Icon and Decapitated. As if that wasn’t enough, all songs feature Raphael Saini (Iced Earth, Cripple Bastards) on drums as a session musican…

…four years might seem like a long time between the bands single “Waiting for the Hyenas” and the album which features the song but Across The Swarm have had to deal with some hardships along the way, including losing drummer Riccardo Grechi and sampler Damiano Storelli from the group. That being said, Saini is a more than adequate replacement, which becomes immediately obvious as soon as “Monito” comes in swinging. Wave after wave of Death Metal riffs accompany the brutal roar of Flagiello, who describes a World burning with no room for a cynical metaphor. The Groove Metal riffs at breakneck speed of “Knowing Becoming Doing” have an “As The Palaces Burn” era Lamb Of God vibe to them while giving Saini a full work out with blast beats and jackhammer footwork galore. Flagiello keeps his vocals audible so his lyrics are done justice and the live audience will be able to roar along. Title track “Projects” perhaps owes something to early Slipknot, a rhythmic assault of drums and bass reaching almost Grindcore levels in paces while maintaining a surprising amount of groove in the riffs. The hybridization of the sound creates plenty of opportunity for the lyrics to drag humanities very existence into a black hole…

…Spitting and snarling with furious intent, “Own Life” lights up the second half of the record unstoppable Juggernaut that doesn’t let up in it’s relentlessness, like the villainous car of classic horror films “Crash” or “The Car” with brutal bursts of blast beats that just won’t let up. Cutting a similar path “The Friction” offers up high tempos and balls out aggression with unstoppable force and clinical precision. Across The Swarm don’t waste time on melody or harmony, they go straight for the throat, only letting up for the buzzsaw guitars to lay down Groove. It’s easy to see why “Waiting For The Hyenas” brought so much acclaim, it’s the sound upon which the album is based and this re-recording does not feature the samples of the original. What it does have is a sinister undercurrent and menacing overload which makes it a stand out on an album which leaves no stone unturned in it’s blistering pursuit of Death Metal perfection. Bringing things to a skull crushing halt, closer “Motionless” is a fine summary piece for what this album is about, combining all of the elements that make the Across The Swarm sound and making them into one killer final cut [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Monito
  2. Knowing Became Doing
  3. Projections
  4. Own Life
  5. The Friction
  6. Waiting For The Hyenas
  7. Motionless

Projections” by Across The Swarm is out 4th September via Time To Kill Records and is available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *