Fosch - Sgrìsoi

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Band Fosch
Album Sgrìsoi
Country Italy
Genre Black Metal
Release date (album) 2008
Release date (review) 2015/10/19


Music with a dialect tends to have a special sound as it breaks with the realm of the ordinary. For instance, music with a local dialect from a North German band comes with a sound quite different than a Bavarian one. This would be something that can be agreed upon easily and without much difficulty. Yet once it comes to actually measuring the impact and the scale in which music is influenced by such a distinct way of expressing the lyrics, then matters are more difficult. As is the case with the Italian band Fosch; German speakers might be reminded on those little buggers that live in a pool and whose English name would be toad.

Well, the lyrics are in Bergamasco, a local dialect in the region of Bergamo in the Lombardy; a spot in the North of Italy, in case someone should be unfamiliar with it. Anyway, this aspect alone might spark some curiosity, as the total amount of other bands that would perform metal music in such a manner is comparably slim maybe even non-existent. Yet, when it comes to the performance and its impact, then the question should be allowed whether this type of vocals are a proper presentation of the texts. Black metal is an extreme genre, but the developments over time have shown that is possible to combine even such a piece of music with stark contrasts, like it clean vocals combined with icy and harsh black metal tunes. A lot of mixing and messing around has been taken place in the recent years and it can be doubted whether this trend will see a significant downturn any time soon. Maybe the problem with Fosch and their musical approach has to do with the focus on the traditional spectrum of the genre, which has found expression in the vocals as well as in the rest of the performance.

Three elements make up the sound and the style of the music. Vocals, guitar, drums; those rare samples can be neglected and have hardly any impact. The guitar plays a melody, the bass is basically non-existent, the drums are all too often in the background and the vocals are quite dominant. This release suffers from the lack of balance and conception. The focal point has been set to a certain element and the band follows this path over the course of the album. It hardly ever reaches the point in which the instruments give the impression as if they would be able to exist on their own. The melodies are not that dominant or do not have that much presence to create a space for themselves. With too much fragmentation and with a sound that reminds on too many bedroom projects, there is not much on the positive side of it all.

Cheap? Well, there is no bass and therefore no basis. And the shrieking vocals are definitely not able to help in this regard. Leaving all these elements aside, with an additional guitar line, a bass and a better balancing this music could be quite interesting, because some good elements can already be found; one of the riffs in Nif is actually quite nice and also the variations of tempo, style and atmosphere have a positive effect on the music. Also some of the guitar passages of Rösen are quite nice. Balance means that the facets need to be aware of their portion of the music, they need to be aware of what is going on around them. The music on Sgrìsoi lacks this. First it is this, then it is that and then something entirely different. All itches and twitches and is therefore inconclusive.

In the end it is only raw black metal with some nice ideas. This demo is good for a spin now and, but it lacks consistency on a considerable scale.