Sunday 10 November 2013

Dementia Senex - Heartworm EP

I've not featured too many bands from Italy on here. Apart from the spate of bands I've reviewed from Italian hardcore label Strikedown Records, they have been few and far between. Thank god the for Dementia Senex. This five piece residing in Cesena, have been honing their experimental brand of death metal since 2008 and have so far released two EP's; their 2009 self-released EP Sun Goes Down Behind and more recently their 2013 EP Heartworm, which was released via The Path Less Traveled Records, Drown Within Records and Don Carlos Productions.


1. Unscented Walls
2. Kairos
3. Heartworm

Dementia Senex open up with a brooding and atmospheric intro to Unscented Walls. They describe themselves and an experimental death metal band with post-hardcore elements, and in the opening bars you can definitely hear those post-hardcore influences.  Two minutes in though, they switch to a more off-kilter, death metal sound. There’s lots of treble and melody in their guitar work, the drums are fast and similarly off-kilter while the vocals are low pitched rasping growls. They’re not shy about song lengths either, with Unscented Walls weighing in at nearly eight minutes. It brings to mind the sprawling efforts of Cult of Luna at times and the Swe-death of Dark Tranquillity.

Kairos is a different proposition, featuring a more condensed version of their songwriting. It’s plays more to their death metal leanings with it’s more frenzied pace. There’s plenty of modern twists in the song and the guitar work is especially assured. Rounding things off with the title track, Dementia Senex allow themselves one last progressive bite of the cherry. They thankfully stay on the right side of self-indulgent and manage to channel good energy into the song. Their songwriting brings to mind fellow Italian’s Fleshgod Apocalypse when at it’s most theatrical. The guitar melodies soar during the mid section and the band is able to keep Heartworm flowing in a cohesive way, without losing any direction. 

Heartworm may be relatively short but it hints at a band with ideas and the musicianship to back them up. Dementia Senex may still be finding their sound but from the evidence on this EP, they are pushing the envelope for more forward-thinking, down to earth experimental metal in Italy and with their post-hardcore textures, they’ve found something that works really well. I hope to hear more of these guys.

Make sure you listen to Heartwork here:-

You can buy Heartworm as a digital download from The Path Less Traveled Records above. You can purchase physical copies of the EP from both:-

Drown Within Records -
Don Carlos Productions -

Dementia Senex Facebook -
The Path Less Travelled Records Facebook -
Drown Within Records -
Don Carlos Productions -

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