Hailing from the Bergamo region of Italy, Cancervo have been in existence since 2020 and are heavily influenced by the folklore of their home region, especially the mountain from which they take their name. And, given their name and preferred subject matter, it’s only fitting that they play monolithic, snails-paced doom metal.
At six tracks long, II is just about the perfect length for an album of this style. The songs tend to plod along, moving with the speed of a particularly tired tectonic plate, although they also seem to bear their weight. Make no mistake, II can be an oppressive listening experience, although it quickly becomes apparent that despite Cancervo‘s relatively short lifespan, they’re already masters of their craft. As expected, riffs are stretched out for miles (often to their absolute limits) bringing to mind, at times, a more melodic Sunn 0))). Meanwhile the baritone vocals of bassist Luka bring to mind a less randy version of Type O Negative‘s Peter Steele. Make of that what you will!
“Arera”, is the perfect opener. Relatively concise and achingly mournful, you instantly know what to expect from the rest of the album. Meanwhile, the glacial “Zambla” ends with several minutes of sublime, feedback- drenched Iommi-style soloing. To be fair to the lads, they saved the best for last with the positively gargantuan “Zambel’s Goat”. Atmospheric – with Luka’s vocals layered over sparse instrumentation – the song slowly crawls to life and is nothing but a masterpiece of building tension; it’s almost worth having the album for this song alone!
If you prefer your doom with a bit of life to it, such as mid-period Cathedral, then you may find this album to be a bit of a slog… but we would urge you to stick with it! Whilst II is a truly bleak and desolate album Cancervo‘s hymns to their beloved mountain have a dark charm to them, charms that slowly (and we mean slo-w-ly) unveil themselves to any and all listener’s curious enough to ascend the windward side of Cancervo‘s imposing elevation. 9/10
Cancervo‘s II was released on January 27th, 2023 via Electric Valley Records