February 25, 2020 INNO – The Rain Under (Album Review)
Roman Metal conglomerate INNO is set to release their debut album The Rain Under on Friday, February 28th through Time To Kill Records.
A new project, some might wonder who exactly INNO are. To boil it down, the band was launched by former Fleshgod Apocalypse Guitarist Cristiano Trionfera, joined here by Vocalist Elisabetta Marchetti, formerly of Stormlord and a founding member of Riti Occulti, as well as Drummer Giuseppe Orlando, formerly of Novembre, along with Bassist Marco Mastrobuono of Hour Of Penance. The latter two also handled mixing for the record, with acclaimed Producer Jacob Hansen mastering. Additionally, Marchetti handled most of the album artwork, with the main themes of ‘darkness, fear, nightmares and despair’ embodied by the cover image depicting a woman stuck in the horrific phenomenon known as sleep paralysis.
So how does INNO fare in their debut? In short, The Rain Under is a promising debut from such a dense collection of talent, but too often the band peppers their original sound with some strange, tired detours into Nu Metal and NWOAHM. It all starts with the aptly-titled opener “Suffocate” which breaks into a fresh guitar solo near its midway point, but soon rings to a bored, disconnected close.
This is while “To Go Astray” has a calm, creepy opening, and some clean guitar progressions throughout, but its chorus—both vocal and instrumental—drinks too deeply from lesser Metal elements. Similarly, “Night Falls” opens with a distinctly killer riff, one which repeats throughout the track when not fighting against the crunchy sounds of contemporary Metal guitar work and aggressively staccato percussion; the choruses, though, are a rushed mixture of guitar harmonics and high vocals, and the drips of Math Metal are out of place. Marchetti does sound comfortable here, effortlessly laying her vocals over the rough din behind her.
Moving forward, “The Last Sun” is an effective tune, one where all band members bring their respective talents to the table. As the last two original songs, “Misericordia” and “Scorched,” present as stronger, more mature offerings; the latter especially is an absolutely excellent track which moves at a slow, plodding, effective pace while keeping an original sound. This is before the album closes out with “High Hopes,” a faithful cover of a melancholy original by Pink Floyd.
Throughout The Rain Under there are portions where Marchetti sounds in rigid synchronization with her surroundings, whereas other times her sound feels bolted onto an existing recording. Being a new outfit, still defining their identity, INNO may still be reticent to fully explore their musical depth. On the other hand, the band is not much short of an Italian Metal supergroup, and the flashes of brilliance on The Rain Under show throughout the album prove this.
For example, a track like “Pale Dead Sky” even includes some bongos amidst its long, quiet, sweeping passages, and the vocals are one of several instances where Marchetti makes effective use of vocal layering. However, the end result here feels stunted and obtuse. Perhaps the band is not all that interested in making a full, complete jump into the Progressive Metal genre. Even if that were the case, though, reaching back into the far realms of a more modern Metal, and almost Post-Metal sound, at times is an awkward combination at best.
There are a lot of different genre strains throughout The Rain Under, and the results are arguably too often formulaic. There is enough raw talent and unexplored territory which INNO can use to grow into an effective unit, and the album does pick up steam and lose its inhibitions as it progresses. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives their debut album 3 out of 5 stars.