Hitwood – ‘As A Season Bloom’

Italian melo-death EP ‘As A Season Bloom’ was released in April 2017, by Hitwood, the solo project of Antonio Boccelari, based upon vivid dream visitations, leading him into astral travel, during which, an elderly spirit guide (Hitwood) reveals to Antonio, the secrets and revelations made known to him, their implications for humanity and the ethereal music through which they’re conveyed. Antonio, having been gifted with the ability to recall these other-worldly songs, has a mission to create his own music around them, constructed in a melo-death/post metal style, designed to resonate with other dream walkers, sharing the same visions. The aim is for these fellow dream visionaries to assist him with conveying his future insights to the world.

A Spring Glare Where Green Shine The Brightest – Typically ambient intro, placing a suitably heavy spin on the natural world connections and slowing them down enough for mild reflection, whilst letting them breathe, so they may find their own space. Lots of singular guitar work, placing a great emphasis on the solo aspects of the song, as experienced in the dreamscape. It holds a lightness of touch unusual to this (the melo-death) genre, yet still retains a surrounding heaviness, creating a visual image of layers (of experience) within the dream. Very much an exploratory and open-minded track, placing a unique spin on the concept of melo-death, progressing audibly, into post metal. A strong sense of forward movement/perpetual motion, into a world of infinite possibilities. A colourful and profound take on a genre often known for its sameness and lack of vision. Impressive, intriguing and genuinely inventive.

Memories From A Gentle Summer Evening – Very tasty intro chord, holding a real intense catchiness about it and leading into a darker realm, creating a glimpse of changing scenes and associated emotions. There’s a strong sense within this of staying firmly within a particular area/mindset, whilst still maintaining an outlook open to other possibilities. Gradually growing louder in volume, it holds intense focus, concentrating on the various possible outcomes of one course. Contained, yet broad-minded. Stolid determination shines through it and something of a sense of needing to be heard/understood. A great deal’s been channelled into that one chord and its progression and all of it fully accessible, focused and memorable.

Catch The Autumn Scent – Blink and you’ll miss it. Yet still, you can somehow readily catch the whole ethos of the intro and how it moves itself on from there. There’s a beauty of full focus within the fully instrumental nature of this EP, enabling greater and deeper understanding and insights into its vivid depths. Simple, yet effective melodies, used to full effect and growing more involved, as the track progresses. Shorter length, with clearer drum involvement at the end, but very powerful and all the time, revealing an eagerness to reveal more.

Awaked By A Winter Blast – Huge pressured drum intro, with a massive energetic sound and presence. Joined by a stealthy, steadily increasing riff, upping the volume all the time and creating an equally emphatic drum and riff section, driving forward, with the most extraordinary urgency. A race in time, it seems, to reach a pivotal point, in time, before whatever fate may await. It’s a song which builds on itself constantly, just gaining in strength, energy and continuity.

Overall – An outstanding EP, breaking all boundaries and expectations, being its USP. Going way beyond the bounds of standard melo-death and actually demonstrating, clearly, how and when it moves from melo-death, to post metal and just what the latter may actually mean. Arguably progressive, innovative and inventive, ‘AASB’ is a lively project, alive with possibilities, removing the emphasis from expected norms, to where and how far a freer, somewhat riskier approach can take things. A truly unique, extraordinary, enlivening EP, which entertains and enthralls, in equal measure.

8/10 ********

For fans of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.

Available now.

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