I guess it’s safe to say how criminally overlooked Italian metal really is. I mean, at first glance, you wouldn’t really expect much from the whole scene (maybe because of bands like Rhapsody that probably put a nail in your brain telling you that this is all Italy has to offer). Think again people! Although Italy might be the last destination for any modern headbanger, the 80s proved to emit the true essence of the country’s capability of producing quality heavy metal.
Here we have Hocculta, who, just like many of the Italian bands at the time, play a style that fuses the melodies of the NWOBHM with the harshness of speed metal. The final result is simply magical. Vocalist Massimo Lodini gives off a very classic and generic speed metal style of singing that consists of many falsettos that leave you gasping for air. Fortunately enough, the vocals fit Hocculta’s style perfectly. The guitar work is undeniably catchy and easy to get into and can be very hypnotizing at times during the solos. Production is very tight in terms of cleanliness, as it helps make way for the high-pitched vocals. Obviously, like any true 80s metaller, the songs sound better when the production isn’t perfect, as, in my honest opinion, rawness surpasses any other level of quality.
The album offers eight songs that deliver in their own way, all while offering all the same elements of melodies and heavy riffing throughout their material. People that are just getting into this band, make sure to check out some of my personal favorite songs by them, which consist of “Warning Games”, a true speed metal anthem, where the vocals are as high as ever, a catchy as hell chorus, drums and bass that just keep pounding and solos that will indeed make you jump off from your seat. “Entity” offers a different, maybe darker vibe to it, while still remaining melodic and the solos are as fast as ever. Finally, the epic “Witches Chant” begins with a beautiful sounding arpeggio progression, and then the high-pitch falsetto kicks in, which then transforms into a speed metal heaven. Do yourselves a favour, purchase the CD anywhere you can find it to show your support. And yes, the band is currently active!