Album of the Day: Stromboli, “Volume Uno”

Let’s just get it out of the way first: when most people in North America think of stromboli we imagine an inside-out pizza, a pocket of mozzarella cheese and meat and vegetables and a little bit of tomato sauce, lovingly enveloped in a shell of dough. It’s a magical meal sent from that little corner of heaven on earth that is your favorite local pizza shop. In our narrow world view (or mine, at least) Stromboli makes for a curious choice of names for a deadly serious, highly competent and fully realized techno-fused post-industrial project such as this one. (It’s also, for what it’s worth, an Italian volcano.)

Following up on his critically acclaimed 2015 cassette, Stromboli finds himself mining the deepest trenches of both existential dread and transcendental bliss on his debut LP. Volume Uno is a relentlessly thorough study in personal unease, tracks like “Haunted” and “Basedow Graves” bringing to mind the agonized meditations of Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” and Coil’s “Time Machines” in equal measure. These are the sounds of late-night willful isolation, where the need to create and be heard is only eclipsed by the ecstasy of silence. It’s a harrowing, masterful exercise in futurist ambience and propelled noise.

Volume Uno is available now via Bologna’s Maple Death Records. Stromboli finds himself in good company on the label, who has released work from such spiritually compatible artists as His Electro Blue Voice and Disappears. Do yourself the favor of picking it up and embracing the void, and you may find yourself as strangely satisfied as if you’d filled a comfort-food craving with his delicious namesake. Comfort in discomfort, as it were.
—Michael Berdan

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