Still sopping up some of those releases that fell between the cracks of 2019 and this gem from Italy’s Maple Death hits nicely on a winter Friday. The record doesn’t rush, rooted in the kind of slinky, candle-lit club vibe that’s somewhere between art-house cinema and tragic jazz chanteuse-ism. There’s something of a lost soundtrack vibe as connective tissue on the tracks that span Come La Notte, a narrative that feels riddled with foul luck and lost love. The band creeps into each track with a careful cool, never breaking stride, never working at more than a sultry saunter. Even when the tempo tips towards acceleration as on “Morire Per Amore,” or “Occhi Di Serpente” the band still rides the rhythms with a detached air, calm as killers letting smoke curl around their heads as they aim the wheel, weapon, or gaze at their desired target.

The band is the very definition of buttoned down, aloof, each song is an icy experience that keeps the listener at arms length while also wrapping them in their own imaginary tale. There’s an overhang of Italian cinema at the heart of the record — punk but buy way of Morricone, Alessandroni, or Stelvio Cipriani. Recommended for the mental traveller or soul searcher looking for escapism with a side of quiet cool.

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