Prog-tinged epic metal from one of Italy’s most venerable acts! A concept album detailing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, DARK QUARTERER has crafted an album of high drama and impeccable musicianship with “Pompei“!
Playing original material was considered taboo in the early 1980s Italian metal scene. Clubs wouldn’t book acts who wrote their own material, prompting countless Italian metal bands to hone their craft playing other people’s songs. The domino effect was obvious: Without any bands releasing original material, the European metal scene overlooked Italy for years, all the while Germany became the dominant force. One such band who swam against the tide was Omega R, who, after growing restless playing just covers, changed their name to DARK QUARTERER in 1982 and started recording and releasing their own songs. It hasn’t always been easy for the band, who, thirty-eight years after the fact, are guided by founding members Gianni Nepi (bass/vocals) and Paolo “Nipa” Ninci (drums). During their halcyon years, venues for live music were scarce, forcing the band to retreat to their rehearsal room to work on their unique sound, one that has made DARK QUARTERER one of Italy’s most respected cult metal acts.
The quest for individuality and the desire to blaze their own trail continues today with “Pompei”, the band’s eighth studio album and first for Cruz Del Sur Music. The album was recorded this January and February at the band’s own W.R.S. Studios in Piombino, Italy. Vocals and keyboards were tracked in May by sound engineer Andrea Ramacciotti, with mastering handled by Alex Marton of First Line Studio in Follonica. Like previous DARK QUARTERER albums, “Pompei” is an adventurous set of progressive-leaning epic metal songs, driven largely by the band’s compositional flair and advanced musical capabilities. Accordingly, the songs on “Pompei” took several years to come together — the members of DARK QUARTERER are admittedly, “very picky” when it comes to composing, prone to discarding dozens of ideas until a song is fully realized.
The “Pompei” album title was inspired by the Italian writer Alberto Angela, whose 2014 “The Last Three Days of Pompei” tome became the foundation for which DARK QUARTERER built the concept. The “Pompei” concept resonated with the band — both Nepi and Ninci took separate trips to the city and immediately felt compelled to adopt Angela’s story about the volcanic explosion of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD which caused the death of 20,000 people. The album is told from various points of view, including the volcano itself, which serves as a living and thinking entity that is in perpetual need to relieve itself from deep pain.
An enveloping concept wrapped up in atmospheric doom flavors and challenging prog metal, “Pompei” is ideal for those seeking adventure and drama in their music. Nearly four decades after their formation, DARK QUARTERER has delivered its crowning achievement!
1. Vesuvius (9:23)
2. Welcome to the Day of Death (6:38)
3. Panic (8:39)
4. Plinius the Elder (7:58)
5. Gladiator (6:24)
6. Forever (8:01)
Gianni Nepi – Vocals / Bass
Francesco Sozzi – Guitar
Paolo Ninci – Drums
Francesco Longhi – Keyboards
Dark Quarterer (Label Service / My Graveyard Producitons, 1987)
The Etruscan Prophecy ( Cobra / My Graveyard Productions, 1988)
War Tears (Gorgon / My Graveyard Productions, 1993)
Violence (Andromeda Relix, 2002)
Symbols (My Graveyard Productions / Cruz Del Sur Music, 2008)
Dark Quarterer XXV Anniversary (My Graveyard Productions, 2012)
Ithaca (MOM Records / Cruz Del Sur Music, 2015)
Pompei (Cruz Del Sur Music, 2020)