When some people hear the term “metalcore” used to describe a new band, their eyes roll back into their heads and their search for a new insult will culminate into a sigh. In all honesty, I can’t blame them, for it is a genre that is already overcrowded and practically bursting at the seams. Homo Homini Lupus (which is Latin for “man is a wolf to man”) however, the debut LP from 400colpi, is a little more deserving of at least some recognition.
Hailing from the cities of Mestre and Bologna, Italy, 400colpi is a break-out metalcore act that leans heavily on a super melodic guitar sound. With that said, the music’s a lot better than you may think. Showing that they came to kick ass right from the get-go, “Kane” is a showcase for the different songwriting elements that the band brings to the table, and is a very effective opener. It evokes feelings of the first time I ever listened to Shai Hallud, which certainly is not a bad thing. “Effetto Domino” is one of the shortest and heaviest tracks on the whole album, and while I had some qualms with the abruptness of the ending (I’ll get to this later), it managed to sufficiently pummel me throughout.
The guitar riffs are sometimes metal, sometimes hardcore, and always melodic. In fact, this is one of the most melodic hardcore albums I’ve ever heard that wasn’t accompanied with clean vocals. The drums are fairly average and I find it hard to say more about them. If I think about it too hard, I’d say they are sloppy at times, but then when I’m listening to the album, I have trouble pointing out one part that seems out-of-place or rushed. The guy’s no Dave Lombardo, however. We’ll just leave it at that.
The vocals are pretty varied and not all that bad, but on the other hand, they’re not exactly amazing. The low growls have a certain tone to them that I found to be inaccessible, but I wouldn’t say it’s a major point of failure either. The high shrieks are a lot better and more than get the job done. I was quite pleased that they didn’t butcher it with bad clean singing (not that all clean singing is bad, but most attempts at it in the hardcore genre are akin to a cat on the fence in the backyard at 2 AM). One thing that may be a deal breaker for listeners is the fact that all lyrics are in Italian. It makes me kind of sad to think that most people may not give this band a chance because of it.
The songs are mostly solid, but are not without their flaws. There isn’t one song that sucked completely, per se, but a few did get quite boring at times. To their credit, the tempo either changed and was able to pull me back in, or the song ended. Speaking of endings, not all of them are happy on Homo Homini Lupus. One song kind of petered off awkwardly, while a couple others were driving at 60mph and slammed into a brick wall. Lastly for the negative comments, the low tones in the mix are a little quiet, and I found myself cranking the bass on my car stereo to hip-hop levels just to hear the album properly. These faults don’t completely mar the experience though.
In the end, I know I haven’t just listened to the album of the year. At the same time, the band has a fair amount of talent, and they have put out a moderately impressive debut. There may already be way too many metalcore bands in the scene, but they had better make some room for 400colpi. People who are into From Autumn To Ashes, Shai Hallud, and old Atreyu may want to check these guys out, provided you don’t mind listening to an album where you literally won’t be able to understand any of the words (unless you’re fluent in both hardcore AND Italian). I know I’m curious to see what the future brings for this otherwise promising band.
05. L’uomo Infesta
06. Sabra E Shatila
07. Effetto Domino
08. Fino All ‘Ultimo Respiro
09. Stato D’Assedio
10. Tempi Moderni