Drawing inspiration from the cinematic qualities of MOGWAI and other greats of the post rock game, Death Mantra for Lazarus‘ craft effortlessly transitions between serene, dreamlike atmospheres and beautifully crafted post-rock arrangements. This enigmatic Italian group offers listeners a cathartic journey through a bed of dreams and desires, leaving a lasting impression with their enchanting sonic tapestries, captivating and ethereal soundscapes.
Today, we’re honored to give you the first impression of their new self-titled album, along with the band’s track by track commentary below.
In 2009, Death Mantra for Lazarus emerged in Pescara, Italy, as a remarkable musical endeavor. The ensemble comprises Lorenzo Conti on guitar, Alessandro Di Fabrizio on guitar, Tonino Bosco on bass and synth, and Federico Sergente on drums. Each member boasts prior experience with other notable bands, such as “Santo Niente,” “Milf,” and “Zippo.”
Their inaugural album, “MU,” released in 2010, featured a collaboration with Maria Callas and Umberto Palazzo, the frontman of Santo Niente. Following their debut, the band unveiled a single titled “Beatrice,” accompanied by a video created by Millo, a renowned Italian street artist.
After an extended hiatus, Death Mantra for Lazarus resurfaced in 2019. Adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic, they embraced remote collaboration for writing and composing their new album. When circumstances permitted, the group reconvened in a rehearsal space to finalize their work, culminating in the release of their eponymous latest album.
The artistic partnership with Millo continued for the album’s graphics, and additional musicians joined the project, including Jester at Work, an Abruzzo-based singer-songwriter, Giulia Flacco on vocals, Valeria Vadini on violins, and Francesco Di Giandomenico on trumpet.
Set to be released on April 28th, 2023, the band’s new self-titled album will be brought to life by the Italian independent label, Vina Records.
The inception of Death Mantra for Lazarus’ eponymous album (“Dmfl”) transpired in early 2020, shortly after the four musicians reunited. As the Italy-based band faced lockdown in March 2020, they persevered in their musical endeavors.
Leveraging modern technology, the composition process continued remotely until the members reconvened in a rehearsal room to finalize the songs and bring their second album to fruition. This new musical creation embodies a labyrinth of emotions, ranging from nostalgia for a bygone era to hope and elation for the potential rediscovery of harmony. The profound bond and camaraderie among the band members, their love for music, and the inspiration drawn from their homeland Abruzzo’s boundless landscapes are also woven into the compositions.
With “Dmfl,” Death Mantra for Lazarus endeavors to forge a novel pathway for memories by traversing the emotions that defined their time apart and the shared experience of the pandemic, all while maintaining a focus on the boundless potential for future musical evolution.
The album’s seven tracks feature various collaborations, including Jester at Work, an Abruzzo-based singer-songwriter and the voice of Hey Scenario; Valeria Vadini, a violinist and music therapist; and Francesco Di Giandomenico, a multi-instrumentalist who contributed trumpet to “Memory of Us.”
Track by track commentary:
The album’s opening song emerges from the remnants of a track primarily composed with synthesizers. It soon becomes the flagship of the entire album, embodying hope and positive atmospheres while leaving room for a melancholic and epic epilogue.
This unique piece showcases Lorenzo (guitar) and Tonino (bass) swapping instruments during the composition phase, writing each other’s parts. The track is built around a 7/8 frame drum rhythm created by Federico (drums) using his faithful frame drum. Jazz rhythms make incursions into the song, altering the atmosphere with an unusual sound for the band.
As the first song the band worked on for the new album, “Marble” serves as a bridge to the past and the point where the band left off years before. Sweet, expansive atmospheres, illuminated by Valeria Vadini’s angelic violins, transport us on a stroll through an 18th-century palace where ladies and knights dance gracefully on marble floors.
Laika Cold! Laika Cold!
A throwback to the ’90s, this track is composed of a guitar riff by Alessandro and features post-rock and riding rhythms. Valeria Vadini’s violin once again harmonizes with the band. The title pays homage to Laika, the pioneering space-traveling dog who never returned home.
This song exhibits a distinct oriental influence, with guitars painting Japanese imagery through their sounds. The final synth stems from an unreleased composition by the band, further emphasizing the connection to the past and memories. The title is dedicated to Alessandro’s daughter, born during the album’s composition.
The music takes a new direction in this track, where bass arpeggios and guitar sounds appear to draw inspiration from Sergio Leone’s movies. The dark voices of Jester At Work and his partner, Giulia Flacco, narrate the story of a rekindled friendship during an evening spent reminiscing over a glass of wine, reflecting on the relationships that make us truly alive.
Memory of Us
The album’s closing song features classical guitars instead of a bass track. The rhythm transports the listener to a late summer night around a quiet fire, evoking an imperceptible sense of uncertainty about the future. Francesco di Giandomenico’s trumpet guides us into the dawn, as the fire’s embers slowly give way to a new day.