Zu - The Way Of The Animal Powers (Public Guilt, 2010) ****½
If the genre of doomjazz exists, this album easily fits in it. The mad Italian trio pushes its own musical concept a notch further, into the darkest territories of the human pysche, full of slow heavy metal stalling rhyhms, and a mad bass, sax and cello to add the weirdest sound textures, agonizing, screaming, full of distress and derangement. The trio is Massimo Pupillo on bass, Jacopo Battaglia on drums, and Luca T Mai on saxophone, with Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello for the occasion. Their gloomy worldview is clearly illustrated by the song titles, such as "Things Fall Apart", and "Farewell to The Species", or "Anatomy Of A Lost Battle". The music is not violent nor aggressive, but it has this weird slowly distructive power, full of unworldly sounds, totally unexpected and forceful. It is frightening and oppressive and mad and utterly creative. In its sub-genre, it is absolutely exceptional, albeit with a total of twenty-five minutes too shortn too short, too short.
Originally released in 2005 on CD via the now defunct Xeng label (Italy), this incredible album gets the deluxe 180 gram, gatefold vinyl treatment and it's the first release of this newly created US label. If you're open to new things (and if you're not really an optimist), you shouldn't miss this one.