Review: Le Scimmie ‘Adriatic Desert’

‘The sea is the voice of my heart, it is the voice of your heart….’ used to sing an old Italian ‘60s crooner. It is true that staying in touch with the sea and listening to the waves crashing gently on the shore brings immense inspiration. Vasto, Italy, stoner doom metal instrumental duo Le Scimmie (The Monkeys) new fire-cracking album Adriatic Desert, as its frontman guitarist Angelo ‘Xunah’ Mirolli points out, was born as a source of inspiration ‘while taking some intense strolls along the Adriatic shores of Abruzzo, Italy and it’s taken shape throughout long jam sessions in a practice room crammed with Big Muffs and cranked-up amps.’

Le Scimmie 'Adriatic Desert' Artwork
Le Scimmie ‘Adriatic Desert’ Artwork

Le Scimmie jump around striking heavy instrumentals, and at times, a cathartic doom sound and in 2007 with the release of their EP L’ Origine (The Origin), it was a calling card to the world of the heavy. The following years see the band reaching the final stages of the Abruzzo selection of the nationally renowned festival Italia Wave, finishing first in the semi-finals and two years later in the final.

Their 2011 self-produced ten track debut, Dromomania, gives the impression it was recorded for fun and out of boredom in their rehearsal room. Its sound is raw and naked with no overdubs and is ready to be fed to the hungry metal wolves. After a four-year hiatus and recharging with new musical ideas, the band resurfaces as a trio with new member Simone D’annunzio on drone effects, delivering the effective powerful Colostrum released in 2016 via Red Sound Records.

Their unreleased track, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, appeared on the 2017 compilation Electric Funeral Café Vol. III for Ukraine label Robust Fellow Records that shows a band oozing with a dark and visceral funeral sound capable of awakening a volcano from its deep sleep.

a flawless desert stoner rock manifesto…

It took another seven years of self-reflection for Mirolli to come back with another album, and again as a duo. Adriatic Desert, their third effort, and first for their very own Frekete! Records, turns out to be a very lethal album with chilling electric guitars releasing waves of sound that are absorbed and enveloped by the humid sea air, while the frantic drumming raises the sands of the Adriatic seashore forming a thunderous nebula.

This, in my opinion, should be considered their first proper full-length album as it is invigorated by a violent, pulsating, heavy and searing sound which wasn’t expressed on their previous releases. Considering it is recorded with only a guitarist and a drummer, it shows how strongly they connect with each other. This is a flawless desert stoner rock manifesto.

Each track has its own body of work differing from the rest of the album as a gigantic sonic sonority overwhelms from all sides shattering glass windows to smithereens. And yet in all this din, there is a florescent shimmering light released by a dinosaur that moves wildly in the guise of two monkeys burning with rage. Welcome to their Adriatic Desert where the only hallucinations you have are mastodon(tically) real. This isn’t monkey business. You have been warned!

Label: Frekete! Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Caccamo