This Savaging Disaster is the thirteenth record from Roman jazz trio Macelleria Mobile di Mezzanotte. The group formed in 2001 and was given its name by member Adriano Vicenti, after horror writer Clive Barker’s short story, ‘The Midnight Meat Train’. The album title is itself a literary reference: “this storm, this savaging disaster,” from James Ellroy’s novel, This Storm, and supposedly borrowed from modernist poet W.H. Auden. Musically, the works of groups such as Bohren & der Club of Gore and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble have been cited as influences, as well as the genre-straining works of John Zorn.
Another entry in the underappreciated genre of doom jazz—a postmodern iteration of its mother genre that favours slow tempos, sombre moods and takes notes from doom metal, dark ambient and film scores—This Savaging Disaster has to it a substantial industrial bent. The drums, far from being free-form and non-linear, are instead dominating and singular, at times pulsating and magnetic. Instrumentation is minimal yet heavy like a black hood on the listener’s head, sub-bass and organs accomplishing a menacing and funereal tone; and looming over the compositions are the horns and sax, painting the skeletal infrastructures in monochrome schemes of urban post-noir. The vocals have a heavier presence than is usual for the style; and carry the gothic yet martial weight of a Neue Deutsche Härte or EBM singer covering new wave classics.
This Savaging Disaster is not a jazz album with industrial leanings, and nor is it the reverse. It’s a record that exists very much after both facts. Deathly, cool; suave yet purgatorial.
This Savaging Disaster is out now on Subsound Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Rory Hughes