By Dr. Abner Mality

I remember this Italian act's debut as being almost idiotically simple and basic doom metal in an instrumental mode. They spend almost as much effort naming their albums, as the spectacularly titled "II" proves. And yet I recall the debut's simplicity creating a mesmerizing effect.

The big change on "II" is that vocals are now added to the plodding riffs. Aside from that, the formula here is much the same...simple SLEEP and ELECTRIC WIZARD riffs stripped down to the bone and repeated vigorously. Once again, this dumbed down doom is remarkably effective and I found myself nodding and drifting contentedly along with the music. The vocals themselves are low, slow and syrupy, oozing along like the rest of CANCERVO as they relate folktales from the Italian mountain that gives the band its name.

"The Cult of Armentarga" has a riff I damn well know I've heard before, but it's a mighty good one, packed with power. The songs get longer as the record goes on and jamming acidic guitar solos wail away as well. Last track "Zambel's Goat" is very quiet and barely there for its first half before finally getting heavy and morose.

Somehow, CANCERVO have done it again. "II" is so basic, it's written on autopilot, but so grooving and doomy, you just don't give a shit.