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Album Reviews : Dining In Tuscany – 1556

By on September 18, 2012

For the last twelve or so months, I’ve been under the assumption that Sydney’s Dining In Tuscany no longer existed. After a trip down to Melbourne supporting Ulcerate, and a set that was absolutely plagued with problems but still somehow incredible, I was constantly keeping an eye out for more updates and live shows, but saw nothing. So, imagine my surprise when I get an email mentioning that they have been “really busy lately” and are “definitely planning” more shows, both local and interstate.

1556, release back at the start of 2011, is one of those albums that make it hard to believe it’s their debut full length. It wouldn’t be a shock to discover that they have five other albums locked away in a secret underground lair (or thrown under the bed) which were written and recorded purely to hone their sound. But none of that would even matter anyway, because this one is public.

Dining In Tuscany are destined to be given all sorts of stupid tags like blackened atmospheric post-grind but the fact is these guys just don’t like sitting still, and the nine minute opener is the perfect example. “Lord Beethoven’s Diamond Church Of Worm…” begins with a quiet piano piece before exploding into full-bore drums, rapidfire growls and screams, and sharp black metal guitar-work, shortly later moving in a more dissonant direction ala Deathspell Omega. The lush, dense sounds part to reveal clean guitars and haunting, harsh whispers before some much more melodic material leads into one huge climax and a near-silent final minute. It has everything, not to mention some of the greatest album packaging there is.

Like Adelaide’s Night Hag on Gilded Age, Dining In Tuscany manage to stay utterly intense without being constantly heavy. Whether it’s the moments of ferocious grind or the monstrous waves of (oddly beautiful) atmospheric guitars, every moment on 1556 is nothing if not captivating. It found its way onto my Best of 2011 list, and the prospect of them becoming active again is terribly exciting.


Band: Dining In Tuscany
Album: 1556
Year: 2011
Genre: Blackened Atmospheric Grinding Post-Black Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Sydney, Australia
Dining In Tuscany on Facebook

Track list:
1. Lord Beethoven’s Diamond Church Of Worm…
2. Andrea
3. 1556
4. Paradin
5. Gold Plates Black Discs
6. Broyer Du Noir


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.