I’ve long been a fan of hard rock, but it’s only fairly recently that I began appreciating hardcore, death metal, metalcore, deathcore, and all their sub-genres. In fact, I’ve come to like this music so much that I can now state that I’m a big fan, and the louder and more intense the better! What distinguishes hardcore and death metal from traditional hard rock are the powerful, distorted instrumentals and highly aggressive, brutal vocals. And whereas I once thought those brutal vocals were just a lot of guttural screaming, I’ve since learned that there’s a real art to that style of vocalizing (though one criticism I have is that it can be difficult or impossible to understand the often deeply meaningful and compelling lyrics).
I recently discovered a new basscore metal band with one of the best names I’ve seen in a while – Godzilla Loves Lemon Trees. The band is actually a duo from Cremona, Italy, consisting of Luca Barbanotti, who plays a 7-string bass guitar, and Ded (Federico “Dedde” Balestreri) who does the incredible vocalizing. The guys call their particular style of music ‘basscore’ because there are no guitars, only bass, which creates a much heavier, denser sound. For a detailed explanation of the origin of their sound and influences, check out this excellent article on the band by Darkland Promotions. But for the sake of reference, I’ll just state that Luca and Ded claim as their influences the hardcore and death metal bands Korn, Tool, Iron Maiden, Gojira, Mastodon, Extinction Level Event, Car Bomb and Cradle of Filth, among others.
Their song lyrics are built around the theme of monsters and humanity, specifically the irony of humanity as seen through the eyes of different monsters. Their debut single is “Kaiju,” named for the Japanese film genre that features classic monsters such as Godzilla who typically attack major cities and engage the military and other monsters in battle. The monster theme is fitting, as Godzilla Loves Lemon Trees play really intense, face-melting music. The song is fairly simple but incredibly powerful, with relentlessly heavy, pummeling bass and furious, staccato drums that conjure up images of a rampaging monster on the loose, laying waste to everything in its path. Despite the crushing intensity of the bass, Luca still manages to make it sound quite melodic. Ded’s savage vocals match the ferocity of the instrumentals note for note. Crank up the volume to fully appreciate this gem!
I’ve included the hard-hitting lyrics that help explain the song’s meaning:
Confused phases of existence melting the hemispheres of denial
within this cubical space, within open wounds.
Chaos can never be stopped…
For this illusion of time shall drop while the makers of cruelty erupts.
I have walked the earth, even before you were in her womb,
laughed with the eyes of intentional extinction.
Tangled between the edge of endless nightmares…
Searching for you at the gates of my passage.
You are nonsense with the blankest reason to exist.
You tried to evolve, but the result ended up in corrosion.
Watch the failure of creation infest the life before your eyes!
Why justify your doubts to your non-existent idols?
Just erase your hope for a better existence.
The fracture has opened…
Unexpected spectrum of life, knocking the concrete void of the mind…
Suicide will never stop your destined ever lasting torment.
Ded is also involved with a number of other music projects, providing vocals for the bands Abdominal Rupture, Call It A Plan, and Atomic Factory. Here’s a video of him covering a song that really shows his amazing vocalizing talents that range from high-pitched screams to the deepest growls. His ferocious sounds sure contrast with his handsome, personable appearance!