Borgo Pass
(Loud Belly Records)

     The New York band Borgo Pass have recently unfurled their full-length CD, Nervosa. The band was named for the passage that leads through the Carpathian Mountains, toward Dracula’s castle. Fittingly, the morbid cover art depicts a vampiric-looking man holding a wilted woman in a cemetery. Despite the gothic cover, the music is anything but. They label themselves as "sludge core," but I see little difference between that and heavy metal in the vein of Down, Sepultura and Machinehead.
      The CD starts slow and heavy, with the vocalist strongly reminiscent of Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual). After a barrage of palm muting and guitar pull-offs, the song breaks into a grooving chorus. The first track is all-around great and heavy. Track 2 starts with drum and bass, then quickly assaults the listener with powerful riffing. Other memorable parts include the soft intro on "Dead Summer," the fast and rocking guitar on "14 Days That Killed Me Slow," and the excellent combination of acoustic guitar and warped vocals on "Bad Mother Ocean."
      Overall, this band excels at what they do. I have no doubt that future albums will have them developing into a style all their own. Anyone into heavy metal should give this band a listen. —Michael Liguori

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