Italy might not have the same reputation for generating Stoner Rock bands like Southwestern USA or Sweden, but it certainly has its own major players in the underground scene.
Some of the best underground bands in Italy include genre touchstones like the Psychedelic Desert Rock heroes of Black Rainbows, the heavy Psychedelic Metal experts of Ufomammut, and the groovy Occult Rockers of Psychedelic Witchcraft.
In other words: Italy is an undercelebrated country when it comes to Stoner Rock (and Stoner Rock-adjacent) tunes.
Well, now there’s more reason to celebrate.
With their new album Defeaning Silence, the Desert Wave trio weave a cohesive Heavy Psychedelic Space Rock tapestry that’ll have you pressed back into your seat from the moment the album launches.
About Desert Wave
Desert Wave is a Psychedelic Stoner Rock trio from Vicenza, Italy (a town about an hour west of Venice). The band is:
- Enrico “Burton” Dalla Pozza – Guitar
- Luca “Logan” Adamati – Bass, Vocals, Synth
- Andrea “Drugo” Vetri – Drums
Desert Wave’s last record was Lost In Dunes, a 2017 Stoner Rock romp that occasionally called to mind genre heroes like Colour Haze, Karma to Burn, and others. Take a small listen:
With Deafening Silence, the band steps firmly into the Heavy Psychedelic space that has been popularized by bands like King Buffalo (check out our recent album review of King Buffalo’s Regenerator).
Deafening Silence was recorded and mixed by Andrea “Spazza” Rigoni at Produzioni Fantasma Studios.
Desert Wave: Deafening Silence Album Review
Release Date: November 12, 2022
Track 1: Outside Pt. 1
This intro track builds like a Pink Floyd or King Buffalo song, taking its time to establish a dreary atmosphere, then it gradually builds tension through guitars and drums.
One nice innovation here: The drums bounce back and forth on the speakers, giving the impression that you’ve been surrounded as the song grows in tension.
And then, suddenly, the song is over.
Track 2: Outside Pt. 2
Pt. 2 carries some of the same momentum from Pt. 1, and it also holds the first vocals of the album. These vocals are chanted, mysterious, and strong—the ideal guide for the band’s sound.
Perhaps the most emotionally charged song on the album, Outside Pt. 2’s greatest strength lies in its lead guitar—but you’ll have to listen closely to be sure you’re always hearing it.
Track 3: Deafening Silence
“Deafening Silence” is a captivating track, thanks to its infectious build and simple unpredictability.
With that combination of intricacy and sonic surprises, “Deafening Silence” may call to mind Desert Wave’s fellow countrymen IKITAN, though the mysterious, unsettling tones remind me of Birds of Nazca.
Track 4: Above
Featuring awesome guitars and vocals, “Above” is a solid track that’ll have you wishing for a bit more.
Track 5: Vortex
“Vortex” opens on a heavy bass riff, and that rockin’ foundation carries the listener into the song’s more Psychedelic sections. As with other tracks on this record, you’ll likely hear many familiar themes on “Vortex.”
Track 6: Venus Chains
“Venus Chains” may be the best song on the record, and it’s also the most distinct track on the album. Lacking many of the Space Rock tones inherent in the rest of Deafening Silence, “Venus Chains” is more of a Stoner Rock song—and that helps it stand out.
Track 7: Endless Night
Like the opener, “Endless Night” allows itself to slowly build its own Space Rock momentum—before dying out like “Outside Pt. 1.”
Final Thoughts On Deafening Silence
Favorite Tracks: “Outside Pt. 2” and “Venus Chains”
Pros: Deafening Silence’s greatest success is melding its dramatic gloom with Psychedelic tones and Space Rock movement.
But the most impressive asset to this album is its patience. Where most bands would feel compelled to crescendo, Deafening Silence is perfectly comfortable continuing to build its atmosphere, and that has contributed to developing an album that remains cohesive for its entire 30-minute runtime.
With that in mind, Deafening Silence is, in some ways, an improvement over 2017’s Lost In Dunes. Deafening Silence may lack the foot-stomping, head-banging romps of “Blue Dicks” and “Freak and Stoned,” but it offers tighter songwriting, deeper emotion, and a heavier punch.
Cons: I don’t normally ask for bands to be self-indulgent, but Deafening Silence is an album begging for 8-minute+ songs. Currently, there’s a lack of differentiation between one track and the next, and although there’s a definite level of cohesion, there’s also a lack of storytelling and variability to truly help these songs stand out individually.
In addition, there are moments that feel shortchanged. The intro, for example, builds and builds and builds—only to quickly peter out in preparation for the next track. This was the perfect opportunity to embrace the band’s inner King Buffalo and explode into cosmic soundscapes.
And Desert Wave isn’t not used to long songs; Lost In Dunes concluded on a 14-minute odyssey, and most of the tracks on the album ran five or six minutes long (while most of the songs on Deafening Silence are less than four or five minutes).
Still, Deafening Silence is a strong effort, and its a definite improvement over their debut record.