When it comes to the music itself, Scuorn’s Parthenopean epic black metal is nothing more nor less than epic symphonic black metal with evident influences from Dimmu Borgir; frankly, I was expecting something more distinctive after all this campaign about Pathenopean black metal. For those who live in other countries and are not into the Neapolitan music, it will be difficult to recognize elements from traditional Neapolitan music, with the exception of “Virgilio Mago”, the only song where you can recognize a tune taken from tarantella. But well, apart from this, the album is excellent, played and arranged greatly; Giulian availed himself of the collaboration with eminent musicians of Italian metal scene, including Riccardo Studer, keyboardist of Stormlord. It is in the lyrics that you will find the real Neapolitan element, primarily because they are in the Neapolitan language, and secondly because they are about Neapolitan culture and legends or myths. A good example is the eponymous track that recounts the myth of Ulysses and the siren Parthenope, both represented as speakers of Neapolitan; the scene is very intense and dramatic, though, and I love particularly the power of the cry of Ulysses when he wants to get unleashed to get off the ship. Because this scene is basically a long dialogue, it is a pity that those who do not understand the language will not be able to fully enjoy and appreciate it, even if they have the booklet with the text.
In short, Parthenope is a very good album, masterfully crafted and with a very good production; far from being innovative, it has an originality of its own. However, I really find that the bundle with the three supposedly handpicked volcanic stones is very kitsch; to me, the stones are associated with that type of vandalistic tourism that plunders places or at least I see in them a trivialization of the Neapolitan culture with objects that have more to do with advertising than with music, and that's a shame.
Parthenope was released on February 25 2017 on Dusktone. The album has been released in different editions, one which is a bundle with a box including double CD, the second of which is an orchestral version of the whole album, a signed guitar pick, a postcard, and a bag with three Vesuvian stones. The moniker Scuorn translates for 'shame' in Neapolitan.
Giulian: all instruments, vocals, arrangements, lyrics.
Wolf: Narrated vocals in the role of "Dragonizio"
Tina Gagliotta: Narrated vocals in the role of "Parthenope"
Diego Laino: Narrated vocals in the role of "Ulysses"
Libero Verardi:Narrated vocals in the role of "Polite"
Riccardo Studer: Orchestrations
Daniele "Ogre" Cristiano: Narrated vocals in the role of "Virgilio"
Text by Herjann