When you think of Milan, Italy, many things come to mind. Of course, it stands out as one of the most fashionable cities in the world—often cited as the “fashion capital.” Then, there’s the breathtaking architecture of the Duomo Cathedral, the splendor of the legendary opera house La Scala, and the medieval wonder of Sforza Castle. However, the city also harbors one of the most magnetically catchy, monstrously extreme, and manically unpredictable musical collectives on the planet…
Destrage tiptoe across a tightrope between time signature-hopping and head-crushing grooves, schizophrenically haunting vocals, progressive mastery, chantable melodies, and moments worthy of a night out on the dancefloor (in Dante’s Inferno). After piling up millions of streams and earning acclaim from Metal Hammer, Metal Sucks, Metal Injection, and more, the quartet—Paolo Colavolpe [vocals], Matteo Di Gioia [guitar], Federico Paulovich [drums], and Ralph Guido Salati [guitar]—perfect their signature style on their sixth full-length offering and debut for 3DOT Recordings, SO MUCH. too much.
“We don’t really compromise,” exclaims Matteo. “We have fun doing this, but we always give it our all. There are no boundaries. There’s no shape we conform to. It’s just extreme.”
Destrage have consistently redefined “extreme.” Following Urban Being  and The King Is Fat’n’Old , they made waves internationally with Are You Kidding Me? . Among many standouts, “Purania” eclipsed 1.2 million Spotify streams, while “Are You Kidding Me? No” boasted a guest appearance from Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal [ex-Guns N’ Roses]. Following A Means To No End , they reached new critical heights on The Chosen One . Of the title track, Metal Sucks raved, “This thing slaps,” and Heavy Blog Is Heavy proclaimed, “This record is truly interesting and a beautiful work of art.” Iconic drummer Mike Portnoy named it one of his “Favorite Albums of 2019,” as chronicled by LoudWire.
Riding this momentum into 2020, the band hit a wall and opted not to write for the bulk of the lockdown in Italy.
“SO MUCH. too much. came to life in a dark moment,” affirms Matteo. “When the pandemic started, we didn’t feel like writing. If you’re stuck in between four walls, there isn’t too much inspiration. What’s going to go on the album if you can’t live any experiences? We waited so long until it finally felt right. At that point, we wanted to make music again.”
Fittingly, they introduce this barrage with the face-smashing first single “Everything Sucks and I Think I’m a Big Part of It.” Jackhammer guitars underscore frantic vocal transmissions, seesawing between guttural growls and chiptune-style squeals. Eventually, the madness subsides on an ethereal clean bridge uplifted by serene harmonies.
“It’s a child of the Pandemic,” he goes on. “You’re coming from a very boring time. It’s the feeling of disappointment, being left alone, and being let down. It’s very introspective, yet it’s also narcissistic. In Westernized society, we think everything is about us, so there’s some of that.”
Then, there’s “Italian Boi.” Electronics from frequent collaborator Christian Gramaglia offset gnashing riffs and sarcastic lyrics, “He takes his food seriously, he takes his mom so seriously.”
“It’s a very ironic song,” he notes. “It’s narrated by a foreigner who comes to Italy and falls in love with an Italian boy. The guy is handsome and charming at the beginning, but you realize he falls into these Italian stereotypes that are based on facts. Even if we make fun of this ‘Italian Boi,’ we know there’s a little bit of him in each of us,” he laughs.
Elsewhere, “Private Party” [feat. Devin Townsend] ebbs and flows with airy keys, buoyant guitars, and a corrosively catchy vocal exchange before the hook, “Leave me alone, I’m dancing my own. There’s a private party in my soul.”
“When everyone was working from home, there was no more respect for the privacy of others,” he elaborates. “All of a sudden, people are calling and texting you at every unreasonable hour with no respect for your private time. It’s an important collaboration for us, because Devin is definitely someone we look up to. He wrote his own parts too, which we were ecstatic about. He got the essence of the song.”
“Venice Has Sunk” spirals out into a funkified bass solo played by the Italian prodigy Federico Malaman, while “Everything Sucks Less” glides off into oblivion over a delicate acoustic guitar melody that belies its lyrical venom.
“It’s a mirror of ‘Everything Sucks and I Think I’m a Big Part of It’,” he continues. “It started as a love song for my girlfriend, but the guys thought it was too cheesy. Now, it’s this crazy song where all of the romantic lines turned violent.”
In the end, Destrage might just be Italy’s most fascinating, furious, and fiery export.
“There’s a lot of dense information on this album to the point where it’s almost overwhelming,” he leaves off. “We really put it all out there. Now, I’m just curious to how everyone will react.”