Italian duo Maurizio Martusciello and Filippo Paolini deliver their second album under the moniker, Metaxu. Rumors of War is a dark, deeply complex album, commenting on man’s bloody history of torture, murder & war. Crysallized samples burn their imprint onto bleak landscapes of wintery sound, whilst electroacoustic experimentation allows them the freedom to truly explore the tools of destruction via samples, scratching techniques and microscopic elements. Yet what saves Rumors of War from merely becoming a noise album, are the slices of elegant strings that throw layers of flesh and blood onto the inhumane, mechanical idealisms that lie at the albums heartbeat. 01041939 Alicant is extraordinarily moving, conjuring images of figureless marching soldiers striding through blasted landscapes, but watched by the heartwarming strings of an entity that still clings to life on behalf of all humanity. Likewise, the horror of 07121941 Pearl Harbour, washed over by deeply classical orchestral movements, is wonderfully crafted. There is no hiding here, Metaxu show the full horrific ugliness of the human condition through their compulsively imaginitive forays into sound; yet when they decide to offer that glimmer of love and hope, it lifts itself from the page magnificently. On 08031917 St. Petersburg, the whirring mechanical wheels of death-machines do all they can to rid, but fail to drown out the choiral chants of dead souls. Whilst, on 11092001 New York, nothing can stop the ominous build-up of the thunderous wings of destruction smashing into the two towers, the track ends in a solitary bleep of extinction, re-opening still fresh wounds.