The moment this album begins, there’s a moment of slight worry that it’s going to be another 45 minutes of predictable, thrashy metal, as a piercing fry-scream introduces a wall of distorted guitars and drums. This worry is very quickly alleviated, however, as opener ‘Woods of Nevermore’ evokes the might of established names like Opeth and Katatonia with dark, hard-hitting chord progression, technically impressive riffs, haunting clean vocals, and a rhythm section that make head-nodding inevitable. Alessandro Sforza’s varied vocals assist in keeping the sound fresh throughout, making the album seem almost like a guided tour of Progressive Doom Metal; moving from the considered, concise sounds of bands like Anathema and Katatonia to the all-out intensity of earlier Opeth and Sleep.
As a reasonably new band, this really is a statement of intent, showcasing both technical prowess and mature songwriting. The occasional moments of piano create a brilliant sense of melancholy to back up the dark nature of the music as a whole, and the cymbal-heavy drumming creates a real wall-of-noise feel to a lot of the album.
The album perhaps lacks some confidence in branching out to longer, more progressive pieces, and transitions between songs could maybe have been better smoothed in post-production, but this is a very solid effort from a band you should definitely keep on your musical radar in future.
"Technically impressive, very listenable, and only a couple of rough edges remain"
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