Qafas (قفص) – Larghetto Laments

As with the other nations of the Arabian Peninsula, Bahrain cannot be called a metal scene, unless one wants to consider as such a dozen or so bands mostly devoted to extreme genres. Several of these feature Learza, one of the most active extreme musicians in his nation, as a common protagonist, with projects varied between black, ambient and doom. Qafas stands out in this sphere; while the first two works show an ambient instrumental bent the third one basically comprises one long black-oriented track. The idea of funeral only surfaces in the full length Larghetto Laments, a work that is in some ways fascinating but not easy to decrypt in its oscillation between classical impulses, slowdowns, double-drum rushes and disturbing instrumental twists. The album displays several brilliant moments that are not always matched by an adequate performance on the executive level, but it is nonetheless a test worthy of further study by those in search of other sounds in the funeral sphere. The subsequent compilation Mesonoxian Conspiracies provides an opportunity to hear a kind of compendium of the Qafas‘ output before their fall into oblivion.

2012 – Independent