Obscura Amentia are a duo composed of Black Charm (who takes care of all the instruments except for the percussion, entrusted to a drum machine) and Hel (female scream): active since 2010, with Ritual they reach their second full-length. Their music, just to give a rough idea, brings us back to the sounds of Dark Funeral, so we are talking about black metal devoted to tradition but without neglecting the sense of melody, always present thanks to effective guitar lines. The band from Novara offers a work of a good level, even if some slight flaws, mostly attributable to the production, end up to partially invalidate the final result: for example, Hel’s voice, both for a recording that relegates it almost to the background, and for a minor incisiveness that often unites the singers grappling with scream and growl, is not always revealed in all its possible effectiveness. All in all, however, I do not find the use of the drum machine so deplorable, although it is clear that a ‘human’ drum kit is still preferable, while the super instrumental work to which Black Charm submits itself turns out to be entirely appropriate. Ritual is an album that does not disappoint, due to its stylistic integrity and its monolithic presentation, which in my opinion is its strength rather than a defect. With the exception of the beautiful title track, which stands out from the rest of the album, branded as it is by an obsessive and enthralling riff, the other tracks are developed on rather similar coordinates, but create an overall impact that is not at all negligible. A work that deserves to be given a chance, above all by those who appreciate Swedish black music, but which could also satisfy the more fundamentalist as well as those who prefer the more melodic aspects of the genre.

2012 – Independent