Narrow House belong to the large group of bands devoted to funeral doom sounds that, in recent years, have been emerging from the territories of the former Soviet Union. Ours, specifically, come from the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, and with A Key To Panngrieb they are releasing their absolute debut; in cases like these it is not uncommon to come across work that is minimal to say the least or sloppily played and even worse produced. Fortunately, all this does not happen to Narrow House, who offer a very good album full of atmospheres as gloomy as they are elegant, placing themselves not too far from what has already been done by the ex-national Comatose Vigil and, therefore, showing all their devotion to Skepticism, the authentic gods of this atmospheric variant of funeral. In examining the album, one notices that the first three tracks (the titles in English are the result of a free translation from Cyrillic, so they are not necessarily 100 percent correct), over the course of a good half hour of music, stay abundantly within the tracks traced by many other bands, but this does not mean that the work of the Ukrainian quartet should be neglected, far from it: the sound constantly maintains a precise melodic design thanks to poignant atmospheres over which Yegor’s malignant growl towers. A separate discourse must be made for the fourth and last track, which would actually show interesting elements of discontinuity from the rest of the tracks, if it were not the cover (well disguised initially by the usual Cyrillic title) of Beneath This Face by Esoteric. Overall, A Key To Panngrieb turns out to be a fine record and, while not overdoing it, Narrow House brings home an ample and well-deserved sufficiency; moreover, considering that the content of this work is the result of a gestation that lasted about two years and that, in the meantime, the Ukrainian band can and should have further matured, I feel like betting a few euros on a forthcoming full length that can really make its mark.

2012 – Solitude Productions