The temptation to measure oneself against The Divine Comedy has infected in the past, even making some illustrious victims, several musicians, not only in the metal field, but there are no doubts on the fact that, never before, such an ambitious combination has produced an exciting result as in this Canto III. Eye Of Solitude is a doom band based in London, whose musicians, although residing on English soil, have nationalities or origins that are certainly not British, starting with Romanian vocalist Daniel Neagoe (whom we have already met in the excellent Deos), then Italian drummer Adriano Ferraro and ending with guitarists Indee Rehal-Sagoo and Mark Antoniades and keyboardist Pedro Caballero Clemente, leaving only bassist Chris Davies with a presumably 100% Albionic DNA. It cannot be ruled out, therefore, that a similar mix of influences and musical traditions has positively influenced the conception and realisation of a perfect product such as this full length. Roughly between funeral and death doom, Eye Of Solitude with a work of this magnitude rewrite the history of the genre, going to place themselves in the empyrean where the fathers Thergothon are seated along with their favorite sons Skepticism, Evoken, Mournful Congregation and Esoteric; I’ll say more: since the beginning of the century I have lost count of how many albums of extreme doom have passed through my player providing me with priceless emotions and, at that specific time, seemingly unparalleled, yet no other, except perhaps the last of Ea, was able to involve me absolutely from the first to the last note as happened with Canto III. This authentic international of pain (integrated also by the contribution as guests of the Russian Anton Rosa on clean vocals and Casper on violin), as I like to rename it, leads us, for a little more than an hour, in the deepest meanderings of the human psyche, among its ancestral fears, the breathlessness of a life that flows ineluctably towards its epilogue, the anguish that comes from the illusory hope of a post-mortem existence, the only fragile handhold to cling to in the face of the tragic awareness that nothing can turn back the hands of time. The scenario of Dante’s Inferno is portrayed in a coherent manner, and this is testified by the dramatic recitation of one of the most famous incipits of world literature, even though the Italian pronunciation is not impeccable; it’s precisely the recitations that represent the most delicate and somewhat risky passages in the work, because the borderline between acting and tawdry emphasis is very thin indeed, but the state of grace shared by all the musicians involved in the disc means that these moments prove to be absolutely fascinating as well as completely functional to the success of the work. The six long tracks are the picture of perfection in sound and songwriting: the acoustic parts, with their rarefied tones and often accompanied by the aforementioned recited passages, dilate, creating moments of real anguish, in which the impression of illusory peace gives way to an expectation that gradually becomes spasmodic while preparing the ground for the choral irruption of all the instruments; all this, especially when it is overlaid by Daniel’s almost unreal growl, manages to convey that pathos which can really make the innermost chords of the soul vibrate and from which it is impossible to escape without first shedding a few tears. There is not a particular track to point out, not a track or a passage on which to linger longer or others to ignore, not a single superfluous note or out of place in this compendium of pain, despair, bewilderment, melancholy and immeasurable beauty. A record that should be listened over and over again, because at every juncture is capable of revealing new nuances, apparently insignificant details that instead reveal their full importance in the economy of the work: the solemnity of Skepticism, the sense of impending tragedy of Colosseum, the compactness of Evoken, the melodic taste of Ea and the decadent lyricism of My Dying Bride go to amalgamate in a unique and, currently, incomparable sound expression. Canto III is the quintessence of funeral death doom, the masterpiece that finally comes to rewrite the coordinates of the genre, composed moreover by a band that has had an exponential growth in just two years and that is in a phase marked by an exciting stylistic progression. At the risk of sounding rhetorical, I’d like to think that the Supreme Poet has granted his benevolent approval to Eye Of Solitude, transferring to them all the inspiration needed to honour his immortal work in the best possible way: to find weak points in the work of the London band at this juncture you simply have to be biased towards the genre they propose. Record of the year, without a doubt, and I apologize to those who will not find it mentioned in my playlist of 2013, published shortly before listening to this authentic work of art, but, as we know, the rankings have a very relative and ephemeral value, especially when they are pleasantly contradicted and distorted by works of the caliber of Canto III.
2013 – Kaotoxin Records