It’s split album time for Aphonic Threnody, who, after the excellent Immortal In Death, paired with the Georgian band Ennui, again under the aegis of GS Production, give us two more splendid tracks, this time sharing space with the lesser-known German one-man band Frowning. Compared to Ruins from the previous release, Kostas is absent, and Riccardo Veronese also takes care of the keyboards, which makes the sound much more guitar-oriented and, in my opinion, even more effective than the already remarkable previous release. Scorched Earth is a highly dramatic track, in which the band, supported by the illustrious guest Jarno Salomaa (Shape Of Despair) slows down the pace further, creating enveloping atmospheres thanks to riffs that combine impact and melody, all enhanced by a magnificent vocal performance by Roberto Mura. The following The Last Stand Against the Gloom does not prove to be inferior at all, exalting even more, if possible, the inspired classic death-doom trademark of the German-speaking world, so much so that one wonders why Aphonic Threnody did not release an entire work under their own name, putting together these three excellent tracks for a total length of almost three quarters of an hour, instead of spreading them over two split albums. Little matter, however, when the music is of this level, the manner chosen to convey it necessarily takes second place. As mentioned, the second part of the split is entrusted to a new name, Frowning, the solo funeral project of Val Atra Niteris, a German musician of black extraction who has an album to his credit with Heimleiden. Inevitably bringing with it some of the typical characteristics of one-man bands, the sound here is more minimalist than that of a real band like Aphonic Threnody, but the result is not at all despicable, on the contrary: Funeral March is a song decidedly in line with the genre’s standards, exhibiting a compositional structure capable of evoking the right pathos, while In Solitude is more composed, with a touching piano intro, and showing Val’s more reflective side overall. Two rather convincing tracks that constitute the optimal way to introduce themselves to fans while awaiting the forthcoming full-length. All in all, this split confirms the moment of grace of Aphonic Threnody, from whom we are clamouring for a new album as soon as possible, and offers us a new reality such as Frowning that we await with curiosity on its long-distance debut.

2014 – GS Productions

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