Very interesting is this split album, which features three different entities dedicated to funeral doom, united with the intention of dedicating their music to the victims of the conflict that has been tearing Ukraine apart for months. Abysmal Growls Of Despair, In Lacrimaes Et Dolor and Until My Funerals Began are three solo projects respectively from France, Italy and Ukraine, and the work of assembling them came about thanks to the work of the active Russian label GS Productions, which we have come to know thanks to other split albums with such high-profile players as Aphonic Threnody, Ennui and Frowning, among others. The peculiarity of this work is, in the meantime, that of showing three different ways of approaching the subject matter, although, of course, in order to be able to grasp such nuances, it is necessary to have some familiarity with the genre. The opening is entrusted to the two tracks of Abysmal Growls Of Despair, a project of the hyperactive musician from Toulouse, Hangvart: no less than four albums have been released in the last two years, three of them in 2014 alone. Compared to his split companions, the transalpine is one that offers a decidedly less accessible version of the funeral, despite the fact that the first of the two tracks at his disposal, Nimis Sero, is in fact a fine reinterpretation of such an archaic theme as Chopin’s Funeral March: the atmospheres remain almost always oppressive, thanks to a growl that is above all a wheeze and a writing that is almost devoid of particular openings, although in Quiet Moments there is the slightest semblance of melody that only partially alleviates the sense of suffocation, a symptom of a pain that literally implodes rather than finding an outlet to the outside world. Having overcome this phase of not easy decryption, the two tracks entrusted to the In Lacrimaes Et Dolor of Dany Noctis, a musician resident in Macerata but originally from Eastern Europe, shift the scenarios to partially more accessible terrain. Dolor Aeternum and On Death’s Row are the new testimonies of a musical talent that really lacks nothing to reach the qualitative heights of the genre: his funeral is decidedly melodic and atmospheric, but shuns all banality, enriched as it is by an artistic and personal sensibility that is poured into the compositions in their entirety. If Dolor Aeternum is a fine track, with the use of clean vocals partially reminiscent of the more recent Pantheist, On Death’s Row is a magnificent track with a backing line of great evocative potential. We will soon find In Lacrimaes et Dolor again with another split, this time a four-piece, with the presence among others of Aphonic Threnody, whose singer Roberto Mura (also Arcana Coelestia and Urna) has taken care of the graphic part of In Memoriam together with Dany himself, doing nothing to hide the horrors of war and the stupid transience of mankind, even through rather crude images. The task of closing the album is entrusted to Rumit’s Until My Funerals Began, who is actually from Donetsk, the city within the Ukrainian borders that has been saddened more than others by civilian deaths resulting from the conflict. Luctus is a track that has already been published, in the ep May 2, 2014 to be exact, and consists mainly of music full of emotional tension that serves as an accompaniment to sampled voices connected to the war in progress, while Burn My Flesh is another track with a high level of drama that confirms the good things that had already emerged from the previous full-length False Horizon. There is no doubt that Rumit, touched very closely by the events that are dealt with in this work, has managed to imprint in his compositions that extra something capable of bringing out in an almost physical way anger, pain and despair. A very successful split album, then: for someone, perhaps, it could be the cue to learn more about events that superficially tend to be underestimated because they are geographically distant, but are actually much closer to us than we want to admit. The album can be purchased from GS Productions or by contacting the bands directly.
2014 – GS Productions