The Blessed Hellbrigade / Y’ha-nthlei / Aphonic Threnody / In Lacrimaes et Dolor – Of Poison and Grief (Four Litanies for the Deceased)

Another release by the Russian label GS Productions, evidently specialising in split albums, this time with a work featuring four different bands, three of which are Italian plus the English Aphonic Threnody, who also have a conspicuous Italian component. A few weeks after In Memoriam, we find In Lacrimaes Et Dolor, who once again convince with a funeral death doom that, compared to the previous release, returns to tread more classical paths, touching several times with Of Poison and Deceit moods and sounds of Skepticism. The use of the organ undoubtedly facilitates this juxtaposition, and Francesco Torresi’s excellent growl is no less than that of Matti Tilaeus. Yet another excellent test then for Macerata musician Dany Noctis, awaiting a new full length that, given the foundations laid in recent years, could be a thunderbolt for many. The second track features The Blessed Hellbrigade from Novara, Italy, who, compared to their younger colleagues from the Marche region, offer a doom with traits that are more epic than funereal, often soiled by black rhythms. This is not surprising given that the two musicians involved, M. and Mayhem, are two old acquaintances of the northern Italian black scene. The track, Maudit et Superieur, is decidedly intriguing, showing, moreover, a certain discontinuity from what the other three bands have proposed. Aphonic Threnody are the best known band of the lot, as well as being the only one on paper not Italian, although vocalist Roberto and drummer Marco are two Sardinian musicians well known for being the driving forces behind bands such as Urna and Arcana Coelestia, and the new guitarist Zack is also from Italy. The band, led by London-based Riccardo (guitar and bass) and featuring the newly-entered Juan, a Chilean keyboardist formerly of Mar De Grises, after two more splits, an Ep and a magnificent album such as When Death Comes, continues to offer excellent music with this track, Bury Them Deep, which explores a less funeral and more evocative side to what has been performed recently. The work closes with the track offered by another duo, the one formed by Y’ha-nthlei of Lombard musicians Sadomaster and Omrachk, who, with The Tomb’s Penumbra, offer a track under the banner of a more hostile and bare funeral than the rest of the company. The sound leaves little room for melodic openings, favouring a progression with an impact that is decidedly more disturbing, though equally effective. All in all, another valuable release for GS Productions, anything but superfluous as it allows us to verify the progress of emerging realities such as In Lacrimaes Et Dolor, The Blessed Hellbrigade and Y’ha-nthlei, while confirming the state of grace of Aphonic Threnody.

2015 – GS Productions