Abysmal Grief / Runes Order – Hymn of the Afterlife / Snuff the Nun

Split album featuring two heavy names at work, this one released by Italian Doom Metal Records. In reality, only one of these would seem compatible with the label’s corporate name, and that is the Genoese Abysmal Grief, while Runes Order belong, in fact, to the world of electro-ambient experimenters. The Ligurian band, which opens the work with Hymn of the Afterlife, known and revered as a formidable interpreter of a horror doom with unique traits, for the occasion approaches the sounds of the other guests of this 12″, proposing a dark ambient guise, already exhibited a few years ago in the ep Foetor Funereus Mortuorum. Abysmal Grief do not simply evoke the excruciating pain of loss, but are themselves the officiants of the rite, the necrophorists who take charge of carrying the coffin outside the church, those who dig the grave and finally throw the last handfuls of earth over the coffin, before its denizen is swallowed up forever in the oblivion of death. Personally, I prefer the band when Labes C. Necrothytus growls from the top of his keyboard-pulpit over a more canonical musical fabric, although, even in this guise, the macabre effect is equally guaranteed and of undoubted quality. Moreover, as mentioned, this choice contributes to making the proposal not too dissimilar, not only in intent, to that of Claudio Dondo’s Runes Order. The track Snuff The Nun is a masterful summation (divided into five parts) of the artist’s musical background: the dark ambient of the beginning gradually flows into the hypothetical soundtrack of a psychological horror film, first with the vocal contribution of Alex De Siena, then with the manifestation of Dondo’s electronic heritage, a natural continuation of the sounds coming from the seminal Teutonic scene of the 1970s. Disturbing and perfectly complementary, despite the different starting bases of the two bands, to the Abysmal Grief track, Snuff The Nun ends as Hymn of the Afterlife had begun, that is, with the recitation of a Pater Noster here completely stripped of all its sacred vestments. Issued in 500 copies, 300 of which in black vinyl and 200 in grey, the split album proves to be of uncommon quality, thanks to the presence of two realities that never disappoint, from the compositional skills and personalities of the musicians involved.

2015 – Italian Doom Metal Records