Tenebrae – My Next Dawn

For those who had appreciated a magnificent work like Il Fuoco Segreto, the desire to listen to a new album of Tenebrae was mixed with a certain fear, in the light of the preannounced change in style combined with the umpteenth reshuffle of a line-up that seemed to have reached its stability; moreover, the necessity, by the Genoese band, to look for a new label able to support adequately its creative efforts, ended up drawing a picture full of criticalities that could have put in crisis any person without the passion and the conviction of their own means in possession of Marco May Arizzi. In the meantime, the guitarist and main composer of Tenebrae, together with the only survivor of the original line-up, bassist Fabrizio Garofalo, and the vocalist already present on Il Fuoco Segreto, Paolo Ferrarese, have found two new companions in keyboardist Fulvio Parisi and drummer Massimiliano Zerega. Strengthened so a line-up that had broken up just during the phase of writing of the songs that would come together in My Next Dawn, the compositional process has regained momentum and further vigor and, never as in this case, we can argue with good reason that the difficulties in the long run have had a fortifying effect, in front of the evidence of the results obtained. Yes, because My Next Dawn stands as the highest point reached by the Ligurian band, which is not even too obvious if you think of the absolute value that distinguished the previous production and the partial abandonment of a peculiar style that marked it indelibly. The passage from Italian to English, during the writing of the lyrics, has been, first of all, a necessary step to make the disc more attractive outside our borders, but it is certainly not the only reason: in fact, the English-speaking metric better matches with a sound that points more towards the darkness of gothic doom and, here, we can not help but praise the skill of Antonella Bruzzone, able to switch with ease from the tragic stories and soaked in romance described in our language in Memorie Nascoste and Il Fuoco Segreto, to a story of apocalyptic matrix in a foreign language, inspired by the film The Road, entrusted to the magnificent interpretation of Paolo Ferrarese. My Next Dawn, however, despite these premises, does not completely sever the umbilical cord with the past production: the peculiar progressive imprint remains well-defined even if no longer in the foreground, along with a melodic inspiration that hovers in every song, even in the passages apparently harsher, going to compose a picture overall dark, melancholic and anything but easy to label (atmospheric doom, gothic, dark, these are the tags purely indicative that will probably accompany the various reviews of the work). After the intro Dreamt Apocalypse, Black Drape is the real business card of the new Tenebrae, with accelerations at the borders of black alternating with evocative moments driven by the keyboards of Parisi and enhanced by the versatility of Ferrarese, able as never before to express himself in different vocal registers that, for most singers, would be incompatible: a theatrical stentorian voice alternates with a deep and convincing growl and, above all, with operatic-like vocals that have the task of emphasizing the pathos that pervades the flow of the notes. The beauty of this song sweeps away any doubt and from here on the listening becomes nothing but the discovery of a series of gems scattered inside the work, starting from Careless, together with the title track, one of the tracks that our band had already presented in their last live appearances as a taste of what would have been My Next Dawn: here is a poignant solo by Marco Arizzi to put the seal on another magnificent song. The acoustic guitar played by guest Laura Marsano (protagonist a few years ago on Le Porte Del Domani, what probably was the final act of La Maschera di Cera’s career) is a value that is added along the course of the album and makes a good show in the intro of Grey, track that unravels in a final touching and dramatic beauty, preceding what will prove to be one of the peaks of the album, the magnificent The Fallen Ones, in which is enhanced the combination of lyrics and music, with Ferrarese to denounce a degradation of the human race that is no longer just the precognition of a post-apocalyptic future. Arrived at the middle of the ford, it only remains to verify the ability of Tenebrae to maintain even in the descending part of the album the same depth of a sound that shines with an intensity almost surprising. The Greatest Failure is the answer, being yet another song that imprints itself in the memory, appearing destined to stay there for a long time as well as the following Behind (which, after a rarefied beginning, literally explodes in its second part) and Lilian (marked by an elegant keyboard work). If, more than once, the bands that shoot the best cartridges at the beginning of their albums end up then to suffer a certain impasse due to the inclusion of fillers, Tenebrae reserve the best in the final, with the combination composed by the title track and As The Waves, two songs of poignant beauty that amply demonstrate the artistic dimension reached by the quintet from Genoa, able like few others to close a work in constant crescendo and leaving as dowry to the listener only those emotions transmitted with amazing continuity for fifty minutes. If we want, Tenebrae have landed today on a land adjacent to that beaten by Ecnephias, although the paths have been very different, expressing with My Next Dawn a work at the height of the masterpiece published last year by the band from Lucania. Don’t you think, then, that it’s time to give more credit to those who compose and play music for passion, giving vent to a fire that will hardly stop burning, rather than passively supporting those who smuggle as art the simple attempt to make ends meet? If you are still convinced that today there is no one able to give works worthy of occupying a prominent place in your record collections, try first to listen to My Next Dawn; give yourself this gift, give a definitive kick to preclusions and preconceived judgments: Tenebrae will never become, unfortunately, one of those names of which to be a fan or supporter, but listening and living the real music is an inner process, light years away from an ephemeral post to share on social networks, this should never be forgotten.

2014 – Rain Without End Records