I was waiting with curiosity for the second album of Dreariness, a band that impressed me at its first release (My Mind Is Too Weak To Forget – 2013) with a proposal rooted in the depressive, but with that something more on a poetic and melodic level able to make the difference. In this new Fragments the sound appears more meditated in many of its parts, but nothing changes about the torment and suffering that the music of Dreariness induces, using as an added instrument the voice of Tenebra, who proves to be one of the most credible performers in the field. Her exasperated scream is accompanied by clean vocals (another new element compared to the past) that are the ideal counterbalance, and everything goes to make up a compositional framework that could be defined as depressive blackgaze but that, in the end, is just another way, however necessary, to define a sound in which the melodies created by Gris and well punctuated by Torpor’s drumming are transformed into something really disturbing by the vocal interventions. In fact, if Alcest, with their shoegaze, lead us by the hand inside Neige’s dreams, with Dreariness we enter into a dreamlike reality close to nightmare, almost as if the harshness of the vocals intend to bring us back abruptly to a reality that the mind imagines less hostile and more reassuring. Fragments of light are represented, sometimes dazzling, that live in our mind the space of the life of a firefly, before being obscured by the anxiety and the sense of constant inadequacy in front of the mystery of existence: something that every mind with a minimum of reasoning can not help but feel. Poignant melodies are the soundtrack of a shattered life, whose final catharsis, however, does not necessarily occur with self-annihilation, but can also come through a zeroing of one’s experience preparatory to a new rebirth. Of course, listening to an album by Dreariness is never simple nor banal: this is music that causes quite a bit of disturbance, even if the less harsh sounds compared to the more classic depressive favour a less hostile approach for those who should come to Fragments with a less extreme background. Almost an hour of dreamy music, that Tenebra’s voice often turns into a nightmare from which the awakening, however, could prove to be anything but a liberation, is the magnificent content of an album with a high emotional impact, in which each step is functional to the purpose and where The Blue (“novemberine” track not only for the title) and In The Deep Of Your Eyes capture some consensus in my personal scale of approval, before the beautiful Catharsis closes the work as a true conceptual manifesto made even more powerful by the use of our language. Dreariness confirm and reinforce with Fragments their status as a band capable of producing music of crystalline beauty, cloaked by a thick blanket of darkness and disquiet: frankly, today, I do not think there is another reality around, in this specific area, capable of transmitting with equal strength and crystalline beauty such a sense of prostration and bewilderment.

2016 – Nostalgia Productions