Three years after the excellent Funeral Impressions, Val Atra Niteris returns with his funeral doom project Frowning. The new birth is titled Extinct and appears as a natural development of the path taken by the German musician at the beginning of the decade, through some singles before appearing with decision on the scene with the split album of 2014 in the company of Aphonic Threnody. If talking about evolution in funeral could be improper, it is not instead to use as a keyword focus, or the ideal step towards the achievement of formal and compositional perfection of the genre. Extinct represents this step in the path of Frowning: the funeral here is interpreted in an orthodox but not calligraphic way and if the opener Nocturnal Void is the song that offers the most ideas from the melodic point of view, in the following and more folded on themselves Encumbered By Vermin and Veiled In Fog the sound keeps its pace from the bradycardic rhythms, finding then its quintessence in Buried Deep, twenty-minute track that stands as a musical manifesto of the musician from Saxony. The influences in Frowning are many, but none of them appears particularly marked: the slowness brought sometimes to the extreme consequences is certainly referable to the compatriots Worship, while the melodic and atmospheric sense, more than sources of inspiration declared and well present as Mournful Congregation and Evoken, seem to be assimilated to samples of emotional funeral as Ea or Eye Of Solitude; the goodness of the work of Val Atra Niteris lies precisely in knowing how to merge with skill all the experience of the genre, and then pour it into a compositional modus that turns into an almost perfect performance of the genre (with the achievement, in fact, of that goal of we said earlier). As a curiosity, I would like to mention the version of the famous Chopin’s Funeral March (if you want, you could consider it the first funeral piece in history, but someone more knowledgeable than me in classical music could refute me by finding something earlier), even if, personally, I would have omitted it, leaving the album to close with the last notes of the splendid Buried Deep. Little bad, when it remains almost an hour of excellent music that comes to consolidate the positions of the name Frowning among the leading realities of the funeral doom of the new century.
2017 – Black Lion Records