Five years after Ritual, Obscura Amentia, the Italian duo that at the time we left struggling with a good interpretation of Swedish black metal, are back. In this period of time things have definitely changed, and certainly for the better, even with regard to the greater peculiarity of the sound proposed: today, in fact, Obscura Amentia are a solid reality dedicated to a doom obviously imbued with a massive black component. The same aspects that didn’t convince me 100% in the previous work have seen an important progress: Hel’s abrasive scream seems completely appropriate to the proposed style and also the production favors a better balance between voice and instruments. Black Charm’s work with guitar, bass and keyboards is the mirror of a remarkable compositional effort, aimed at making the sound evocative and melancholic without making it lose its rough extreme connotations. Wanting to make a comparison, useful to better frame the contents of The Art Of The Human Decadence, we can venture to level of moods a certain closeness to the now dated last album of Valkiria, even for a guitar work similarly aimed at the search of melodies of great impact but with everything, as mentioned, more inserted into the rhythmic step more expeditious. It’s impossible not to appreciate the intensity that shines through every single note of this album, and it’s hard for those who prefer the two genres that constitute its framework to remain indifferent. The Art Of The Human Decadence is not a work for purists, able to enjoy only the formal perfection without even trying to scratch a surface whose roughness preserves, to a distracted listening, an uncommon depth. Moreover, the work winds in constant crescendo, finding the highest moments in its second half in front of a first that is still slightly lower: in fact, if Ocean, Entropy, the title track and Agony are tracks that alone can already communicate what is the value of the album, after the instrumental interlude Broken follow tracks from the magnificent impact melodic and dramatic at the same time, inaugurated by an excellent Apathy, which then gives way to the poignant pace of the magnificent Sentenced and the apocalyptic impact of King, an episode that, before the closing instrumental Ananke, well represents the mood of a work that focuses lyrically on the unstoppable decadence of humanity engaged in a dull as unstoppable race towards self-destruction. Obscura Amentia succeed with their music to fully convey a sense of unease that takes shape as you proceed with the listening, and this more than others is a reliable indicator of the compositional depth that pervades The Art Of The Human Decadence.
2017 – Sliptrick Records
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