Painted Black – Raging Light

When you release a second full length seven years after the first one, it’s normal to expect changes, in some cases quite sensitive. This is the case of the Portuguese Painted Black, who after an album like Cold Comfort, which can be traced back to the gothic death doom strand, have landed in a form of dark rock metal that does not deny the origins at all, but that definitely moves the bar towards more melodic and liquid shores; an evolution in some ways natural and that finds its potential prodromes in the debut album of the project Sleeping Pulse, which saw the work of Luís Fazendeiro, guitarist and main composer of the band from Lusitania, using the voice of Mick Moss to reach peaks of lyricism close to those of Antimatter. It’s not so surprising, then, to find in Raging Light references to that stylistic area that starts from Katatonia and arrives up to the last Anathema, with the Swedish band that surely hovers in the passages slightly more robust and less atmospheric and the English one, instead, that emerges from the more melodic and persuasive songs, all this without forgetting completely the metal roots that from time to time re-emerge remaining an important but not preponderant element in the economy of the work. The sound of Painted Black is definitely elegant, always controlled and shaped with wisdom by Fazendeiro and his mates, with Daniel Lucas able to provide a good vocal performance both with clean voice and growl. The album starts very well with two beautiful songs like The Raging Light, oscillating between an intimate nature and the ancient gothic doom heritage, and Dead Time, with a similar development but containing a more decisive acceleration in the central phase, all always characterized by a remarkable guitar work to weave the appropriate plots. The rest of the work moves constantly through these oscillations, maintaining a melancholic aura for which the most appropriate color in the moniker would be gray rather than black. The closing is entrusted to a very long track like Almagest, a real summa of the musical idea of Painted Black, which demonstrate to have reached the necessary maturity to put themselves in the noble wake of the masters of Lusitanian and European gothic metal called Moonspell, but doing it with a good personality and above all successfully trying to avoid embarrassing comparisons with the band of Ribeiro. Raging Light is not yet the perfect album for Painted Black, because in my opinion the emotionality that should transmit a work of this type still arrives in a discontinuous manner, but in some ways this is good, as it means that the Portuguese band has in its ropes a potential even higher than the already important one exhibited in this occasion.

2017 – WormHoleDeath