Iteru – Ars Moriendi

Remarkable debut ep for the Belgian band Iteru, authors of a ritualistic and oppressive death doom as it rarely happens to listen to. Apart from the fact that it’s a trio, the only thing you need to know about the band is that the musicians involved belong to the Belgian black metal scene, an aspect that makes the whole thing even more intriguing in its own way, since those who are used to travelling at higher speeds usually tend to interpret in a different way sounds with more diluted times. Iteru don’t look for consensus through a painful and melodic proposal, but with Ars Moriendi they bring the genre to its extreme consequences without moving the bar towards death, as most bands do in similar cases: the album is 100% doom, with the black heritage that emerges in some double bass rushes and in the tremolo of some solo passages, for the rest all the ingredients are in place, starting from a merciless growl and the rumble lowered to the extreme in the background. The four long tracks are litanies that disassociate the listener thanks to a sounds not particularly accurate but just true enough, to make even more credible the sense of suffocation that the band wants to induce in those who decide to submit to this infamous ritual, after all, those who fleece doom or black records focusing on purely technical aspects has definitely wrong address. Ars Moriendi is a surprising work in its own way and deserves to reach the ears of the most obscure and malevolent doom fans: Iteru, however, do not just go down hard with a monolithic riffing, because their sense of melody is not at all negligible, as well as the tendency to create exciting passages even if placed on a mostly threatening background. The final track To The Gravewarden is the most canonical and relatively more enjoyable thanks to a recognizable and repeated guitar line, too bad that halfway through its ten minutes it turns into a devastating episode of the darkest black metal, while the opening Through The Duat is the real sound synthesis of the evil intentions of Iteru. We The Dead and Salvum Me oscillate between arpeggios, melodic and destructive flashes and inescapable ferocity, going to complete a picture that depicts a doom metal that is certainly unconventional and therefore quite original; the presentation notes speak of similarities with The Ruins Of Beverast, Urfaust, Blut Aus Nord and Evoken but, depending on the point of view, you can agree or disagree completely. It’s only right to leave it to each listener to make his or her own opinion on an album that deserves to be studied in depth.

2018 – Helter Skelter Productions