Death doom in its driest and most essential form offered in the present day is something that has the virtue of allowing itself to be listened to with pleasure but, at the same time, has the defect of proving to be hardly something capable of leaving an indelible mark. Such considerations also apply to this second full length by the Basques Sönambula, a band led by experienced guitarist and vocalist Rapha Decline. Bicéfalo is an album that, from the very first note, reveals itself to be raw, dry, based on a riffing that is always incisive and by a rhythmic support that is well in evidence: the medium tempo is interrupted by abrupt slowdowns, as well as by excellent methodical sorties outlined by the lead guitar. At such junctures the Bilbao musician proves to be a good interpreter of the instrument, and this makes us think that, perhaps, by giving more vent to more airy passages the overall result could have been positively affected. The tracks are all just the right amount of abrasive, Rapha’s snarl makes no concessions, and while listening to the record one scapes just the right amount, but as one reaches the end a question arises: how many more times will I listen to it? Sönambula‘s stylistic uniformity is a strength, in that it is consistent with the dictates of the genre, and a weakness in that after the first song it will be very clear that the plot followed will inevitably remain that one. What emerges is nonetheless a worthwhile work and one that will surely find due appreciation from those who prefer this kind of extreme sound.

2018 – Xtreem Music