The Piacenza musician Matteo Gruppi (already known for his other atmospheric black incarnation Chiral) returns four years after the previous full length with Vastness, the second long-distance stage of his funeral doom project Il Vuoto. If already in Weakness we could see how the cataloging in funeral was in some ways only indicative, because the sound often flowed towards an enveloping post metal showing a face very little suffocating and favoring rather a melancholy gait, in Vastness all this is further accentuated, in the sense that the dichotomy between the dramatic passages marked by growl and a powerful and slowed riffing and the moments more rarefied and intimate is always present, but everything seems even more linked and organic. All this makes the new work of Il Vuoto quite peculiar, if placed within a certain context, because the sound is not at all obvious and brings the listener on the ground wanted by Matteo without haste and without resorting to easy solutions, leaving eventually only to the work of the lead guitar the task of capturing the attention through magnificent emotional flashes. Vastness is a magnificent album also for an emotional crescendo that is very tangible, within a stylistic path that never seems obvious in its successful attempt to set to music the pains of existence seen from different angles: if the title track is developed following the coordinates of the most classic funeral, with its riffs that explode on the listener combined with a growl that this time is the work of the same musician from Piacenza, the next Weakness interprets the yearning in the face of the inability to stem the adversity that nail the spirit as well as the limbs. The beautiful guitar arpeggios accompany us in a milky microcosm, within which are lost the resources needed to organize a reaction to a state of affairs that seems inescapable, and this seemingly consolatory pace continues in Her Fragile Limbs, a track actually highly dramatic and moving content, since the theme is suicide seen as the only possible escape from an existence become too heavy although it is in fact still all to live: here emerge also passages of solo guitar from the admirable melodic content. We return to a more canonical but no less enveloping atmospheric funeral with V (The Fifth Nail), a song that fears no comparison with the best produced by the masters of the genre in terms of intensity, execution and evocative potential, before the work closes with the rarefied atmosphere of the shorter As The Whole World Failed. If Il Vuoto‘s previous releases had given the impression of being in front of a project of great depth but still in some ways in the making, Vastness delivers to the Italian scene a reality that was objectively missing in this specific musical segment, that is, someone who was able to move easily in that ideal sound spectrum that includes Mournful Congregation, Ea and all other bands capable of offering the sounds of cathartic effect that funeral fans are looking for. Vastness is a work that, to be fully appreciated, needs to be listened to several times, possibly as if it were a single body without jumping from one song to another: only in this way you can fully enjoy the beauty of this work (not coincidentally published by a label specializing in high quality sounds of pain as the Hypnotic Dirge) destined to become a term of comparison for the genre in the years to come, at least at national level.

2019 – Hypnotic Dirge Records