Franklin Avetisyan, in spite of his young age, has already put himself on display first with his band Bread And Wine, author with the album Petrichor of a refined doom with female vocals and, immediately after, with his solo project Eyeless In Gaza that shows almost as a consequence a decidedly multifaceted and, at times, innovative approach to the funeral matter. The Yerevan musician surprises in his debut album, titled Act I: The Protagonist, for his ability to maintain high emotional tension, both when the sound is driven by delicate acoustic arpeggios and in the moments when everything becomes more dramatic and intense without, at the same time, ever losing a strong sense of melody and atmosphere. The transience of existence and the search for its meaning, if any, are well described by lyrics in line with the habits of the genre and especially by a trend that oscillates between a range of emotions and feelings always different, characteristics that are enhanced in the twenty minutes of the opening track The Protagonist. Even the use of different vocal ranges, a trap in which many bands have fallen in the past, frustrating otherwise flawless works, here is done in an optimal way thanks to the use of external aids, as well as for other instruments such as classical guitar. But in Act I: The Protagonist the main character is Franklin himself with his dazzling talent that has not escaped Solitude Productions’ watchful eye; rarely a debut album, in a genre where more than others it is difficult to bring innovative elements, appears so unassailable in any aspect, from the mere compositional aspect to the instrumental performance to end with the recording. For Eyeless In Gaza (whose only flaw is to have the moniker in common with the historic post-punk band of Martyn Bates in the eighties) I venture a bold parallelism considering them a sort of Xanthochroid version of atmospheric funeral: perhaps this approach was influenced largely by a scream very similar in timbre to that of Sam Meador, but in a track like Maelstrom, as well as in the instrumental Mournful Unconcern (with hints of the painful solemnity of certain Finnish funeral) we find the same stigmata of oblique genius of the California band. Act I would call an Act II, an Act III and so on: if this is just the beginning we may have really discovered the future of doom in its darkest and most melancholic.

2020 – Solitude Productions