Together with a few other bands like Saturnus or Swallow The Sun, Officium Triste can be considered one of the historical names of melodic death doom. If perhaps during their long career they have lacked the qualitative peaks reached by the two previously mentioned bands, it is equally undeniable that each album of the Dutch veterans has always been well above average in terms of emotional impact. Therefore, this last The Death Of Gaia is no exception, whose melancholic and lulling pace is wisely spiced as always by Pim Blankenstein’s growl, an element that has become one of Officium Triste’s trademarks. The first part of the work doesn’t give rise to any doubts, with two tracks like The End Is Nigh and Shackles that are rightfully among the best things ever offered by ours: while the first one flows painful and consolatory as per the manual of the genre, the next one shows more faces and is remembered for its undoubted intensity. The work unfolds following its logical consistency with valuable songs that perhaps affect a little less than the previous but that certainly keep the average level of the tracklist high. The more rhythmic and definitely pleasant pace of Like A Flower In The Desert preludes to the evocative closing of Losing Ground, a song in which clean vocals introduce the dramatic combination of growl and lead guitar. The Dutch band with this latest work, as well as with the previous ones, does not shift the balance within the hierarchy of the genre, but it still marks in my opinion an increase in depth and focus on the melodic aspect of the songs compared to the previous Mors Viri. Today Officium Triste represent a guarantee in expressing an admirable combination of harshness and melancholy: all this leads to a never predictable usability, a prerequisite for any mid-high end album in the melodic death doom field, a genre that is based like few others on airy atmospheres and on a painful evocativeness that Pim and members never miss.
2019 – Transcending Obscurity Records