American Cathartes Aura are probably one of the most interesting novelties emerged in the last year within the funeral doom scene. The Oregona band has been reported last year anticipating in a live version the material that would have flowed into the first official album; Live: Impermanence exhibited much of the considerable potential of the group, highlighting the absolute suitability for an imminent long-distance debut, but it must be said that in the studio version the songs take on an even greater dimension, presenting also several substantial changes both in the development of the songs, both in their same subdivision, increasing by one unit the number of tracks but decreasing by a few minutes the total duration. Coming to this self-titled work, divided into four movements linked together, a good half of its duration is occupied by the first of these, entitled Origins, a song of stunning beauty that also shows how much the band approaches the genre from its more introspective side, providing an interpretation of magnificent thickness. Never as in this case the moniker reflects at its best the work of the band: Cathartes Aura is the scientific name of the collorosso vulture (typical species of North America) and, in fact, the elegant but not superfluous arpeggios that often represent the first part of all the songs make you think of the bird of prey that hovers floating, before descending to the ground to feed on the carrion of other animals. The cycle of death and life is ideally mirrored in the contrast between the placid unraveling of the sound, with a lot of ethereal and appropriate vocal interventions with female voice, and the rhythmic outbursts close to the atmospheric black but, in reality, with a poignant melodic progression. The peace of the instrumental Contemplation is a long introduction to the magnificent and corrosive progression of Sacrament; the final Death is instead the track that more than the others stands out as canonically funeral and is the worthy closure of a work that will be remembered as one of the most convincing debuts of 2020. Wanting to force a bit from the linguistic point of view, Cathartes Aura in Latin would also mean purifying air, and we all know how much we need at this time of a collective catharsis, not only physical but also and above all spiritual: the doom in its extreme forms also has this noble function, especially when it is proposed with talent and awareness as in this case.
2020 – Independent