Irishman Kevin Byrne continues undaunted to deliver an enthralling and overwhelming sound with his solo project now in its fifth full length in seven years. Although it has been labelled, for some mysterious reason, as symphonic death doom since the first album Propaganda Dream Sequence, Sonus Mortis‘ sound has always been rightly defined as an excellent melodic black death, maybe with some industrial nuances more or less accentuated depending on the occasion, but without those rhythmic slowdowns suitable for inclusion in the list of the music of destiny. No harm done, since at least the whole thing becomes a pretext to talk about a musician that I follow since his early days and that I have always appreciated for his approach totally outside of schemes and commercial circuits (all of his albums are strictly self-produced); not only this gives Past Lives the right of citizenship on these pages: the fact is that Byrne’s interpretation of the genre is, as always, engaging, and, as a one-off, an overall length that’s considerably shorter than usual contributes to making the work much more appealing to anyone who wants to approach it. This is the classic album to play at full volume in the car while driving at night on the highway in the fog of the Po Valley: the guarantee to stay awake is total and if the melodies and the incessant rhythms produced by Byrne are not able to move adequately heart and muscles it means that whoever is listening to this album is already dead before crashing into a guard rail because of a stroke of sleep.
2021 – Independent