In Loving Memory came to prominence in the early years of the new century as one of the bands on the emerging Spanish death doom scene, along with Helevorn, Evadne and Autumnal. While the latter lost their way after some good work and the other two literally exploded with a series of spectacular albums, the Basque band led by Juanma Blanco remained silent for a long time, since the second full length Negation Of Life of 2011 was followed up only with the ep Redemption three years later. The long-awaited comeback arrives at the beginning of 2022 under the aegis of Funere and the result is in line with expectations: The Withering is an album that denotes a certain underlying robustness, thus maintaining the coordinates of the past without exhibiting the softening shown by the aforementioned compatriots. In fact, In Loving Memory opts for a series of tracks set on similar tempos, very pleasant and full of a quality melodic death doom that results in a very appreciable work, although a step below the masterpieces that were both Aamamata by Helevorn and the more recent The Pale Light of Fireflies by Evadne. It must be said at once that this is not so much a demerit of the band from Bilbao but, rather, derives from the raising of the qualitative bar (in addition to the obvious stylistic change) highlighted by both the Majorcan and Valencian acts. In fact, The Withering is an album in which all the pieces are in place and, staying on national soil, it shows more affinity if anything with another excellent work such as the last signed Graveyard Of Souls; even Juanma should not be blamed for not varying the vocal range as his two colleagues Brunet and Conejero, because even in this case the comparison would be misleading. Therefore, what the fan has to do to enjoy and assimilate the contents of The Withering is just to listen to it for what it is, without paying too much attention to what has been done by others in the same stylistic field. There is no shortage of beautiful and enthralling songs, starting with opener Stellar Runaway (whose first notes are reminiscent of The Heart Collector by Nevermore), then the splendid Fractured and, after almost eighty minutes of good music, the equally good Martyrdom Of Light. The return of In Loving Memory that should be saluted with great satisfaction, confirming the goodness of the foundations laid at the beginning of the last decade.

2022 – Funere