If funeral doom finds few outlets in Asia, African bands are even less easy to find. After the pleasant exception represented by the overbearing explosion of Fedor Kovalevsky’s Tunisian Omination, the return of Egyptian musician Ayman Ibrahim’s Grave Solace is to be noted with pleasure. Actually, the history of this solo project began a long time ago, with three full lengths in the first decade of the century and another, Recitations From a Dreary Funeral, in the following one, but the most relevant productions are the most recent ep Night for… and this new long-distance work Emaciation. Unlike the Maghrebi musician’s apocalyptic interpretation of the subgenre, Ibrahim’s is more minimal and therefore less multifaceted and powerful. In Emaciation, the sound unfolds with very slow rhythms and rare melodic cues, as it favours a harsh rhythm, sometimes broken up by keyboard inserts that partially mitigate the sense of oppression that the album provokes. It is a difficult album to assimilate, in which the looming of an end more desired than feared is well represented by the progression almost devoid of comforting passages; we are not in the presence of an epochal album, but here the funereal fate is interpreted by the Cairo musician in a heartfelt and not obvious way: enough to give a chance to Grave Solace and Emaciation, a work with a high depressive potential aimed at a select group of listeners.

2022 – Independent

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