Another of the most interesting discoveries of this first half of 2022 are Church of the Sea, making their long-distance debut with the splendid Odalisque, a work that follows the 2019 ep Anywhere But Desert; the Athenian trio, characterized by the marvelous voice of Irene, might appear at first approach close in sonority to Messa, but then detach themselves from it almost immediately since, in addition to the presence of two superb singers, the common trait remains a dark doom metal that in the Italian band develops in a heavy blues sense with psychedelic overtones, while in the Greek one it extrudes in the direction of a shoegaze rich in electronic pulses. What matters most is that the result is instead comparable in quality and depth: Vangelis (guitar) and Alex (synths and samples) masterfully support Irene, accompanying her along six relatively short but extraordinarily intense tracks, among which stand out Odalisque, a song with oriental overtones evoked by the title (note by the way also the remarkable cover, whose photo recalls the posture of the subjects depicted in orientalist paintings of the 1800s), and the concluding Me as the water, me as a tree, somehow more direct and melodic than the rest of the tracklist, though largely crossed by electronic streaks. Church of the Sea emerge in a surprising, and overpowering way despite the sensivity of their proposal, further expanding the already conspicuous number of new names deserving of greater attention compared with obtained so far.

2022 – Independent