Shroud of Bereavement built up a certain reputation in the underground scene during the first decade of the century, thanks to several releases culminating with their first full length Alone Beside Her in 2007. Thereafter followed a long silence, interrupted by an EP in 2012 before reappearing again this year with the new full length A Beautiful Winter. The atmospheric death doom of the band, led since the beginning by Dan Robinson, now accompanied by vocalist Katie Bunting and bassist Mark Rzeszutek, is confirmed to be of a good level, and this is not surprising, as the compositional work is entrusted to a profound connoisseur of the subject like the American musician. What leaves some perplexity, at the end of listening to more than an hour of good quality music, is the reduced emotional impact that follows, corresponding basically to the beautiful passages offered by Robinson with the lead guitar. Thus it happens that, despite a formally impeccable performance, pathos is lacking, the element that fans of these sounds yearn for like water in the desert. A Beautiful Winter is a work cloaked in a certain class, and even the vocal intertwining between the leader and Katie does not lend itself to criticism. The problem is that, come the end, the sense of fulfilment is mitigated by the absence of truly memorable songs, with the exception of a few sporadic and isolated fragments, albeit in a context of an average level that is still high.

2022 – Independent