Seven years after their last full length, the Russians Mare Infinitum make a surprising comeback, abandoning the valid death doom proposed in their first two albums, Sea of Infinity and Alien Monolith God, and moving towards a more atmospheric and symphonic form that, at various junctures, recalls the most inspired Therion. In fact, the first three tracks (Your Final Bow, The Flight of no Return and Event Horizon) are splendid examples of magniloquence with cinematic and progressive traits, thanks also to the use of a myriad of guests capable of providing a wide range of operatic voices, both male and female, and a measured but effective use of lead guitar. Quite frankly, this first half-hour of Cryosleep proves to be rousing at times, touching almost unexpected heights of melodic lyricism, and it would have been too much to ask of the band led by Georgiy Bykov to continue to the end on such high standards. In fact, the subsequent title track leads to a sudden darkening of the sound, which becomes partially less dynamic and airy, albeit embellished by the always effective guitar fugues, while the final song Celestial Escapist moves onto less orchestral shores to arrive at a heavy prog of very good workmanship, albeit of lesser intensity compared to the first half of the work. Although unpredictable compared to what the band has produced in the past decade, Cryosleep is a beautiful album that has retained only some doom roughness and rhythmic slowdowns in the title track. Those who have appreciated the more inspired albums of Christofer Johnsson’s creature, but also bands that have managed to provide skillful blends between orchestral and metal impulses (such as Winterhorde with Maestro, just to give an example) will surely find ample and lasting satisfaction.

2022 – Solitude Productions