Shamael – Il Suono di Mille Orchestre​-​Parte I

It was in the spring of 2021 when the name Shamael, the solo project of Raffaele Galasso, first surfaced; Melancholie der Engel was a very good album of atmospheric funeral doom that, in the course of my brief review, I had at the time somewhat likened to the work of Ryan Wilson with his The Howling Void. About a year and a half later, the return of the musician from Brindisi displaces those who expected a consolidation of the already considerable level reached with his debut album: Il Suono di Mille Orchestre​-​Parte I is a title that could have presaged a solemn and melodic sonic gait that is instead annihilated by the dissonant violence with which five poems by Baudelaire, taken from his most famous collection, Le Fleurs du Mal, are covered in an anguished sound fabric. In reality, the thousand orchestras are those that resonate in unison in the genial and distorted mind of an extreme artist in the purest sense of the term as the French poet was; Galasso succeeds in the feat of rendering all this in an exciting manner, denying the listener any semblance of consolation and keeping him constantly under a threatening yoke from which it is impossible to escape. Never as in this case is the recommendation to listen to the work more than once, because the first listening is at best puzzling, also in light of the natural expectations mentioned at the beginning but, by the second time through, the content begins to have its own venomous effect inducing a surrending addiction or, on the contrary, an irremediable repulsion. This new work by Shamael eludes any attempt at classification: certainly, in terms of contiguity, it could be classified as funeral doom, due to the void and dismay that it leaves behind at the end of the listening session, and in this sense the only recent example to which I would liken it in terms of attitude is Decrepit by Funeralium, even if the French band moves on a different lyrical and stylistic level. Il Suono di Mille Orchestre​-​Parte I offers three quarters of an hour of extreme art that leaves no room for distracted or superficial listening; this is a courageous and lacerating work, capable of leaving various scars: those who are afraid of hurting themselves should keep away from it, but, on the contrary, those who manage to come to terms with the Baudelerian suffering set to music will be inestimably enriched by it.

2022 – Independent