Oceangrave is the name of Matteo Manfredini’s death doom solo project, which had already given encouraging signs with the 2010 debut entitled Fall Breathless to Nowhere, which remained without a follow-up until today. The Emilian musician is back with The Buried Inheritance, a full length characterised by an intense, balanced interpretation of the sub-genre, cloaked in a melancholic aura that emerges especially in the more intimate passages. The sound unfolds in a convincing manner, finding, as far as I am concerned, a possible touchstone for comparison in Daylight Dies for the particular guitar touch and the development of the songs, in which melody and harshness are bound together in a fluid and above all not predictable manner. Manfredini does not disdain rhythmic variations as well as the use of different vocal ranges, although in the end the most effective is always the growl; the five tracks with an average duration of eight minutes (plus short intro) are characterised by a rather direct and no-frills approach, letting spontaneity show the way to the listener’s heart. Perhaps the one-man band configuration may appear at times penalising (although it must be said that Manfredini relies respectively for bass and drums on Daniele Lupidi, who also designed the beautiful cover, and Marcello Malagoli, both his former bandmates in Hateful), but when the sound becomes more choral and enveloping everything flows excellently, as witnessed by the splendid track Breathing the Cathedral, without forgetting the final In My Absence, enriched by Davide Borghi’s violin. Oceangrave present iteself as one more name to enrich an Italian death doom that has been offering new bands and projects of great depth in recent times.

2023 – Independent