The Portuguese Carma are a black metal-derived trio (the line-up is common to Everto Signum, authors of a couple of albums in the first half of last decade) who had already debuted in this funeral doom incarnation in 2015 with an interesting self-titled full length; the fact that there had been no follow-up to that work in the following years could have made the new project seem to have an extemporaneous character. To disprove this conjecture comes this new long-distance work entitled Ossadas, which, on the contrary, literally blows the Coimbra-based band away with the performance of an high-level funeral, both musically and conceptually. In fact, the album is thematically centred on the cemetery of Carma‘s hometown, and thus all the tracks focus on the musical and lyrical transposition of the feelings and images from that place, skilfully rendered through a sound that is not excessively melodic, but contains passages that are rather sorrowful and poignant. Closing your eyes and listening to the music played by Carma, who sing in their mother tongue, you really feel as if you are inside the final resting place of the inhabitants of the city located in central Portugal. Ossadas is basically structured in three parts, with each part introduced by instrumental tracks entitled Leirão (1, 4 and 7), i.e. the different fields present in each cemetery, followed by two carrier tracks dedicated to everything tangible or not inherent in these places; wonderful songs such as Memory and Paz stand out in a work that enjoys a certain peculiarity, because Karma do not ape other funeral bands in any particular way (the liturgical intonation of the vocals may remind one of the recent Arð and certain rhythmic accelerations bring one back to the Altars of Grief of the masterful Iris, but these are only sudden flashes that pop up in the listener’s memory), exhibiting, if anything, the melancholic and nostalgic traits that are part of the Lusitanian cultural humus, and always keeping perceptible that black metal component that was more noticeable in the debut work. Ossadas is an album of truly elevated depth for which I would like to make a small personal observation: if it had been released 5-6 months ago, Carma would probably have found the right space in my book on funeral doom, which did not happen, having been until then a reality author of only one album, albeit of good workmanship; this is a small regret of mine, but, however, I believe that all in all for this Portuguese band counts above all the present, with his ability to offer the public a work destined to be remembered among the best of this year, and perhaps not only.

2023 – Monumental Rex