This Despise the Living, Desecrate the Dead is not Abysmal Grief‘s seventh full length, but is a collection of unreleased tracks, or at least tracks that have remained outside of the Genoese band’s discography among those composed in recent years. We are speaking of one of the cult names of Italian doom and, above all, of a band with a well-defined identity, which in certain respects also brings a stylistic uniformity, so that the fact of proposing a collection of tracks composed in different periods does not cause any sense of fragmentariness, an aspect often looming over compilations. This is also the reason why Despise the Living, Desecrate the Dead can take on the value of a full length, although its specific weight within a discography is obviously different; especially in the first part we find the best tracks, particularly White Coffins and the wonderful cover of Missa Est, taken from Abbatia Scl. Clementis (1993) by Mario Di Donato’s seminals The Black, rendered in a manner subservient to the typical Abysmal Grief style. The rest of the tracklist, in its descending part, includes tracks with more horrific traits and less oriented to the song form, but always imbued with that macabre liturgy to which the Ligurian band has accustomed us in the course of a career that is now reaching the quarter-century milestone. Waiting therefore for a new long-distance release Despise the Living, Desecrate the Dead is a good opportunity to keep the memory of this excellence of the Italian underground metal scene fresh.
2023 – Avantgarde Music
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