It’s getting colder but kind of taking its time Winter is coming though and it could well be timeless. Will we be walking in a winter wonderland with Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Co? Nope very unlikely. We may however be listening to A. the one man black metal artist behind Italian act Talv however as he describes the experience in a musically poetic fashion that really sets you in the mood for the encroaching smother of snow and ice. We are not walking through it all happily either, we are way beyond that having gone into a shuffling gait. The legs and every other extremity are chilled to the bone, there is a white mist in the eyes and we don’t recognise up from down. All we want to do is embrace the cold, lie down and succumb to it never to move again. They say like drowning that it is quite a comfortable way to go, even if not found and properly interred once the great thaw comes it is something that will be no concern to us and this is very much the feel that we get from this musical journey.

It is slow, ponderous and incredibly atmospheric over its four main lengthy tracks. Their titles such as ‘Dreaming a Funeral in Another Life’ and the gorgeous artwork sum it all up. Music slowly ebbs in there is a far away feel about it all as the beat trudges on and on in absolutely no hurry whatsoever. There’s a slight crunch from the snares and a funereal melody that gives it all a barren, cold and dismal tone. It’s very much in the DSBM frame. Vocals are somewhat distant in the mix too, necrotic and mournful rasps penetrate with the cold and frosty musical gaze working perfectly with it and making the listener shiver completely feeling the touch of death in their wake. The thing that may put people off here is once you are ensnared by this frozen tapestry there is very little change to it. One long song goes into another with little difference to the sound at all, you have already been completely smothered and that is what Talv are going to continue to do to the very death itself. After an initial listen this kind of made sense though and worked well for me, the ‘eternal snowfall’ and onset of ‘hypothermia’ is a cloak that cannot be shrugged off and the repetitive mournful nature of the music becomes all the more beautiful and welcoming the more you embrace it and submit.

Reminiscent of work by Sicilian Vardan, whose own epic wintery are of Nostalgia I am shortly to explore and that of acts like Tenebrae in Perpetuum and Beatrik (as the PR blurb quite rightly points out) this is classic sounding best to immerse yourself in, in total isolation. Adding authenticity after the main four numbers finish there’s a cover of Coldworld instrumental ‘Winterreise’ for you to numbly drift off this mortal coil to.

Just in case you hadn’t quite got the message here’s a warning to the unwary. This album definitely doesn’t come with chestnuts or a roasting fire!

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)