How about some Eco-doom from Italian duo The Haunting Green?
‘Natural Extinctions’ is the first full-length recording from Cristiano Perin (guitar, vocals, and electronics) and drummer/vocalist Chantal Fresco, and is a potent brew of experimental dirge, and persuasive power. A mixture of vocal tracks and instrumental excursions, that at times harnesses the beauty of Norway’s Sylvaine, and the suffocating hammer blows of Oxford’s much-missed Undersmile.
We kick off in dramatic fashion with ‘Lazarus Taxon’, the drums grabbing the attention straight away with Eastern flavours, a slow build, and BIG chords. The fiery riffing giving way to evocative soundscapes, but also a sense of urgency.
The crushing and anguished plea of ‘Natural Extinctions’ and the shimmery yearning of ‘The Void Above’ match muscle with melody, but while the vocal style suits the music down to the ground, a little variation would possibly enhance the experimental nature of the album. The percussion featured in ‘Litha’ certainly does just that, as does the gorgeous piano outro of ‘Where Nothing Grows’. A great counterpart to the heavy slabs of fuzz that anchor the track.
With its persistent lead guitar sound, ‘Rites of Passage’ could be The Edge from U2 on a serious downer, but The Haunting Green manage to incorporate a variety of styles to produce an intriguing and often grand approach to their work, which isn’t afraid to show the kind of delicacy that is present in its final moments.
‘Natural Extinctions’ is a sonically forceful album. It may have the slight tendency to drag on occasion (usually on the vocalized tracks), but there is a great deal to appreciate here, certainly for fans of doomy perspectives and sludgy melancholy.
(7.5/10 Stuart Carroll)