A new addition to the retro doom/psych movement are Italian quartet Tenebra, launching a 6 tracker under their own steam this year. It’s actually 6 tracks of a similar vibe that the band like to be viewed as a single suite, book-ended nicely by the fact that the opening track and the closing track are basically the same instrumental song with different arrangements and guitar-work (…and title – ‘In Tenebra’ and ‘Ex Tenebra’ – see what they did there?). However the remaining four tracks are probably where the band really show their identity.
“Gen Nero” was recorded live-in-the-studio for that nice under-produced feel and the music treads a good doom-laden heavy psych path, strong on bottom-end and striving well for that Black Sabbath debut feel. This attitude is backed up by the wealth of gritty riffs and interesting lead-work. One of the major stand-outs for this band however, comes via the fabulous vocals of Silvia Fennino – whilst obviously drawing her inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s she injects a perfect amount of gravel and power into her voice, coming across like an amalgam of Suzi Quatro, Joan Jett and Leather Leone!
She sounds the most at home on the slightly quicker, groovier tracks ‘Solve Et Coagula’ and the excellent Spiritual Beggars flavoured ‘Cornered’, but to be honest – she just absolutely nails it throughout. There is much to interest doom, metal, psych and hard rock fans here. For instance, if you are missing the doomy side to the new Avatarium, why not give Tenebra a listen, equally, if you want your retro rock to have a touch more doom metal and power, Tenebra could also be for you. A damn fine start from this band, I look forward to hearing a full album very soon.
(7.5/10 Andy Barker)