This is the sixth album by 13 year old black metal band Blaze Of Sorrow, and if you’ve never heard of them, it might have a little to do with the fact that they sing Italian lyrics which may not have as much international appeal as their melancholic style of black metal may. Originally a solo project by P., he was joined by a few drummers before N. settled into the throne permanently 9 years ago and finally V. and A.S. joined last year on bass and guitar, even though V. has been playing for the band for 9 years in live settings.
The haunting chants over a background rumble open “Settimo Requiem” before the trumpets herald in the guitars and drums, which come in with a sense of purpose and are played with an angry, melodic but refined flair. The rasped vocals add to the intensity as the guitars and drums blast into a higher gear when they are screeched out.
“Furia” is aptly named, as it’s a blistering track full of speed and rage, yet they somehow still manage to incorporate some melodic elements to prevent the song from becoming one dimensional.
The subdued opening lead on “Sonno D’Eterno” morphs into a soaring trade-off between guitars before the vocals come in and moves everything up a level to tremoloed guitars over blasting drums that could be by any of their Norwegian counterparts.
They way “Notturna” builds slowly for a minute before the lead guitar kicks in in full swing, then the rhythm riff takes over and the vocals come in to add an aggression that the music had avoided with sheer melody. When the song breaks down around halfway for an intricate instrumental interlude, the droned choral vocals coming in add a different element to P.’s rasping black metal vocals.
“Hybris” has a catchy riff and tempo, and in some ways the rasped vocals seem a little obtuse and far heavier than the song requires, but at the same when the song slows down further it’s the vocals that carry it effortlessly to the lead solo as the guitars wail and the drums beat out their lento tempo, before everything races off towards the rapid end to the song.
While being one of the shortest songs on the album, “Cupio Dissolvi” still manages to work its way through movements varying from the bouncy start to a blasted middle where N. is smashing his snare and cymbals before coming to an almost complete standstill and building up again after a melancholic bridge.
I love the exquisite acoustic guitar on the final track “Morte Di Un Immortale”, where the layers of picking are filled with harmonies as P. and A.S. go on to strum enthusiastically while never losing the gentle feel to this beautiful song.
If you’re a fan of atmosphere, but enjoy a touch of anger too, then you should consider giving this album more than a good listen, as you shan’t be disappointed.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)