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domenica 22 marzo 2020

Selenite - Mahasamadhi

#FOR FANS OF: Funeral Doom
From the second half of the '90s, funeral doom has seen a constant growth of new bands which defined the core elements of a quite extreme genre. Slowness, abysmal vocals and super heavy riffs are a constant in a quite rigid genre, though it still leaves a little room for the bands that try to add their own touch. Anyway, it is quite difficult to stand out from the rest and many bands sound too similar between them. This initial difficulty wasn´t however an impediment for the Austrian musician Stefan Traunmüller to create a new project called Selenite, back in 2015. If anything has to be remarked about Stefan is that he is a super active musician, as he is involved in several projects, being some of them especially interesting bands like Rauhnåcht or The Negative Bias, among the others. Thanks to his different musical approaches in those projects, it is quite clear that he has enough talent and many ideas to create a funeral doom metal project, which could be reasonably interesting.

'Mahasamadhi' is the result of his four years working and it is indeed an album which doesn´t escape from the core sound of the genre, though it has enough elements to make it interesting. First of all, the concept of the lyryics has a strong Eastern influence, trying to avoid the quite typical lyrics of the genre. Still, the atmosphere is gloomy and dark as anyone could expect when you listen to a funeral doom metal album. Thankfully, Selenite is a band which tries to add plenty of atmospheric touches, making the album more interesting. Stefan manages to avoid the monolithic and sometimes quite boring compositions of some bands that sorely focus on repetitive riffs, without adding anything special. The songs have, unsurprisingly, a very slow pace where the ultra heavy riffs and the expected growls have a constant presence. Anyway, from the very beginning, Selenite creates a quite special atmosphere with, for example, some chants with a ritualistic touch, like it occurs in the album opener "Chanelling Chants From Beyond". Moreover, the background keys have also an important presence in their form of church-esque organs or eerie keys, which enhance the mystic atmosphere wraping the songs. Vocally, the album has the aforementioned growls, which sound quite good, though they don´t reach the level of deepness of another purely funeral doom metal projects. Apart from that, Stefan introduces some clean vocals, which try to sound evocative, like it happens in the mainly instrumental track "Hidden Presence". As another enriching element, we can hear some female vocals, which have a quite relevant presence in the track "Final Reckoning". All these efforts are used in order to widen the musical spectrum of the album and make it more varied. With regards to the guitars, the cavernous riffs have a major role, though Selenite tries to add some melodic riffs, which are quite good and also help to create songs easier to keep in mind. Heaviness and memorable melodies are not incompatible and its balance always helps to forge a more enjoyable work.

All in all, Selenites’s debut album 'Mahasamadhi' is a pretty good effort of funeral doom with a strong atmospheric and a ritualistic approach. This touch helps to make the album a quite enjoyable listen. 'Mahasamadhi' may appeal the fans of the genre, leaving us waiting what this project can offer in the future. (Alain González Artola)