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giovedì 24 novembre 2022

Incantvm - Strigae

#FOR FANS OF: Black/Doom
From Italy a quite special project comes under the leadership of the clarinetist Vittorio Sabelli, a former member of the band Dawn of A Dark Age, who has recruited some very talented musicians to help him in his new musical voyage. More than 10 musicians have taken part to record ‘Strigae’, the first effort of this interesting and undeniably original project.

The concept behind the music is also something worthy, as the album is based on witch hunt and summary trials that took place during the past centuries, and that which sadly led to the sentence of hundreds of innocent women. Musically speaking, it is quite hard to define Incantvm’s music, although the term theatrical might be a good definition for that, as the different arrangements and expressive nature of the music itself has a lot in common with a theatrical performance. 'Strigae' is, in any case, strongly tied to the extreme metal scene, as its obvious metal influences come from the black and doom metal genres, but also has a clear progressive nature if you pay attention on how the compositions are structured. The generous length of the three actual songs (as the first and last ones are the intro/outro of the album) gives the necessary room to introduce quite varied influences and changing structures. "Il Cerchio e il Fuoco" opens the album with its ever-changing structure and pace, where we can enjoy Tenebra’s super high-pitched shrieks, which for sure could remind us of the scream of an actual witch. The pace has its ups and downs with a great combination of raspy guitars and plenty of arrangements which enrich the music a lot. There is also a room for calm sections where the progressive and most non-metal influences reign, with the tasteful pianos, clarinets and several other classic instruments which mark an abrupt contrast with the heaviest sections of the song. As aforementioned, this album is like a baroque and theatrical act and the music is the perfect portrayal of this concept. The narrative voice of Nequam serves as the director of the most experimental sections as reinforces the feeling of experiencing an actual performance in its broadest sense. "Lamie" has a clear progressive evolution in its structure as it begins with a doomish pace, and it gains some intensity with the track progression, even though it always has a changeable pace and unexpected changes in the style and intensity, which are a tangible proof of the great work behind this album. The always relevant and tasteful arrangements done by the mastermind Vittorio, shows how he has tried to introduce several non-metal influences in an actual metal album, trying to forge and album free of stylistic restrictions. The narrative voices and introduction of several instruments may not appeal every metal fan but it makes 'Strigae' a compelling work that requires an open mind and several listens.

In conclusion, 'Strigae' is a remarkably interesting and enjoyable album. Its very personal mixture of black and doom metal influences, and the generous use of classic instruments make it a complex, demanding yet a very satisfactory album. From my point of view, this effort should please every music fan who demands both originally and quality. (Alain González Artola)

(I, Voidhanger Records - 2022)
Score: 80