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Abysmal Grief – Funeral Cult of Personality

Abysmal Grief
Funeral Cult of Personality
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 December 2021, 8:58 AM

From their EPK, “You cannot talk about the Italian Dark Sound without mentioning ABYSMAL GRIEF.  Even if they started a decade later than their 80’s Italian frontrunners, the Genova-based coffin-shakers fashioned their very own brew of esoteric melodies and their discography are milestones for everyone into the dark, doomy, occult metal. "Funeral Cult of Personality" is their 6th full-length dedication to the occult, and you can detect the smell of incense, the ritual of your sinister trip has started. You are now part of the funeral cult, it's time to delve into the mysteries below. The album contains eight tracks.

“Intro” leads off the album. It’s heavy with deep, thick organ notes…like you might hear at church. But this is no ordinary church…the bells and minor notes tell you that. “Funeral Cult” begins with spoken words, and a slow, deep guitar riff. The vocals are clean at first, then turn somewhat harsh. The riff is pretty elementary, and it’s clear that the band means to push its message mostly through the harrowing vocals and background ambiance. “The Mysteries Below” features a similar sound, with varied vocals styles…sometimes vile whispers and other times harsh longer screams…all the while what is bubbling in the background works well. It continues in this vein for the length of the song, relying heavily on the main riff.

“This Graveyard is Mine” begins with a slower pace, some organ notes, and a lengthy scream. Four songs in, and the album is fairly repetitive. “Smell of the Sacristy” is a shorter song that features the horror of light background elements, like someone working, stepping around and clanking implements, while the television is on in the background, together with some eerie keyboard notes. “Reign of Silence” features another plodding riff and more background elements. They keys are a nice addition to layer the sound, and I get what the band is trying to get across, but the repetition is too much for me. “Idolatry of the Bones” opens with violin notes, but falls back into the trap of the same pacing and sound as the other tracks on the album.

As if we needed more, the closing track is thirteen minutes in length. If you heard one song here, you might say, “hey, this is alright.” But eight songs of nearly the same slow pace and elementary guitar riffs make for quite a boring listening experience. I give the band credit for trying to push the harrowing sounds of horror through their music, but it comes off as mostly campy to me. You aren’t missing anything here.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 3
Memorability: 2
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Funeral Cult
3. The Mysteries Below
4. This Graveyard is Mine
5. Smell of the Sacristy
6. Reign of Silence
7. Idolatry of the Bones
8. The Grim Arbiter
Lineup:
Regen Graves – Guitars, Keys, Synths
Labes C. Necrothytus – Vocals
Lord Alastair – Bass
Lord of the Fog – Drums

Guest musicians:

Carlotta Ottonello – Violin
David Rocchi – Flute
Record Label: Sun & Moon Records
     


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