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Black Therapy - In The Embrace Of Sorrow, I Smile Award winner

Black Therapy
In The Embrace Of Sorrow, I Smile
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 25 January 2017, 3:02 PM

BLACK THERAPY is a Melodic Death Metal band formed in Rome, Italy, in 2009. Lyrical themes center on darkness, loss, despair, and pain, among others. “In The Embrace Of Sorrow, I Smile” is the band’s second full-length album, on Apostasy Records, and contains ten tracks. The opening piano into of “Tears Of Innocence” is hauntingly beautiful, like gazing upon a corpse who smiled at death, and passed into the netherworld in complete peace. It segues into the title track perfectly. There is a very strong combination of Melody, Death, and Doom and I am immediately wondering where this band has been all of my life up to this point. I find solace in the darker and ambient/symphonic elements of this track as well, as it connects emotionally with big punches. That guitar solo could reduce you to tears.

“Stabbed” has an almost regal opening riff, ominous and kingly, and reminds me of the mighty INSOMNIUM in many ways. The guitars work in harmony and unison with the bass and drums, and the meaty Death vocals bring it to life. “She, The Weapon” has a more straightforward riff and moves forward with energy and enthusiasm. The chorus is melodically plump and pleasing, and really ties the song together. “Paintings Of A Black Ocean” is depressingly wonderful, and exactly as I imagined from the song title. Despondent acoustic guitars create an ever-greying landscape, as your hopes and dreams fade into the grey until they are no more. “Voices In My Head” features some minor chord to major chord shifts and keeps you on your toes. As they have done so well with up to this point, the chorus is what resonates with you. For me, that is one of the most, if not the most, pleasing features of this genre of Metal.

“Theogony” has a slower pace that allows the harmonic lead guitars to shine brightly against the tortured vocals. The interlude after the second chorus uses piano and introspective guitars to remind you of the utter hopelessness of your life in the grand scheme of things. “The Final Outcome” is a four-minute scorcher that would char a landscape like solvent soaked paper on fire. The base of the riff is a continuous twin-lead attack and a scale-building sound that culminates in a crescendo that hits you squarely in the feels. Closing the album is “Infected.” It’s slower and grittier and registers with unnamed things that go bump in the night, and lurk under your bed as the stuff of nightmares. Cold, dark and hard, it closes the album with intense hatred. I have heard a lot of Melodic Death Metal and one of the things I like most about it is the diversity of the genre. BLACK THERAPY have managed a near-perfect balance of aggression, tempered with glorious melody here on this album, and a despondent quality of Doom that looms overhead. The result is full of character, complexities that you can grasp and a window into their tortured soul. Very well done!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Tears Of Innocence
2. In The Embrace Of Sorrow, I Smile
3. The Foolishness Of Existence
4. Stabbed
5. She, The Weapon
6. Paintings Of A Black Ocean
7. Voices In My Head
8. Theogony
9. The Final Outcome
10. Infected
Giuseppe Di Girogio – Vocals
Lorenzo Carlini – Guitar
Daniele Rizzo – Guitar
Luca Soldati – Drums
Alessandro Finocchiaro – Bass
Record Label: Apostasy Records


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Edited 27 March 2023

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