In the end of September Italian band from Lombardy Dark Redeemer has released its debut album Into the Deep Black through Blasphemous Records. Yes, this is their first release (apart from a single “TMC” a couple of months before the main release), but only under the moniker Dark Redeemer. But beforehand, all the musicians were busy in a local progressive death metal band Aleph (releasing three LPs in twenty years). So, now they are back with stylistic changes, fresh ideas and a brand new chapter in their musical career.
These Italian deathsters maybe have managed to say goodbye to their progressive roots from Aleph times, but still their music isn’t based exceptionally on classical death metal. Sometimes it is old school death/thrash metal, like a big homage to a familiar gang of Swedish veterans (Dismember, Carnage, Entombed etc.) with all those traditional DM traits. But then there is an atmospheric side, very essential to their music – full of moody sophistications and pensive passages. And of course, there is also a mournful part, sickeningly close to doom metal, and during the slowest moments, Into the Deep Black sounds like absolutely normal doom/death record.
It seems like there’s not enough brutality to place this record into sacramental death metal realm, but ok, when death/thrash rules the scene, we can really dive into total eye-splitting aggression; but mostly Into the Deep Black is a gloomier version of heavy metal or dark rock with layered death metal patterns (especially audible on “Killing Ritual”). Funeral keyboards make this record ghastlier and creepier, but still, no hint of funeral doom’s desperate mood here; synths are shifted rather towards gothic/doom metal direction. But without melancholic and sweet goth sappiness, there’s still a lot of grimness behind the scenes in the distant background, and only one song can pretend on something sweet and smoothly melodic, representing classical mdm piece (“The Zombiemarch”).
The title track Into the Deep Black beckons us back to the traditional doom times, slowly and inevitably summoning the death bells; meanwhile “TMC” hits with death ‘n’ roll spirit, but without a lot of fun. And nothing equals the atmospheric anxiety and ethereal penetration of the last composition “Born under the Blackened Sky (Valley of Death)”. And you even don’t mind that their singer Dave Battaglia mostly reads his texts, because this type of singing harmoniously fits into conceptual borders of this diverse and moody album.
Fire, horror and death are one of the favorite topics among the metal bands; the cover art vividly and symbolically displays these classical clichés, connecting them with the music. Classical death metal, atmospheric gothic or dark rock, it doesn’t matter how we describe Into the Deep Black; the main point is that guys from Dark Redeemer have united all these stylistic undertones without any kind of mess or dissonant raggedness. And thanks to that this album is complete and integral in any possible way.
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