Album Title: 
Those Who Dwell In The Fire
Release Date: 
Friday, February 23, 2024
Review Type: 

Purification through fire! Rebirth through flames!

For an introduction on this Italian act (like ‘formed in 2020 as a duo’, and that kind of interesting stuff), I’d like to refer to my review on this band’s debut-EP, ingeniously called Pyra (link: see below).

The most important fact is that these guys extended their contract with Immortal Frost Productions, the Flemish label that took care of that debut’s release, both digitally and physically. Those Who Dwell In The Fire (a title once more related to the burning piles of wood that were used as sacrificial, burial, ritual or spiritual transcending guidance, or which refers to ‘fire’ as ‘solution’ through their well-thought lyrical poetry) is the first full-length, recorded by E. (drums; also mix), I. (guitars) and L. (basses, guitars, vocals). It’s a six-track adventure, inspired, and I quote, ‘by primordial atmospheres, nature and fire’, dragging the listener ‘into the depths of the human being […] guiding you to unknown landscapes’.

The six compositions are quite lengthy (from about six to nine minutes), clocking almost forty-four minutes in total. And they do come with a grandiose production quality. It’s a harsh recording sound, rough-edged and brutal, accompanied by a perfectly balanced mix. As result, all instruments and voices are neatly represented, like an organic symbiosis of sonority-driven elegance.

The ‘songs’ themselves dwell within spheres of Blackened Death Metal, with clear elements from Morbid Death, old-styled Doom-Death, and Second Wave-inspired Black Metal. And as from the very beginning, one gets intrigued by this act’s majestic material. Actually, the introduction of opener Cacus (which clocks not less than eight minutes) brings some sonic mesmerization, through a down-tuned rumbling drone and various ambient guitar melodies. Yet after one minute and something, things evolve towards a more overwhelming intensity. A massive section of epic and melodious tremolo / lead strings, chopping drums and low-tuned basses crawl forth, and eventually things erupt into an all-pulverizing blast of devastating sonic terror. A message of insatiable bloodthirst gets sermonized through such roughly growling throat (by Lorenza ‘Lory’ De Rossi aka L., whom you might know as well from Stench Of Profit or Dead Chasm). His vocal timbre belongs to the dirtiest ones I’ve heard lately, yet in a remarkable way, L.’s pronunciation is clear and neat. The raging tracks drips of blood and pus, caused by the thunderous drums, dissonant guitars and intoxicating harmonies. When talking about those drums, well, Emanuele ‘Anamnesi’ Prandoni aka E. gained experience throughout the years as member of bands like Simulacro or Grind Zero (amongst many others), yet what he brings here is amazing: from rhythmic support over progressive patterns to nuclear-explosive proportions, without ever fading away into exaggeration. The astonishment after this band’s untitled debut was immense, yet what this guy performs right here, is beyond imagination. Therefor, the whole drums and percussion section is of a priceless level to define the material on Those Who Dwell In The Fire. The strings, then again, are at least as diverse as outstanding: high-tech melodies, discordant techniques, uplifting rhythm support, victorious harmonies and blistering leads, both at the foreground and as not-that-modest endorsement. Purely FYI: performed by L. (four- and six-stringed) and Irene ‘Nene’ Brazzolotto aka I. (and involved with e.g. Psychotomy, which also includes L.).

In a nutshell, about the whole album thunders forth within a comparable vein. Every composition is like a well-thought experiment that balances in between uncompromising and merciless harshness at the one hand, and an ingeniously harmonic elegance at the other. The diverse tempo is noteworthy, because all paces – and it does change the whole of the time – do fit organically into the whole performance. A mid-tempo section suddenly explodes into an avalanche-like eruption, before fading back to a slower fragment. Everything from doomed over mid-tempo, via energetic to lightning-fast passes the revue, yet not ever it does not work. All strings, percussions and voices are sweetly involved within that organic interplay of permanently interchanging tempos and structures.

Besides, these guys’ (and girl’s) play is quite technically skilled. I mentioned the few dissonant excerpts, yet it goes beyond the ability of accomplishing dexterous competences. Fragments of cosmic vastness (through fire, evidently) go hand in hand with slower chapters of oppressive darkness, injected with transitions of unstoppable, even arrogant intensity, often hinting to progressive skills, or, at the other hand, with hypnotic pieces that accompany the listener into post-apocalyptic visions. Take Purified Into Infinity, for example; a masterpiece that has so many levels to grant: mesmeric ambience, victorious power, a morbid tale of a new order, where space and time, as know by the human kind, will fail their significance. Or Funeral Pyre, with those varying drums, these mighty leads, that growling voice, and the fine-tuned rhythm strings; the continuous changes in speed and structure… Just check it out yourself!

Finally this, for what it might be worth to you. The tracks overflow into the next one through a smartly-chosen synth-line with an Ambient undertone. It strengthens the cohesive character of the album, even-though these keyboard passages are almost unperceived. The attentive amateur, however, will notice, and appreciate, this fine-tuned addition.

Like many releases on Immortal Frost Productions, this one too comes on compact-disc and vinyl. The CD edition is a jewel-case with an eight-page booklet, while the LP comes in two versions: a ‘normal’ black one and a splattered edition, both with an A2-sized poster. All of them have cool artwork (cover created by Manuel Scapinello), with layout and design taken care of by View From The Coffin (which are no stranger to the label).