Ars Onirica - I: Cold (CD)

black doom metal, BadMoodMan Music, BadMoodMan Music
7.98 
Price in points: 900 points
BMM. 086-19 x
In stock
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The first full-length album of the Italian group Ars Onirica represents a junction between melodic doom metal, black metal and dark metal. This work inherits the demo that was released many years ago and has received high evaluation from the audience. The album contains a carefully crafted combination of dense reefs and atmospheric interludes, calm and aggressive moments, including acoustic parts and melodic guitar solos. This wide set of music components creates a unique mixture of the fleur of the classical groups of the 90s with the modern dark scene features appreciated by the fans of the genre.

Tracklist:
1 Intro
2 In Between
3 La Nave
4 In Gloom
5 Cold... (Return To Nowhere)
6 Dust
7 The Loss

Artist:
Ars Onirica
Artist Country:
Italy
Album Year:
2019
Title:
I: Cold
Style:
black doom metal
Format:
CD
Type:
CD Album
Package:
Jewel Case
Label:
BadMoodMan Music
Cat No:
BMM. 086-19
Release Year:
2019
Barcode:
4627080611511
Country Of Manufacture:
Russia
Review
Iye Zine
8.5/10
17.04.2019

Dopo una fugace apparizione all’inizio del secolo con l’interessante demo Utopia: A Winternight’s Traveller, arriva finalmente il primo lavoro su lunga distanza degli Ars Onirica, progetto solista di Alessandro Sforza, motore anche degli ottimi Invernoir.

I: Cold è un’opera che coniuga in maniera magistrale gli insegnamenti del melodic black/doom scandinavo e di quello italiano, per il quale l’inevitabile punto di riferimento sono i Forgotten Tomb.
Se i richiami alla storica band piacentina sono a tratti abbastanza evidenti, va detto che il tutto avviene tramite una rielaborazione quanto mai fresca ed efficace in ogni sua parte, con il risultato di mettere sul piatto una serie di brani trascinanti ed intensi grazie alla dote, certo non comune, di rendere particolarmente fruibile un sound che comunque affonda le proprie radici in ambito estremo.
L’album, in effetti, non è per nulla monolitico o scontato nel suo snodarsi, perché il musicista romano non rinuncia all’inserimento di rallentamenti di matrice puramente doom, così come di passaggi più rarefatti o acustici che hanno il pregio di non spezzare mai la tensione.
Se, poi, la buona immediatezza dei brani può suggerire una relativa profondità del lavoro, in realtà i ripetuti ascolti non ne attenuano l’impatto e si rivelano, anzi, necessari per apprezzare i frequenti cambi di ritmo e di scenario.
E’ così quindi che canzoni come In Between e Dust si ergono a probabili cavalli di battaglia in sede live, grazie ad un impatto ritmico travolgente, mentre i due brani centrali La Nave e In Gloom esibiscono diverse sfaccettature stilistiche che vanno da richiami agli imprescindibili Katatonia fino a spingersi nei pressi di un post black a tratti sognante, ma sempre e comunque intriso di un consistente impatto emotivo; Cold… è, invece, un breve e suggestivo episodio ambient che risulta l’ideale introduzione della già citata e dirompente Dust.
Un discorso a parte merita la magnifica traccia conclusiva The Loss, quello che può essere definito a buon titolo il brano dai tratti più doom incluso nell’album: anche qui Sforza dimostra la propria dimestichezza con tutti i lati più oscuri del metal esibendo sonorità più malinconiche e dolenti.
Anche se a un ascolto distratto potrebbero spiccare nell’immediato i riferimenti alle band di spessore già citate, è solo con l’opportuno approfondimento del contenuto di I: Cold che si può cogliere appieno il valore di questa magnifica prima opera su lunga distanza degli Ars Onirica, altra band che si aggiunge ad una scena italiana contigua al doom che sembra trovare ultimamente grande slancio e nuovi protagonisti.

Author: STEFANO CAVANNA
Review
Metal Archives
9.1/10
30.03.2019

It took quite a while until Ars Onirica finally released their debut album. Having been founded in 2003 the Italians put out a demo in 2004 but because of the members concentrating on other projects there has been silence for more than a decade. The Russian doom/death experts of Solitude Productions took the chance and brought “I: Cold” to a broader audience.

After the intro the record starts with a smooth and groovy rhythm which will turn out to be quite characteristic for the following 45 minutes. This is not the kind of doom metal crawling around in slow motion. Instead the basic riffs have a nice uplifting touch and the harmonies dwelling in the background inject a dreamy and epic atmosphere. The lead guitar work is excellent providing a journey through different emotions ranging from being melancholic to offering a glimpse of hope gleaming trough the otherwise grey soundscape.

The drumming is laid back and never gets too hectic or chaotic but also does not come across as being too monotone. There are moments that are more intense than others but generally speaking “I: Cold” is mainly about the glorious harmonies and the mood the music creates. The instrumentation is top notch but the musicians do not see the need to prove their abilities by boring the listener with extended and complicated soloing sections. Each elements is well thought-out and placed in a way to fit into the bigger picture.

The vocals are maybe the most aggressive piece of the puzzle as the growling is intense and upbeat reminding more of traditional death metal bands than of doom/gothic metal combos. That being said they work to a great extent in that set-up and with the delivery being on point the music gets another interesting layer.

The production is strong and the mix is crystal clear. Each instruments and all the used samples can be heard in full detail with the sound being dynamic and not too sterile. There is a certain level of heaviness but whoever did the mix took care that nothing is overdone. Overall “I: Cold” is a fantastic example of atmospheric and heavy music performed and recorded with enthusiasm and on a high level of professionalism.

Author: Edmund Sackbauer
Review
Metal Integral
16/20
27.03.2019

Jusqu'à présent, la carrière du groupe italien ARS ONIRICA avait été heurtée, avec une première période d'existence en 2003 et 2004 qui donna lieu à une démo baptisée Utopia : A Winternight's Traveller. S'ensuivit un hiatus jusqu'en 2018, année qui vit la résurrection de la formation romaine, avec à la clé ce premier album laconiquement intitulé I: Cold. Du fait de ce parcours chaotique, ARS ONIRICA peut encore prétendre à bénéficier de la mansuétude généralement accordée aux jeunes formations.

Force est de constater que cette longévité contrariée a de fait permis au groupe d'accumuler les sources d'inspiration, sans se résoudre le moins du monde à trop dépendre de l'une d'entre elles. S'il fallait toutefois désigner une influence ou une source d'inspiration majeure, nous opterions pour le Doom Death des années 90. En effet, ARS ONIRICA maîtrise complètement les ondes de lenteur (relative), de pesanteur (raisonnable), de guitares accordées dans les graves, de raucité vocale (parfaitement maîtrisée et articulée), de rugosité rythmique (contenue).

Il n'empêche que, retenant les leçons que les aînés auront mis parfois des décennies à apprivoiser, ARS ONIRICA prend perpétuellement soin de préserver une trace mélodique. Cela dit, dit, il faut que justice davantage soit faite au potentiel accrocheur du groupe, plutôt qu'à ses détails. Certes, les riffs accrochent de manière granitique, certes les vocaux écorchent le fond de la gorge, certes les tempi suivent le pas de la lenteur, certes la batterie martèle sèchement le temps qui s'écoule...

Mais comment ignorer les motifs de guitare électrique mélodique, les passages de guitare acoustique, les plages à vocation atmosphérique, les moments où les vocaux se font clairs et presque fragiles ? Tous ces éléments porteurs de subtilité et d'émotion se trouvent par ailleurs fort correctement mis en exergue par un son général clair, percutant, vibrant et de fait loin des canons glacés de l'ère numérique.

Un paramètre supplémentaire enrichit l'équation, à savoir la durée conséquente de plusieurs titres (entre huit et plus de onze minutes) dont les structures riches en changements (de rythmes,de tempos, d'ambiances) confèrent au tout une dimension progressive idéale pour installer une dramaturgie complexe et contrastée.

Enfin, dernière touche, le Black Metal point son museau teigneux au gré d'accélérations, de riffs en trémolos et de certains vocaux plus aigres, plus hargneux et agressifs. Au total, on pourrait évoquer un Dark Metal riche, dense et somme toute ambitieux, dont on aimerait connaître assez rapidement les futurs développements dans le cadre d'un second opus.

Author: Alain
Review
Metal Wave
6.4/10
30.03.2019

Gli Ars Onirica sono un vecchio gruppo musicale attivo tra il 2003 e il 2004 e fautore solo di un demo, che viene riesumato dal 2018 e che arriva direttamente al primo full length, capitanato da Alex degli Invernoir e dei Lykaion, e che ci propone tre quarti d’ora di una musica definita Depressive Black sulla loro pagina FB, e che io invece definirei a grandi linee come un incrocio tra Doom e Death melodico con varie influenze nel mezzo.
Tuttavia, anche così l’ascolto di “I: Cold” si rivela un po’ strano, e non certo perché la musica non si attiene alla definizione musicale, ma perché Alex qui ci propone una musica che pesca varie influenze non molto coniugate tra loro, per un risultato non facile da inquadrare e un po’ troppo eterogeneo tra brano e brano. Lo si sente facilmente sin dalla lunga opener “In Between”, la cui personalità si smarrisce tra tentazioni Doom, grooves molto metal, parti tristi e parti che vanno a ricordarti qualcosa degli Shining, a cui si deve aggiungere una voce troppo alta e quasi più adatta a timbriche thrash o hardcore. Finora andrebbe anche bene, ma succede che da qui in poi le influenze si complicano, con “La nave” che usa linee vocali languida alla Crematory su riffs un po’ generici, per passare al metal non molto originale eppure ancora diverso di “Dust”, che usa anche parti più acustiche con voce pulita tipo Depeche Mode, finendo per la più canonicamente Doom/Death “The loss”, discreta ma non certo il massimo in questo genere, e dove per la prima volta si può sentire una voce consona a questo genere musicale.
Insomma: “I: Cold” non è male, ma usa influenze troppo diverse tra brano e brano senza davvero farne propria nessuna, e rimanendo di fatto su uno stile musicale discreto ma dalla personalità, come detto sopra, che va perdendosi nel tentativo di metterci ulteriori e svariate tentazioni musicali. Il tutto non rende il primo disco degli Ars Onirica qualcosa di brutto, ma questo difetto di cercare troppe influenze ne danneggia molto la riuscita. Per completisti.

Author: Snarl
Review
Metal Integral
16/20
27.03.2019

Jusqu'à présent, la carrière du groupe italien ARS ONIRICA avait été heurtée, avec une première période d'existence en 2003 et 2004 qui donna lieu à une démo baptisée Utopia : A Winternight's Traveller. S'ensuivit un hiatus jusqu'en 2018, année qui vit la résurrection de la formation romaine, avec à la clé ce premier album laconiquement intitulé I: Cold. Du fait de ce parcours chaotique, ARS ONIRICA peut encore prétendre à bénéficier de la mansuétude généralement accordée aux jeunes formations.

Force est de constater que cette longévité contrariée a de fait permis au groupe d'accumuler les sources d'inspiration, sans se résoudre le moins du monde à trop dépendre de l'une d'entre elles. S'il fallait toutefois désigner une influence ou une source d'inspiration majeure, nous opterions pour le Doom Death des années 90. En effet, ARS ONIRICA maîtrise complètement les ondes de lenteur (relative), de pesanteur (raisonnable), de guitares accordées dans les graves, de raucité vocale (parfaitement maîtrisée et articulée), de rugosité rythmique (contenue).

Il n'empêche que, retenant les leçons que les aînés auront mis parfois des décennies à apprivoiser, ARS ONIRICA prend perpétuellement soin de préserver une trace mélodique. Cela dit, dit, il faut que justice davantage soit faite au potentiel accrocheur du groupe, plutôt qu'à ses détails. Certes, les riffs accrochent de manière granitique, certes les vocaux écorchent le fond de la gorge, certes les tempi suivent le pas de la lenteur, certes la batterie martèle sèchement le temps qui s'écoule...

Mais comment ignorer les motifs de guitare électrique mélodique, les passages de guitare acoustique, les plages à vocation atmosphérique, les moments où les vocaux se font clairs et presque fragiles ? Tous ces éléments porteurs de subtilité et d'émotion se trouvent par ailleurs fort correctement mis en exergue par un son général clair, percutant, vibrant et de fait loin des canons glacés de l'ère numérique.

Un paramètre supplémentaire enrichit l'équation, à savoir la durée conséquente de plusieurs titres (entre huit et plus de onze minutes) dont les structures riches en changements (de rythmes,de tempos, d'ambiances) confèrent au tout une dimension progressive idéale pour installer une dramaturgie complexe et contrastée.

Enfin, dernière touche, le Black Metal point son museau teigneux au gré d'accélérations, de riffs en trémolos et de certains vocaux plus aigres, plus hargneux et agressifs. Au total, on pourrait évoquer un Dark Metal riche, dense et somme toute ambitieux, dont on aimerait connaître assez rapidement les futurs développements dans le cadre d'un second opus.

Author: Alain
Review
BLACKENEDDEATHMETALZINE
8/10
10.03.2019

Ars Onirca are a band from Italy that plays a mixture of black, dark and melodic doom/death metal and this is a review of their 2019 album "I: Cold" which was released by BadMoodMan Music.

A very dark sounding intro starts off the album along with some radio station and music samples before going into the first track. The slow riffs also bring in a great amount of doom metal elements while clean playing is also added into certain sections of the recording and the riffs also bring in a great amount of melody.

Most of the tracks are very long and epic in length while the vocals bring in some death metal growls and mix it with the semi melodic style of 90's era gothic/doom metal. Melodic singing can also be heard at times as well as the riffs also utilizing a great amount of melody.

Elements of black metal can also be heard quite a bit throughout the recording while the solos and leads are done in a very melodic style. Synths are also utilized on some of the tracks along with all of the musical instruments also having a very powerful sound to them, one track also introduces acoustic guitars and spoken word parts onto the recording.

Ocean sounds can also be heard briefly and when the music finally speeds up tremolo picking and blast beats are added onto the recording and as the album progresses they also bring in an instrumental. The production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover darkness themes.

In my opinion Ars Onirca are a very great sounding mixture of black, dark, and melodic doom/death metal and if you are a fan of those musical genres, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "In Between" "In Gloom" and "Dust".

Author: OCCULTBLACKMETAL
Review
Breathing the Core
19.03.2019

It’s the result of the work of many people. The face in the cover is an adaptation of a painting from a great artist called Cristiano De Matteis, I have the original one at home. I choose it because it gives me the idea of a person at the window looking outside in a cold winter night thinking about his sorrow without finding a way to ease it... the same feeling that I've been through lately. Some of the pics that you find in the booklet are captured by me during a travel to Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora; it’s the same place that you find in the artwork of the Diabolical Masquerade album “Nightwork”, a magical place that every doomster must visit once in a lifetime; some other pics are taken in Italy in a region that I really love called “Abruzzo”. The abandoned place in the back cover was captured by my friend Paola Vita here in Italy, in a place near to Rome called Ciciliano. All that stuff has been assembled in a unique and elegant way by Sergio Monfrinotti aka Adhiira Art; he made a great work that really transmits a sense of cold.

Intro:

This is the junction with the “past”: the album starts with a radio transmitting old tunes from the 2004 demo leading to the “present”: the first “real” track of the album.

1. In Between:

This track is very long but simple and hypnotic; it starts with a regular 4/4 in the typical style of Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day era; then, we find and atmospheric break with clean guitars and keys and, after that, a black metal riff breaks in bringing to mind some Celtic Frost/Triptykon riffing; this part alternates with an atmospheric one where a tapping melody with guitar dominates, calling back some Paradise Lost solutions of the mid 90’s. Lyrics are about a suspended situation where you can feel lost in the middle (In between): you feel the dark of desperation and the light of hope at the same time.

2. La Nave:

It’s the most experimental track, with a lot of different situations inside. It starts with a prog riff in 9/4 and then, in the verse, we have the usual 4/4 with growlin’ vocals in Katatonia style; in the refrain you can hear clean vocals with a doomy guitar work close to some My Dying Bride tunes. Then, there is a long acoustic part with Italian recitato, where the acoustic solo can remind of some Opeth stuff with chromaticism and jazzy guitar solutions. The final part is a black metal riff with blast beat, which creates an atmosphere close to some post/black/showgaze bands, and a shred solo with tapping and sweep picking. Lyrics, written by my dear friend and singer in the 2004 demo Gianfranco Stassi, are some reflections about death, but opened to various interpretations. You will find the lyric video created by Adhiira art on Youtube, so you will be able to make your own idea.

3. In Gloom:

This one starts with a clean guitar with a strong delay; this melody is suddenly taken by distorted guitars that bring to the verse where you can hear a desperate voice over a slow rhythm guitar and fixed double pedal drum. In the middle you will find an acoustic breakdown again, but with a more folk flavor close to some older Ulver stuff, that explodes on a blacky part with evil minor chords and arpeggios. The last part reprises the beginning with a final acceleration. Lyrics talk about two people trying to face a common tragedy without being devoured by the void of the suffering they are feeling.

4. Cold… (Return To Nowhere):

It’s an instrumental track with a simple clean guitar with a delay. With this track I wanted to create a great sense of solitude and desolation; nothing but a sad clean guitar and the sound of wind to obtain that. These atmospheres are the same contained in the intro of the old demo of 2004 “Road To Nowhere”, that’s why I chose this title.

5. Dust:

It starts with a simple 4/4 in a Brave Murder Day style; the verse has growling vocals but in the refrain we have a melodic clean vocals with a modal harmony of keys and guitars that gives a “vast landscape” sensation to the listener (you can find the same solution on some Devin Townsend or Ihsahn stuff). Then, you will hear an unusual acoustic breakdown, where you will find Shining mixed up with some Steven Wilson vocal melodies... I’m very proud of this section. After the acoustic part a black one comes, starting with an evil guitar and blast beat and exploding on a strong inexorable mid tempo Celtic Frost style. The song ends recalling the opening verse and melodic refrain. The lyrics are my personal reflections about death, everything being erasable, nothing remaining, being nothing but... dust!

6. The Loss:

It’s the most doom track of the album; it starts with keys and e-bow that gave a lot of dusk atmosphere to the tune. The rhythm is always slow while the voice alternates screams and clean vocals close to some The Silent Enigma stuff; the core has a very strong funeral riffing that brings to the moderate acceleration (don’t worry is always doom) of the end. This is the most important track that I ever wrote: me and my girlfriend were expecting a child but we lost him, I wrote the lyrics looking at his last echography, looking at his hand searching for mine…

Author: Screamer
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