Intaglio - Intaglio (15th Anniversary Remix) (CD)

funeral doom metal, Solitude Productions / Weird Truth Productions, Solitude Productions
539.89 Р
CD
Price in points: 900 points
SP. 155-20 x
In stock
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Intaglio CD Bundle
Price for all
Order discount: 119.98 Р
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A reimagined version of the self-titled debut "Intaglio" album originally released in 2005. The new version contains parts and sounds that were not included in the original version of the album, which is now in their place as originally intended. Every second of all the original source tracks underwent restoration and processing using top-class digital and analog equipment. Moreover, for the new version of the album, all drum parts were live recorded, without the use of triggering and sampling technologies, which is very rare nowadays. The album was restored and remixed by Evgeny Semenov (When Nothing Remains, Woe Unto Me, Sorrowful Land) at Slow Burn Studio, mastering was performed by Mika Jussila (Shape Of Despair, Isole, Unholy, Moonspell) at Finnvox Studios.

Tracklist:
1 The Beginning = Начало
2 Dark Cherry Day = Темно-вишневый день
3 Interlude = Интерлюдия
4 Solitude = Одиночество
5 Wind Of Autumn = Ветер Осени

Artist:
Intaglio
Artist Country:
Russia
Album Year:
2005
Title:
Intaglio (15th Anniversary Remix)
Style:
funeral doom metal
Format:
CD
Type:
CD Album
Package:
Jewel Case
Label:
Solitude Productions / Weird Truth Productions
Cat No:
SP. 155-20 / WT067
Release Year:
2020
Barcode:
4627080611788
Country Of Manufacture:
Russia
Review
Doom-metal.com
9,5/10

An album that helped kick-start the Russian extreme Doom scene in the early 2000's - what's not to like about Intaglio's debut seeing a re-release?

If you know your Russian Doom history, Intaglio ('a design incised or engraved into a material') - for all their extended period of silence since the emergence of this single full-length debut in its original form in 2005 - are actually one of the heavy hitters in that scene. Not, perhaps, for their musical legacy, per se, but because this was a very young-looking Evgeney Semenov's band, and - along with his friends in Океан Печали (Ocean Of Sorrow) and Екклесиаст (Ecclesiast) - was part of the 2005 trinity of albums that provoked him to launch Solitude Productions as a vehicle for their wider release.

Now, you obviously don't need me to spell out the influence and reach Solitude (plus sub-labels BadMoodMan, Slow Burn and Art Of Silence) have subsequently had on spreading Russian - and, later, more worldwide - Doom and Doom-related acts throughout the underground. Suffice it to say that they've been one of the major, and most dedicated, players within this particular niche for quite some years - so there's really nothing wrong with revisiting what was SP.002, back in the day,and seeing where that stands in contemporary terms, in its current form.

I'm going to grumble a little to begin with - having paid top dollar for one of the limited 100 edition clear/black marbled vinyls, I was a little disappointed when my local postie handed me a wet, bent and somewhat foxed copy of the LP in a cheapskate single-layer cardboard mailer. Not necessarily Solitude's fault, as I believe the shipping was handled by a third party in Poland, but nonetheless a mild irritation. Ah well, it's far from the first creased album cover I've owned, and I doubt it'll be the last; still, as an observation for anyone dealing in vinyl, I'd rather pay a little extra for postage if it means not skimping on the protective packaging...

And, speaking of packaging in general, it's all a little basic - no insert, and minimal information on the back of the cover. My original CD copy came with a booklet including all the lyrics, some extra artwork and more information about the band and the recording - though it could be argued that since it was all printed in Russian, it didn't leave me any the wiser for having it. Even so, given the effort that has gone into resurrecting the release, it'd be nice for it to have something more of a physical presence.

Be that as it may, the more crucial side of any album is obviously the music that you're getting, not the sleeve it comes in, and this is where the rework of 'Intaglio' shows its merits. There's a slight structural change, with a reshuffle of the outro section of the original 'Wind Of Autumn' to become the separate 'Interlude', and a little trimming of the remainder. Aside from that, the effort has really gone into creating a fuller, more separated soundstage, amped up a little from the earlier versions.

It's fair to say that Intaglio were never the heaviest or most of crushing of Funeral/Death/Doom bands, and sailed closer to the atmospheric Death/Doom end of that spectrum than most. To an extent, that was a little submerged in the early '00s production and technology: here it is made very plain, and, indeed, integral to the airier mix. It perhaps doesn't make the album any more groundbreaking than it was in 2005, never mind 2020, but it does offer a clearer vision of exactly what Intaglio were aiming for in their compositions.

So, should you want this? I'm tempted to say 'yes', regardless of whether you have the original version or not. There's no doubt that Solitude, and subsequent Russian labels, have done an enormous amount to shape and promote the extreme Doom scene, whilst having to play catch-up against a 10 - 15 year lag compared to the rest of Europe. Which makes both the 2005 CD, as a statement of intent, and this revised version, as a retrospective articulation of what they really wanted to create, equally valuable glimpses into that history, with slightly different merits and focuses of their own. Deliberately emphasised, I suspect, by the way the cover art for the two versions are exact inversions of each other, trading the largely black monochromes of 2005 for a largely white palette in 2020.

In a way, I'm over-marking this, as a result. On purely musical terms, compared to contemporaries both then and now, there isn't anything unique you could really draw from 'Intaglio': it's well-executed, but on familiar ground. In terms of how it helped inspire one of the more productive underground sub- genres of this millennium, it's something of a landmark, and a valuable window into where we are now. But if you really have no interest in anything other than the audio impact, and don't particularly care about the history or shaping of Doom, fair enough - think of it as more like a 7.5 score in that context. I consider it a lot more important than that, in ways nobody could have foreseen back when it was first launched, and I'm content to consider it an essential release on those grounds.

Author: Mike Liassides
Review
Doom-metal.com
9,5/10

An album that helped kick-start the Russian extreme Doom scene in the early 2000's - what's not to like about Intaglio's debut seeing a re-release?

If you know your Russian Doom history, Intaglio ('a design incised or engraved into a material') - for all their extended period of silence since the emergence of this single full-length debut in its original form in 2005 - are actually one of the heavy hitters in that scene. Not, perhaps, for their musical legacy, per se, but because this was a very young-looking Evgeney Semenov's band, and - along with his friends in Океан Печали (Ocean Of Sorrow) and Екклесиаст (Ecclesiast) - was part of the 2005 trinity of albums that provoked him to launch Solitude Productions as a vehicle for their wider release.

Now, you obviously don't need me to spell out the influence and reach Solitude (plus sub-labels BadMoodMan, Slow Burn and Art Of Silence) have subsequently had on spreading Russian - and, later, more worldwide - Doom and Doom-related acts throughout the underground. Suffice it to say that they've been one of the major, and most dedicated, players within this particular niche for quite some years - so there's really nothing wrong with revisiting what was SP.002, back in the day,and seeing where that stands in contemporary terms, in its current form.

I'm going to grumble a little to begin with - having paid top dollar for one of the limited 100 edition clear/black marbled vinyls, I was a little disappointed when my local postie handed me a wet, bent and somewhat foxed copy of the LP in a cheapskate single-layer cardboard mailer. Not necessarily Solitude's fault, as I believe the shipping was handled by a third party in Poland, but nonetheless a mild irritation. Ah well, it's far from the first creased album cover I've owned, and I doubt it'll be the last; still, as an observation for anyone dealing in vinyl, I'd rather pay a little extra for postage if it means not skimping on the protective packaging...

And, speaking of packaging in general, it's all a little basic - no insert, and minimal information on the back of the cover. My original CD copy came with a booklet including all the lyrics, some extra artwork and more information about the band and the recording - though it could be argued that since it was all printed in Russian, it didn't leave me any the wiser for having it. Even so, given the effort that has gone into resurrecting the release, it'd be nice for it to have something more of a physical presence.

Be that as it may, the more crucial side of any album is obviously the music that you're getting, not the sleeve it comes in, and this is where the rework of 'Intaglio' shows its merits. There's a slight structural change, with a reshuffle of the outro section of the original 'Wind Of Autumn' to become the separate 'Interlude', and a little trimming of the remainder. Aside from that, the effort has really gone into creating a fuller, more separated soundstage, amped up a little from the earlier versions.

It's fair to say that Intaglio were never the heaviest or most of crushing of Funeral/Death/Doom bands, and sailed closer to the atmospheric Death/Doom end of that spectrum than most. To an extent, that was a little submerged in the early '00s production and technology: here it is made very plain, and, indeed, integral to the airier mix. It perhaps doesn't make the album any more groundbreaking than it was in 2005, never mind 2020, but it does offer a clearer vision of exactly what Intaglio were aiming for in their compositions.

So, should you want this? I'm tempted to say 'yes', regardless of whether you have the original version or not. There's no doubt that Solitude, and subsequent Russian labels, have done an enormous amount to shape and promote the extreme Doom scene, whilst having to play catch-up against a 10 - 15 year lag compared to the rest of Europe. Which makes both the 2005 CD, as a statement of intent, and this revised version, as a retrospective articulation of what they really wanted to create, equally valuable glimpses into that history, with slightly different merits and focuses of their own. Deliberately emphasised, I suspect, by the way the cover art for the two versions are exact inversions of each other, trading the largely black monochromes of 2005 for a largely white palette in 2020.

In a way, I'm over-marking this, as a result. On purely musical terms, compared to contemporaries both then and now, there isn't anything unique you could really draw from 'Intaglio': it's well-executed, but on familiar ground. In terms of how it helped inspire one of the more productive underground sub- genres of this millennium, it's something of a landmark, and a valuable window into where we are now. But if you really have no interest in anything other than the audio impact, and don't particularly care about the history or shaping of Doom, fair enough - think of it as more like a 7.5 score in that context. I consider it a lot more important than that, in ways nobody could have foreseen back when it was first launched, and I'm content to consider it an essential release on those grounds.

Author: Mike Liassides
Review
The Killchain
11.12.2020

The rerelease of 2005’s self titled album from Russian funeral doom band Intaglio brings what may be a lost classic back to life. Solitude Productions and Weird Truth Productions have collaborated to remaster this, restoring parts missed from the original release and bring one of Russia’s most influential records back to life. It is out now.

I’ve never heard the original version of this album, full disclosure, so the bits and pieces that have changed will not be very obvious to me. The cold tones of ‘The Beginning’ set us up nicely for the type of soul smothering heaviness to come. It is bleak, isolated and conveys a sense of doom incarnate using a simple clean melody. This lonely coldness just about prepares you for the monolithic chasm torn open by the riffs of ‘Dark Cherry Day’, a granite beast of funeral doom majesty. Beastial roars echo from the deep, while cavernous riffs cascade around you. Hell, even the ‘Interlude’ feels like an epic of the genre and it is only four minutes. It is sandwiched between the aforementioned ‘Dark Cherry Day’ and the titanic ‘Solitude’, a song that really struggles to contain the vast misery held within.

Closing with the delicate swelling crush of ‘Wind of Autumn’, ‘Intaglio’ may have felt lost for 15 years, but its sound remains timeless. In a year like 2020, the encapsulation of the isolation and empty bleakness of life is something some of us look for in order to get through this. Intaglio manages to hold this feeling tightly, and having followed a bit of the Russian doom scene over the years I can see the tendrils of this mighty record slithering throughout. Beautiful.

Author: Sandre the Giant
Review
Diario de un Metalhead
20.11.2020

Llega a mis manos la fabulosa reedición XV Aniversario del debut de Intaglio, banda de funeral doom rusa que tras muchos años desaparecida regresó en 2019. Ahora Solitude Productions reedita su primer disco, publicado originalmente en 2005.

Llama la atención ya de antemano la portada. Han tomado la original y la han puesto en negativo. Desaparece de la misma la versión del nombre en ruso para aparecer solo con el nombre en caracteres occidentales.

La versión original contaba con cuatro temas y sus títulos venían sólo en ruso. Esta reedición cuenta con un corte más, que va incrustado en el corazón del álbum como tercer corte de los cinco que incluye el disco. Es un interludio instrumental que sirve de nexo de unión entre “Dark Cherry Day” (originalmente “Тёмно-вишнёвый день”) y “Solitude” (“Одиночество”).

Los temas originales han sido reeditados y remezclados por Evgeny Semenov en el Slow Burn Studio para luego dejar que Mika Jussila lo masterizara en Finnvox. La reedición ha hecho que los temas sean algo más cortos que en la versión original. En ese sentido es considerable el recorte sufrido por “Wind of Autumn” cuya versión original en ruso “Ветер осени” duraba más de diecisiete minutos habiendo quedado ahora en poco más de diez.



Funeral Doom "cantado" en ruso. Creo que ya lo he probado todo. Lento, muy lento. Riffs profundos y un potente sonido en guitarra, bajo y batería. La voz es totalmente infernal y depresiva, y si no estás de ello te parecerá probablemente muy aburrido, pero yo, que ya no le hago ascos a nada, disfruto de una obra así casi sin darme ni cuenta.

El sonido es extremadamente limpio, nada de ruidos absurdos para dotar de ambiente gélido a la música. La melodía siempre está presente, aunque el sonido es evidentemente depresivo, porque lo suyo es un Funeral Doom de manual y no da lugar a ninguna excentricidad ni raros experimentos. O te gusta o no te gusta, no habrá medias tintas en un disco que va de menos a más, terminando bastante bien con "Wind of Autumn", que para mí es lo mejor del disco.

Author: Larry Runner
Review
ZwareMetalen.com
26.10.2020

Ongeveer 325 kilometer ten zuidwesten van Moskou ligt de stad Oryol. Hier werd in 2004 de band Инталия (Intaglio) opgericht. Evgeny Semyonov en Maxim Mazin zijn de heren die deze funeraldoomformatie haar bestaansrecht geven. In 2005 verscheen hun conceptuele, titelloze debuutalbum en niet lang daarna verdween Intaglio alweer van het toneel. Semyonov is later als bassist toegetreden tot de Russische gothic-/doom-/deathmetalband S.C.A.L.P. en Mazin heeft deel uitgemaakt van de band Yachur.

In december 2019 werden we verrast met een nieuwe single van Intaglio, getiteld The Memory Of Death. Intaglio blijkt weer nieuw leven te zijn ingeblazen. Het nieuwe album zou dus eigenlijk dit jaar al verschijnen maar vanwege de welbekende, inmiddels legendarische, crisis heeft men de zang niet op tijd kunnen afronden. Intaglio hoopt het nieuwe album begin 2021 alsnog te kunnen uitbrengen. Aangezien de studiotijd voor het mixen van het nieuwe album al geboekt was, werd besloten een vijftienjarige jubileumuitgave te maken van het debuut uit 2005. Heel slim natuurlijk. Ten eerste om toch je studiotijd te gebruiken en ten tweede om het album de make-over te geven die het verdient.

Het originele album was op zich als funeraldoomalbum melancholisch, depressief en duister. De recensies voor de oorspronkelijke release liepen uiteen van saai tot geniaal, maar de matige productie deed het geluid eenvoudigweg geen goed. Met het besluit om het album opnieuw uit te brengen, werd ook meteen besloten de plaat qua productie en mix eens flink te herzien. De nieuwe versie bevat geluiden en effecten die ontbraken op het origineel en deze staan nu op hun plek zoals oorspronkelijk bedoeld was. Elke seconde van elke track heeft een volledige restauratie en verwerking ondergaan middels de best mogelijke digitale en analoge apparatuur. Alle drumpartijen zijn opnieuw live ingespeeld zonder gebruik te maken van triggers, iets wat tegenwoordig nog zelden gedaan wordt. Semyonov, die ook de producer is voor bands als When Nothing Remains, Woe Unto Me en Sorrowful Land, heeft het album persoonlijk gerestaureerd en opnieuw gemixt. De eindmaster is dan weer gemaakt door engineer Mika Jussila van de Finnvox Studios.
Ondanks dat het om hetzelfde album gaat is er een nummer toegevoegd (Interlude), is de laatste track (Wind Of Autumn) ingekort van ruim zeventien minuten naar iets meer dan tien minuten en is de albumcover in foto negatief afgedrukt.

De nieuwe versie is een hele verbetering ten opzichte van het origineel. De zang ligt wat meer in de mix in plaats van er dik bovenop, de overmatige echo op de gitaar van het origineel is gelukkig grotendeels weggehaald zodat het op de juiste plaatsen wat functioneler klinkt en de drums klinken aanzienlijke beter. In deze staat kan de band zich best meten met genregenoten zoals Ahab, Colosseum en Shades of Deep Water. Ik heb hoge verwachtingen voor het nieuwe album.

Author: Pjotr Giling
Review
Cross Fire
6/10

Heute lege ich mir mal Funeral Doom aus Russland auf den Zahn. Noch Fragen? Der Gesang ist, wie im Funeral Doom üblich, daher hintergründig abgemischt und bei Intaglio eher im Dunstkreis der Death Metal Growls zu verorten. Wer Doom eh schon als langsam und schleppend empfindet, hört hier fast dem musikalischen Stillstand zu. Jedes Riff blubbert Teer-artig aus der Anlage. Die Growls sind derweil ein langgezogener atemloser Todesschrei, der hier aber fast zum Flüstern verebbt (prima Musik für Horrorfilme by the way). Also Epik können die Russen ja, auch wenn ich das ganze als eher anstrengend verbuchen muss. Die Langsamkeit ist fast schmerzhaft für Ohren, die ansonsten auch gern dem Speed Metal geneigt sind. So bleibt ein Klangerlebnis das interessant und lehrreich ist und auf das ich unter Umständen sogar zurückgreifen werde, falls ich mal vorhabe Heroin auszuprobieren oder mich zu Tode zu trinken...Mensch was für ein düsteres Brett!

Author: Dennis Eikenkötter
Review
The Pit Of The Damned
08.11.2020

A distanza di 15 anni dalla data del rilascio ufficiale del debut album dei russi Intaglio, la Solitude Productions ha pensato bene di tornare a riproporre quel lavoro completamente remixato, con un nuovo artwork, un interludio in più e i titoli delle canzoni tradotte in inglese (tanta roba insomma). Era il 15 ottobre 2005 allora, è il 15 ottobre 2020 oggi, quando la release ha spento le sue prime 15 candeline. Per chi non li conoscesse e per chi non avesse mai avuto a che fare con la label russa, beh sappiate che fra le mani abbiamo un discreto lavoro di funeral doom, che parte dalle abissali sonorità di "Dark Cherry Day" che per 12.57 minuti (13 secondi in meno della traccia originale), ci spingono nel profondo con le catacombali atmosfere create dal combo originario di Orël. Gli ingredienti inclusi in questo lavoro sono inevitabilmente i soliti, con le classiche ritmiche a rallentatore, le voci dall'oltretomba e qualche lungo frangente acustico che stempera una pesantezza a tratti sfiancante per quanto desolante essa sia. Il brano non disprezza nemmeno una certa vena melodica, chiaro che per chi non mastica il genere, non è che sia cosi facile avvicinarsi ad una proposta cosi conservatrice. "Interlude" lega con la sua placida malinconia strumentale il precente pezzo con "Solitude", per un'altra estenuante song di nostalgica battaglia interiore. Oltre dodici minuti di sonorità opprimenti che seguono sulla falsariga, quanto tracciato dal precedente brano, insomma la colonna sonora ideale per chi è rimasto recluso in casa in uno dei tanti lockdown sparsi nel mondo e stia vagamente pensando a farla finita. Ecco, "Solitude" credo che potrebbe dare la giusta spinta a tutti coloro che si trovano in tale situazione di equilibrio precario, quindi vi prego, maneggiate con cura e se non siete proprio dell'umore giusto, beh forse è meglio posticipare l'ascolto degli Intaglio a tempi migliori. Soprattutto perchè a rapporto mancano ancora gli angoscianti dieci minuti di "Wind of Autumn" (nella sua versione originale peraltro ne durava più di 17): la song parte piano con lievi tocchi acustici che lasciano ben presto il posto ad un riffing marcato, pesante, plumbeo quanto basta per darci il colpo di grazia definitivo e farci sprofondare nella disperata mediocrità della nostra vita. Amen.

68/100
Francesco Scarci
Review
Darkside
12.11.2020

"Intaglio (15th Anniversary Remix)" - переосмысление дебютного альбома группы Инталия, вышедшего в далеком 2005 году, под видом первого официального издания на CD российского коллектива, играющего музыку в стиле Funeral Doom. Также этот диск представлял собой один из первых номерных релизов тогда еще мало кому известного российского дум-метал лейбла - Solitude Productions, который только-только начинал свою деятельность. Собственно, не секрет, что основной движущей силой данной группы является музыкант Евгений Семенов, имеющий непосредственное отношение к вышеупомянутому лейблу. И спустя 15 лет активной успешной деятельности конторы, для всех почитателей группы был выпущен такого рода подарок - переиздание альбома Intaglio с обновленным звучанием. Стоит немного обратиться к истории и отметить, что сей релиз в свое время в действительности произвел небольшой фурор в андеграундной сфере - как дебют новоиспеченной команды, которая исполнила свой вариант похоронного металла, да еще и с русскоязычной лирикой. А учитывая тот факт, что концепт альбома строился на личных переживаниях от трагедии в жизни одного из участников коллектива, так и вовсе подкупал своей искренностью, и определенного рода смелостью.

Но это было тогда, 15 лет назад! С высоты прошедшего времени, конечно, сейчас от прослушивания дебютника может возникнуть больше вопросов, как к записи альбома, так и к его реализации. В действительности, для полноты ощущения от такого рода музыкального материала, надо было в корне пересматривать технические вопросы, такие, например, как неубедительные и запрограмированные барабаны, а также микширование гитарных партий. Что, собственно, и проделали музыканты вкупе со звукорежиссерами, взявшимися за ремикс альбома. Все звуковые дорожки материала прошли обработку с использованием топового аналогового оборудования, были добавлены новые звуки и партии инструментов, а для пересведения барабанов был приглашен "живой" ударник, вследствие чего драм-машина уступила место барабанным партиям, сыгранным живьем, без использования триггеров и сэмплов. Мастеринг произвел небезызывестный Мика Юссила (Moonspell, Shape Of Despair, Isole) в своей Finnvox Studios. И на выходе мы имеем - прекрасный образчик добросовестно проделанной работы, вследствие которой материал пересведенного альбома обрел живость и плотность звучания, которой так не хватало на старом варианте.

Определенно хочется отметить, что игра безусловно стоила свеч! Хоть материал группы и не блещет какими-то новаторскими изысками и техническими наворотами в исполнении, зато обрел второе и свежее дыхание, как бы это не звучало иронично к похоронному жанру музыки. Альбом, который откровенно подкупает своей искренностью и простотой, определенно заслуживает право на такого рода, если так можно выразиться - эксперименты с перерождением.

8/10
Uncle Drown
Review
No Clean Singin
13.10.2020

On the 15th of October, 2005, Solitude Productions released the self-titled debut album of the Russian band Intaglio (also known as Инталия). The album made a deep impact, not only because Intaglio were one of the earlier pioneers of funeral doom in their homeland but also because the music created such a powerful and memorable amalgam of crushing weight, desolate atmosphere, and profound melody.

It is thus entirely fitting that on October 15 of this year, on the album’s 15th anniversary, Solitude Productions and Weird Truth Productions will be releasing a very special “reimagined” edition of the album. As they explain: “All the original source audio tracks have undergone restoration and processing using top of the line digital and analog gear. In place of the original version’s programming, all drum parts have been live recorded without the use of any triggering or sampling technology. The album was restored and remixed by Evgeny Semyonov (When Nothing Remains, Woe Unto Me, Sorrowful Land) at Slow Burn Studio, and mastering was performed by Mika Jussila (Shape Of Despair, Isole, Unholy, Moonspell) at Finnvox Studios.”

The results of this careful work are stunning, and an experience that no fan of funeral doom should miss. We are very happy to give you the chance to experience it today through the premiere of a full stream.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNE6_jXzE2s

Of the five tracks on the album, two are shorter — “The Beginning”, which sets the stage at the outset, and “Interlude”. In between those two tracks comes the 13-minute “Dark Cherry Day” and following “Interlude” are two more tracks of significant length, “Solitude” and the closer, “Wind of Autumn”.

The striking clarity of the music’s ethereal aspects is announced immediately through “The Beginning”, a soulful and dreamlike piece that seems like a wistful reverie. And thus the contrast presented by the opening of “Dark Cherry Day” is staggering in its impact. The methodical drum blows sound like the detonation of bunker-busting bombs, while the sonic weight of the jagged-edge chords is immense. The slow, moaning melody channels a mixture of crushing grief and wrenching pain, a combination reflected in the range of harsh vocals. Yet the ethereal aspects of Intaglio’s sound shine through in the ring of crystalline guitars, whose effect is mesmerizing, though shadowed by a distant approaching storm.

There is a sense of struggle within the song, a beautiful, plaintive appeal in the chiming notes juxtaposed against the cold, oppressive, distorted clang of the riffs and the clobbering punishment of the drum and bass strikes. That juxtaposition is what makes the song so hauntingly seductive and yet so harrowing.

While one might expect the instrumental “Interlude” track to return to the timbre and sheen of “The Beginning”, it is instead another amalgam, a hybrid of gleaming lights and immense mountain crags drenched in shadow. It succeeds in deepening the tragic spell that the album has been casting, offering glimpses of hope but without forgetting the likelihood of hopelessness.

In the two long tracks that close the album, “Solitude” and “Wind of Autumn”, Intaglio continue working with the ingredients they so carefully and assuredly deployed in the preceding tracks, proceeding ahead in the steady and staggering march of great leviathans to their burial grounds. Celestial notes create visions of splendor just beyond reach, and shivering tones become the sounds of fear and weeping. The impact of the low-end chords and pavement-splitting drums remains devastating. And the reverberating melodies remain simple, but tremendously evocative and no less spellbinding.

This is funeral doom of a very high order, meticulously crafted and expertly executed, and successfully standing the test of 15 years’ time. It wears its heart on its sleeve, encapsulating a range of very human emotions confronting the frailty of life with haunting power, and also raising looming obsidian monuments of despair and death, too towering to climb and too massive to circumvent.

Author: Islander
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