Italy – possibly not surprisingly, considering the iron grasp of the church of Rome, and the sense of the liturgical ensuing – has been a stronghold of doom for many years, the organ-driven NOCTU, the more traditional ABYSMAL GRIEF, and SEPULCHRAL VOID coming to top of mind.

Enter Lombardy’s FUOCO FATUO with Obsidian Katabasis, its third full-length celebrating its first decade of existence. Comprising three more extended pieces, each over 13 minutes in length, and divided by shorter, yet no less important, instrumental movements, it’s easy to see the album as a concept. It may well be that, but not in the traditional sense of an involved storyline. ‘Obsidian Bulwark (Creation Of The Absurd)’ opens the gates to the psyche, slowly, taking its time, but never boring in the journey. According to guitarist Giovanni Piazza, the quartet intentionally spent more time in the layering of sounds of all sorts this time around, be it vocals, guitars or drums (cavernous, by the way) to create a portrait of a mind unwinding, revealed as successful here.

Subtly arriving, ‘Thresholds Of Nonexistence Through Eerie Aeon’ doesn’t so much “soothe” or “calm” in this case as give the impression of impending dread. A shadow flitting in a light-filled room, a creaking that shouldn’t be there yet is, the air tinged with stench of coming decay, so much so that, when the heavier elements arrive, the listener is positively crumbled under the weight, the terror, vocals not so much sung as howled in atonal despair, something the DSBM style has always embraced.

In all, while interweaving dISEMBOWELMENT’s low end, the feeling of ritual mentioned prior, and some of the most suffocating tones these ears have heard thus far this year, FUOCO FATUO has crafted a psychedelic nightmare soundtrack worthy of the best in horror. Myself, I’d like to see the film version.
Review By: Lord Randall

Obsidian Katabasis
Profound Lore
3.5 / 6