INVERNOIR is a band formed in Rome in 2016. The debut album, “The Void and the Unbearable Loss,” released on October 9th, 2020, via the Russian/Armenian cooperation between the labels Bad Mood Man Music and Funere is a proper time machine to the mid-’90s, when bands such as ANATHEMA, MY DYING BRIDE, and PARADISE LOST in the UK, and KATATONIA in Sweden among the others, were sowing the seeds for a very specific subgenre, shortly afterwards labeled as death-doom metal. Better production in general and a few strong personal hints contribute to make this album particularly valuable on many levels.
The work opens with an instrumental song, which is also the title track. The sound of the falling rain takes the listener into a peculiar gloomy atmosphere, where the above mentioned void and loss are perfectly expressed by sad and clear guitar notes, later joined by massive distorted guitars and drums. The following tune, “The Path,” is one of the highlights on the album due to its straightforward opening riff, which reminded me of FORGOTTEN TOMB’s early days, while the metrics and the deeply expressive vocals, screamed and clean (respectively provided by Alessandro Sforza, who also wrote the lyrics for this track, and Lorenzo Carlini), give this song a good amount of inner variety.
“House of Debris” is reminiscent of SWALLOW THE SUN’s sound, especially when it comes to the main melody and the screamed vocals which, to be honest, gave me goosebumps as much as STS‘ vocalist Mikko Kotamäki. The clean vocals are equally dramatic and non-predictable, and give an extra kick to the song in terms of adding a nostalgic flavor of the ’80s.
“Suspended Alive” feels like a homage to KATATONIA’s legendary album “Brave Murder Day”; the spoken-word part in Italian makes the interlude colorful, while Alessandro’s desperate growls and the obsessive drum pattern do make the listeners travel back in time. The initial part in “Cast Away” could suggest that it’s a classic, proper ballad due to acoustic guitars paired with clean vocals, but then intense screams and a melancholic distorted guitar sound take over in order to create a beautiful and heart-wrenching alchemy of hopelessness.
It is worth mentioning that most of the lyrics on this album have been written by Valerio Granieri, better known as the singer of the band ROME IN MONOCHROME; he also sings some backing vocals on the fourth track.
“The Burden” sounds to me like a heartfelt tribute to the Finnish band GHOST BRIGADE: a massive bass sound provided by Valerio Lippera, paired with an hypnotic riff, along with the match of screams and clean vocals make this tune quite complex, non-predictable, yet catchy without compromising on originality, due to its peculiar structure and some classy, personal hints, such as the spoken-word part in Italian.
The next-to-last song, “At Night,” opens with an iconic guitar intro that truly sounds like MY DYING BRIDE’s golden years’ production. The slow but relentless pace and the passionate screams and growls provided by Alessandro (who also wrote the lyrics for this one, straightforward and emotional at the same time) make this song one of the best on this album. “The Loneliest”is a proper conclusion for this journey; especially in the first part it feels like this tune comes straight from the ’80s thanks to its rarefied atmosphere, but then massive growls take over and create a powerful mixture of hopelessness and gentleness: “I am the one I won’t forgive…”
In conclusion, I can’t help suggesting to listen to INVERNOIR’s “The Void and the Unbearable Loss” to anyone who’s into the above mentioned bands, because even though it may not be original in a narrow sense, this album surely shows the band’s expertise in a well established field such as death-doom metal, proving how fond the band members are of the genre they grow up with, both as musicians and as human beings.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- The Void and the Unbearable Loss
- The Path
- House of Debris
- Suspended Alive
- Cast Away
- The Burden
- At Night
- The Loneliest
Alessandro Sforza – vocals, guitars
Lorenzo Carlini – guitars, vocals
Valerio Lippera – bass
Flavio Castagnoli – drums
Bad Mood Man Music / Funere