Saturday, June 15, 2024

Full Length Review: Padus "Opera funebre" (The Triad Records) by Dave Wolff

Project: Padus
Location: Rovigo
Country: Italy
Genre: Doom metal, ambient, experimental
Full length: Opera funebre
Format: Digital
Label: The Triad Records (Italy)
Release date: April 15, 2024
I'm growing to appreciate this one man project even before my interview with him is complete; listening to "Opera funebre", the new release from founding member Matteo Zanella, makes me want to listen to every release he released previously.
Listening to the style of ambient doom metal is comparable to traveling back in time to 1922 to watch “Nosferatu” when it was just released in movie theaters. A similar hypnotic effect to this album is in the scene where Count Orlok stalks into Hutter's chamber to drink from his veins. The combination of distorted bass, churchlike keyboards and unnerving effects creates a gothic environment to easily serve as the soundtrack to that classic movie, not to mention "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "London After Midnight".
There’s just something about the songwriting, musicianship, and arrangements that personify the fear of the unknown, the occult, and the demonic legends associated with classic horror. I find this kind of fitting since Padus is based in Italy, home of horror directors such as Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci and Umberto Lenzi, whose films continue to treasure cult followings.
Throughout his early works, Zanella has concocted euphonies far from repetitive or formulaic, as he explores multiple nonidentical, distinguishable moods and climates, with little to no vocals except for a certain kind of chanting to provide variety to his work. Regardless of their form, his compositions are made to convey anxiety and melancholy associated with fear of the darkness without and within, as well as a desperate desire to escape.
With each instrument comprising a whole that magnifies the uneasiness it evokes, you enter a world of pure and evocative trepidation when you listen to this. It's a world that is not only dark but grainy; the terrors within are well hidden until that moment they're almost upon you. There are also hardly any lyrics in "Opera funebre", except for the last track, and these are not your typical gothic or doom metal vocals. It is rather the stuff of nightmares, so horrid that your mind automatically pushes them into your subconscious so that you will not be able to recall them upon waking.
It is recommended that fans of black metal and gothic metal, as well as doom and ambient, make the effort to experience the horrors this project offers. –Dave Wolff

MZ (Matteo Zanella): Bass, organ, drum programming, effects

Track list:
1. Lento incedere catacombale
2. Tomba d'autunno
3. Croce di marmo nero
4. Galaverna
5. Nebbia ai cipressi
6. Grimorio
7. La lingua oscura

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