Release Date: 29th April 2022
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Vittorio Sabelli – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Lyrics, Songwriting
Sven – Drums
Kjiel – Vocals
Review by Felin Frost
Here comes another absorbing project by multi-instrumentalist Vittorio Sabelli (Dawn of a Dark Age), NOTTURNO. Last April 29th, the band released the first full-length, Obsessions, which featured the excellent female singer Kjiel (Eyelessight) and French drummer Sven.
Before giving my opinion about this recent endeavour, it is worth commenting on the beautiful cover art of the album. The artwork and the layout were conceived by Nino R. Mejia, the photographer in charge, Riccardo Ziosi, who immortalized the model Michela Suffritti in this masterpiece.
Vittorio Sabelli is known for his unusual and original endeavours in his Dawn of a Dark Age project. His black metal is full of incursions that provide a myriad of sonic nuances with his clarinet and well-structured folk symphonies. Now with NOTTURNO, Vittorio, through Obsessions, presents another work of peculiar refinement.
The album is a pure lyrical and instrumental enchantment, a happy fusion of atmospheric, depressing black metal, doom metal and chamber music. The full-length delivers 37-minute epic-length pieces of music. Starting with the theme of the lyrics, that talk about our psychological torments, which lead us to obsessive compulsions and lunacy. Often living under our social masks, they are still there, hidden in obscure corners of our minds.
All the songs here are immersive with depressive landscapes, but the frenzy swing of old black metal is present and in a perfect dose. I don’t see any other approach that could clearly describe this dark and despairing mood we often experience.
I confess that I’m not a big fan of female vocals. But this time, I admit that for the first time, I fell in love. Kjiel won me over with his tortured, anguished vocals, her well-timed whispers, her old-school high-pitched screams. A first-class interpretation, really demonstrating the lyrics through her vocals in an absolute fashion.
Sven provides us with slow organic beats that accompany all the somberness required in these interpretations. Vittorio and his ravenous bass and the melancholic guitar draw sighs of emotion and leverage the songs to a peculiar level of refinement.
Everything in Obsessions is in perfect sync. Absolutely nothing is out of place or stands out loudly and disconnected. Riffs, beats and vocals built this voracious atmosphere and insightful suffering.
The trio of skilled musicians in Obsession develops the songs in a crescendo and introduces you to the shadowed world of the human psyche in Fear. Pours anguished in Darkness (my favourite track), with dystopically sweet beauty and magical melody permeated with cruel harshness and despair.
We end this journey with Falling. This, in turn, reaches the apex of Kjiel’s anguish, flooding us with an atmospheric black metal worthy of the master Vittorio and Sven. Feel the subtle undertones of progressive metal as you continue your journey through doom without letting you stray from the essence of this jewel. Highly recommended.
PURCHASE THE ALBUM: https://hypnoticdirgerecords.bandcamp.com/album/obsessions