"The Viper Slithers In the Ashes of What Remains"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Breathe deeply and inhale the breath of the crypt. Savor the rich, dank mustiness of it. It's the smell of DOOM...the odor of Fuoco Fatuo, the Fire Within!

Lovers of turgid death-doom, don your robes and prepare to meet your masters. Italy's Fuoco Fatuo are the embodiment of slow motion sonic decay. "The Viper Slithers In the Ashes of What Remains" is a long and ominous title perfectly suited to a long and ominous slab of doom. The five lengthy tracks here are a journey up the river Styx, with skull-faced Charon as your guide. "Ancient Devouring Anxiety" builds slowly and then engulfs you like a tide of earth. A twelve minute ode to the grave, full of bone-breaking slow riffs, gargantuan demon vocals and an atmosphere that only the best death/doom bands create. Forget about pianos and weeping strings...this is the sound of a mountain falling. While the tunes are slow and ponderous, they are not so slow as to be motionless....there are occasional mid-tempo chugs and even a couple of blasts, where the most deathly part of Fuoco Fatuo's heritage becomes apparent.  Perhaps you recall a band named Rigor Sardonicous? This is much the same, only the vocals are not quite so pitch-shifted and distorted.

The remaining four tracks are cut from the same funeral cloth as "Ancient Devouring Anxiety", offering no relief from the oppressive murk. You can pick any of them and hear the same relentless gloom. It could be considered monotonous for all except those who crave this kind of punishment. So be it. This is death doom incarnate and mandatory for followers of this esoteric art.