Sunday 8 June 2014

Fuoco Fatuo - The Viper Slithers In The Ashes of What Remains

This year has been so constant in terms of new bands and new releases, it's really been hard to keep up with everything. In my recent run of reviews, I've been trying to focus more on newer release and that focus has brought me to Italian doom/death band Fuoco Fatuo. This three-piece from Varese, first unleashed their gloomy death-march on the world in 2011. They went onto release two EPs and a split EP with Black Temple Below in 2012, followed by a compilation of their first two EPs on tape last year. The Viper Slithers In The Ashes of What Remains is their debut full-length and has been released on both CD and LP by Italian label Iron Tyrant. It was also released via tape on Caligari Records, but has long since sold out.


1. Ancestral Devouring Anxiety
2. Junipers of Black Iridescence
3. Inner Isolation In A Sea of Mist
4. Eternal Transcendence Into Nothingness
5. Requiem For Nulun

Much like Fuoco Fatuo’s aesthetic, their music is dark and gloomy. Ancestral Devouring Anxiety starts off slowly, with a later of building noise and guitar feedback. That noise dies away ninety seconds in and reveals the bands true sound. It encompasses slow, low doom instrumentation and deep death-metal bellows, that are used sparsely initially. There are plenty of stop/start moments in the initial passages of Ancestral…, but Fuoco Fatuo do build in intensity as the song progresses. This is as true doom/death as you’re likely to hear, with the band leaning more toward the slow stuff. 

The fact that there is no pause between the opener and the incredulously slow Junipers of Black Iridescence makes it all the more enticing to listen to. Ancestral Devouring Anxiety was a mere warm up it seems, as Junipers… is mightily heavy. Junipers of Black Iridescence features some great guitar ambience later on, thanks to some black metal riffs that burrow their way into the song. They take a turn towards death with Inner Isolation In A Sea of Mist. I mean, it’s still slow in place but with it’s shorter length, it has more urgency. That said, the urgency goes out of the window during the second half of the song, when Fuoco Fatuo throttle back on the pace. It’s still damn heavy though.

The thing with this album is, it’s one that you have to take in in a full sitting, it’s not one that you can dip in and out of. That is intentional as well, as you wouldn’t fully be able to appreciate the power of Fuoco Fatuo’s music if you just approached it in a half-arsed manner. Eternal Transcendence Into Nothingness is as bleak as things get. The first two minutes are made up of crawling, thunderous funeral doom riffs. Much like the album’s opener, this is a pretty intense song, from start to finish. The death flourishes add variation, but there is still a common theme throughout and the riffs cling to a similar phrasing and arrangement than in the previous songs. 

Finishing with Requiem For Nulun, Fuoco Fatuo offer one final doom-laden hymn. Again, like the opening tome of The Viper Slithers…, Requiem of Nulun is slow. With the exception of the vocals, you wouldn’t really guess that Fuoco Fatuo have a foot in the death metal camp. This album has been one hell of a journey, from the opening riffs to the final cymbal crash. Dark, heavy and menacingly atmospheric. People say that progressive metal is thinking man’s metal, but that’s rubbish. Doom is no longer the preserve of the mournful or depressed. Fuoco Fatuo have managed to create an album that takes on a life of it’s own and drags the listener along for the ride. Crushing!

You can stream the entire album via their bandcamp page here:-

You can buy the new LP from Iron Tyrant here -

Fuoco Fatuo Facebook -
Iron Tyrant Facebook -
Caligari Records Facebook -

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