“The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood. For nothing now can ever come to any good.”
There is a staggering sense of desolation and hopelessness in those words. It’s not surprising that the international funeral doom band Aphonic Threnody have associated those words with the sorceries of sorrow that make up their new album, Of Loss and Grief, nor any surprise in the releasing label’s own formulation of the music’s atmosphere: “No sun shines here, nor happiness or hope … just grey, insurmountable walls”.
The album will be released on October 9 by Terror From Hell Records, and today we present the debut of, not one, but two tracks from the album, “Life Stabbed Me Once Again” and “All I’ve Loved“.
The new album is the work of Roberto Mura (vocals), Riccardo Veronese (guitar/bass), Juan Escobar C. (keyboards, vocals), Marco (drums), and Zack Cignetti (lead guitar) — but the album also includes contributions by many guests, including Alesk Derelictus and Frederic-Patte Brasseur from Funeralium, Soph Day (Alunah), Justin Arthur Hartwig (Mournful Congregation), Josh Moran (Vacant Eyes), Dominic from Worship, and Sami Rautio (My Shameful).
It’s difficult to describe music of the kind captured in these two songs without resorting to cliched terms — because they so grippingly capture primal sensations of loss, grief, and the haunting specter of despair. They sink deep into lightless pools of tears, dragged down by cavernous, craggy vocals, groaning riffs, and moaning arpeggios. They also reflect the emotional shattering that comes from personal trauma, nerves pushed to the breaking point in “Life Stabbed Me Once Again” by a searing guitar solo and tortured shrieks.
But Aphonic Threnody find a kind of mystical relief from these oppressive clouds of gloom, shining glimmering lights into these graves of vanquished dreams. Moments of tragic beauty can be found in both songs, and the core melodies are as enthralling as they are sorrowing. And in the second song, “All I Have Loved”, Soph Day’s gorgeous voice (both somber and soaring) pulls particularly hard on the heartstrings, just as the band themselves build to a plateau of ashen grandeur, with equally sublime and mournful strings accenting the music. It may be one of the most beautiful metal songs you’ll hear this year — and also one of the most anguished.
Terror From Hell Records will release Of Loss and Grief on CD and digitally on October 9th.
2. Life Stabbed Me Once Again
3. All I’ve Loved
5. Red Spirits In The Water
6. A Thousand Years Sleep