Comparative references are useful but risky techniques in writing about new music — useful because they function as short-hand summing-up’s for experienced listeners, risky because they so often go awry, or remind you of how great the referenced bands are, and by comparison how far short the newcomer falls.
Those reflections occurred to us when seeing the press materials for An Eternity of Misery, the debut album by an Italian band named In Grief that’s headed our way in September from Iron Bonehead Productions. Those materials included this passage, which might naturally provoke skepticism among some readers:
“Like much/most melodically inclined doom-death, the spectre of “the Peaceville Three” – My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, and Anathema – looms large here, but one can equally detect trace elements of the earliest works of Katatonia, The Gathering, and especially Tiamat‘s pivotal Clouds.”
That such words were offered in support of a band who only formed during the plague year of 2020, with only an EP and a demo to their name in advance of this album, is even more likely to inspire doubts. But it turns out those reference points are quite useful, and that In Grief‘s music indeed lives up to the billing.