Blaze of Sorrow - Absentia
Atmospheric/post-black metal
7 songs (43' 58")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Andy

Italian ABM outfit Blaze of Sorrow returns with a larger and more aggressive sound than usual, which may be explained by the fact that the band has expanded to four from the multi-instrumentalist/drummer duo of their last few albums. It's still got a lot of melody, but compared to the sunlit post-metal strolls of past albums, this is a lot fiercer stuff -- at least at first.

The first couple of tracks are thick, muscular layers of black metal riffing, with a quick pace for most of their duration; the band loses some of the delicacy of their previous albums in this approach, but their spare treatment of melody returns in the next two, with a lead guitar shredding on Sonno d'etrno and a pretty duet between lead and sometimes-clean rhythm guitar on Notturna, one of my favorites. But the album begins reverting to type in the form of the band's former sound of a picked melody slathered with post-metal riffing on the side. An Alcest-like ringing guitar style Peter liked to put on past albums starts creeping in more and more towards the end, and sure enough, one of his trademark folk-instrumental tracks shows up at the last.

Even with two new members, Blaze of Sorrow's songwriting still has plainly got Peter's mark on pretty much everything, which is a good thing in my opinion; in a genre full of cold and bleakness, the trademark BoS combination of warmth, melancholy, and poignant introspection is a standout. Absentia isn't quite as strong songwriting-wise as Eremita was, but it is a different and heavier facet of the Blaze of Sorrow sound to appreciate.


Killing Songs :
Settimo requiem, Notturna, Cupio dissolvi
Andy quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Blaze of Sorrow that we have reviewed:
Blaze of Sorrow - Astri reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
Blaze of Sorrow - Eremita del Fuoco reviewed by Andy and quoted 85 / 100
Blaze of Sorrow - Fulgida Reminescenza reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
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