Fuoco Fatuo – The Viper Slithers in the Ashes of What Remains (Iron Tyrant Records)

Tuesday, 25th February 2014
Rating: 7/10

Italy’s Fuoco Fatuo is a death/doom band formed in 2011, and after having released a pair of EP’s and a split, drops its full-length debut offering in The Viper Slithers in the Ashes of What Remains.

Heavy, dark and evil are words that can describe the sound of Fuoco Fatuo, its music casting a feeling of grim desolation and brooding despair upon the listener. Generally a slow-tempo affair, the release toes the line of funeral doom, but can’t fully be categorized as such given some variances in tempo toward the faster, as with the blast section of Junipers of Black Iridescence (which is a welcome change to the song).

Devoid of guitar solos, the guitar work relies on its sheer heaviness of simple riff to get the message across. The riffs are fairly basic, as in nothing super angular, discordant or complex, yet are effective nonetheless in conveying the blackness of sentiment and crushing weight of no hope herein. A three-piece band, the vocals are handled aptly by guitarist Milo Angeloni, and he sings in a fairly standard death metal growl but one certainly on the better side of the bell curve with regards to death metal vocals. They are convincing and work very well with the hellish tapestry that the band weaves.

It should be noted that the album benefits from good production, all pieces of the puzzle are sonically muscular and clean, thus doing a service to the overall heaviness and oppression of the record. Death/doom (and especially funeral doom) is an acquired taste to be sure. It’s usually slow, inhuman sounding at times, evoking extreme feelings of suffering and lacks many of the selling points of other subgenres (hooks, solos, technical wow-stuff, etc). When you’re into it, you’re into the way that it makes you feel, and perhaps you’re somewhat of a masochist. What might come across as pretty boring to someone who is not a great fan of this type of metal can come across as splendid to an aficionado. Bottom line is that Fuoco Fatuo merits a listen by death/doom fans because this is some pretty solid stuff.

Fuoco Fatuo on Bandcamp