I went blindly into the promo for this release, as I have been in an ‘atmospheric black metal’ mood of late. But then I dug into the project more and was even more excited as it’s a multinational trio comprised of Jacob Buczarski of Mare Cognitum on drums, an Argentine dude named Dany Tee on vocals/lyrics, and Olmo Lipani (aka Déhà) on guitars who is the Belgian Rogga Johansson, with double-digit bands to his credit, notably experimental black metal outfit Maladie, who at one time with thier first few album were one of my absolute favorite bands with releases like …Still...and Of Harm and Salvation.

Immense is the trio’s second album, the first being a self-titled effort released back in 2018, which I have since checked out, as this project sort of hits all the right notes for me in the genre. Also, after some really good early albums in An Extraconcious Lucidity, and Phobos Monolith , the last two Mare Cognitum albums were a bit underwhelming so I was looking for some redemption from Buczarski. And don’t get me started on Maladie’s last few albums….

Luckily, this trio has come together and tapped into the more basic elements that made Mare Cognitum and Maladie so special at one point; epic, searing melodic black metal riffage littered with some atmospheric elements here and there. I’m sorry I can’t speak to any of Dany Tee’s projects but here he does a great job of pained black metal shrieks and howls.

But this project is far more rooted in more depressive, angst-filled elements rather than the cosmos or whatever the fuck Maladie is singing about nowadays. It feels like some of the Tragedy Productions bands from 2023 (My Dearest Wound, Winds of Tragedy), but shriller and a little more purely black metal and expansive. Certainly, fans of Mare Cognitum, early Ghost Bath, Woods of Desolation, and such also will dig this

Stripped down, shrill tremolo riffs and 6/8 blasts are about 80% of the roughly four rangy (9-13 minutes) songs, though there are a few atmospheric moments,  despondent acoustics, or slower marches here and there. The production is clean and crisp, though Déhà’s bass is a bit less prominent than on the debut.

But the four songs are all top-notch, and when the trio locks into a blisteringly despondent riff, they lock the fuck into it as heard in the twelve-minute opener “Dreams of Scorched Mirrors” or second rending track “Adrift in Endless Tides”. “The Other” is the album’s shortest track at a mere 9:37, but has more tangible Ghost Bathy– melodies, shimmery/post-black bridges, and transitions.

The 15+ minute “A Slow, Weary Wind” has some Deafheaven vibes early as the song builds before delivering a wondrous shimmery, melodic riff and long mid-song atmospheric slow bridge before coming full circle gain with some killer, somber, jangly riffs for the song’s final stanza.

Superb stuff that has set the bar for 2024 in the atmospheric black metal genre. I’m just hoping there isn’t another 6 year wait for album number three s frankly this is better than the members’ main projects at this point.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 26th, 2024

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