Album Review – Invernoir / The Void and the Unbearable Loss (2020)

Succumb to the fusion of the Doom, Death and Gothic Metal sounds found in the first full-length opus by an Italian act that perfectly represents the coldness of anguish and pain.

Born from the desire to revive the fusion of Doom, Death and Gothic Metal sounds of the 90’s taking inspiration from the best albums of bands like My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia and Paradise Lost, Rome, Italy-based project Invernoir is cold and decadence, the anguish due to the awareness of not having a goal, the lack of answers, apathy and pain. Comprised of Alessandro Sforza (Ars Onirica) on harsh vocals, guitars, drum programming and cymbals, Lorenzo Carlini (Black Therapy) on clean vocals and guitars, and Valerio Lippera (Lykaion) on bass, Invernoir have been making a name for themselves since their inception in 2016, having already played alongside amazing bands such as Candlemass, Ahab, Skepticism, Shores of Null, Naga and Weeping Silence, and now two years after their debut four-track EP Mourn this dark and talented Italian triumvirate (now a quartet with the recent addition of drummer Flavio Castagnoli to their lineup, by the way) returns with the bold and atmospheric The Void and the Unbearable Loss, not only their first ever full-length effort, but an album that will surely carve the word “doom” in the blackened hearts of fans of the genre from all over the world.

It’s a grey, rainy and bleak day, the perfect ambience for Invernoir to captivate our senses with the title-track The Void and The Unbearable Loss, slowly growing in intensity until their sluggish beats and piercing guitars permeate the air for our total delight, followed by The Path, sounding less doomed and a lot more inclined to Gothic Metal than its predecessor. Furthermore, Alessandro and Lorenzo are once again precise with their riffs while alternating between their anguished roars and gloomy clean vocals, while Valerio blasts his bass with tons of groove. Then get ready for a somber and heavy-as-hell hybrid of traditional Doom Metal with Blackened Doom and Gothic Metal entitled House of Debris, perfect for breaking your neck headbanging in solitude while Alessandro screams like a demonic entity. And more melancholy in the form of first-class Doom Metal is offered by Invernoir in Suspended Alive, showcasing truly deep and obscure lyrics (“The purest form of pain / I saw it before it was born / The purest form of pain / A frame / Of what it was / And yet not”), smashing drums and endless agony flowing from their riffs.

Investing in a much more atmospheric and melodious sound, with Lorenzo taking the lead with his passionate clean vocals, Cast Away is another dense and introspective fusion of Melodic Doom Metal and Gothic Rock by this talented Italian trio, and they continue their downward spiral into madness and obscurity with the hammering Doom Metal feast titled The Burden, displaying a great job done by all three band members with their stringed weapons, therefore offering both Alessandro and Lorenzo all they need to sing and gnarl in anger. After such dense sonority, a strident riff kicks off the brutal, slow-paced At Night, presenting the band’s most damned side and reminding me of some of the creations by the iconic Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride in what’s probably their rawest and most visceral of all songs, before they come ripping with one more of their Stygian voyages through the realms of gothic and doom in The Loneliest, where Lorenzo is spot-on with his clean vocals by generating an amazing paradox with the harsh growls by Alessandro, always supported by the minimalist, thunderous bass by Valerio. Put differently, they couldn’t have ended the album in a more beautiful way.

This fantastic and somber gem of Italian gothic and doom can be fully appreciated on YouTube and on Spotify, and if you’re curious to know more about the guys from Invernoir, their music and their plans for the future you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course purchase The Void and the Unbearable Loss from their own BandCamp page, from Funere’s BandCamp page or from the BadMoodMan Music’s BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music, Amazon and Discogs. As aforementioned, the new album by Invernoir is highly recommended for lovers of the melancholy blasted by the titans of the genre like My Dying Bride and Katatonia, proving once again why Italy has become (and will always be) a reference in underground doom.

Best moments of the album: Suspended Alive and Cast Away.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Funere/BadMoodMan Music

Track listing
1. The Void and The Unbearable Loss 7:03
2. The Path 7:02
3. House of Debris 5:57
4. Suspended Alive 5:37
5. Cast Away 7:09
6. The Burden 5:28
7. At Night 6:08
8. The Loneliest 7:00

Band members
Alessandro Sforza – harsh vocals, guitars, drum programming, cymbals
Lorenzo Carlini – clean vocals, guitars
Valerio Lippera – bass

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