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Review: Intaglio - Intaglio

Label: Solitude Productions
Year released: 2005
Duration: 47:00
Tracks: 4
Genre: Funeral Doom

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: January 11, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (3 Votes)

I'm a big fan of Funeral doom, but I wouldn't really describe it as my favorite style of metal (that award goes jointly to black and death metal). With that said, I don't think I've ever come across a poor funeral doom band. Is there such a thing as poor funeral doom? If there is, I've yet to discover it. Sure, there's plenty of poorly executed Funeral doom out there (or 'Saddam' doom as I now like to call it - geddit? Hohoho); but nothing that I would necessarily call awful. Anyway, I'm digressing before I've even started. Intaglio are a Funeral Doom band from Russia, and this is their self-titled debut album. Apparently when it was released in 2005, they were allegedly the first Russian Funeral doom band to have an official full length album released (according to Solitude Productions' web site that is), and for what it's worth, it's not too bad at all.

The opening track is entirely instrumental, but sets the tone nicely for the album. Coming strictly from the achingly slow and melancholic school of doom (where stars can seemingly form and die in the time between each chord struck), Intaglio have set the basis of their music on thick slab-like chords decorated with clean delay drenched guitars for atmosphere, sparse drums and gurgling low growls. I don't think it'd be a stab in the dark to say Intaglio are primarily influenced by Thergothon, Skepticism and the like, as they feature a fair amount of those originators styles, albeit merged into a bastardized, less unique version. No, Intaglio are not exactly original, but again, they're certainly not poor. The band are simply suffering from the fact that they're playing music which has been done before, and done around 5-10 years ago.

It's not that they've done a bad job of it either, it's just that while the Skepticisms of this world have moved on and further pushed the boundaries of doom, Intaglio, whilst being perfectly competent, are still seemingly on page one. Also, the band suffer slightly on the 'keep your interest' stakes in some of the lengthier songs (apart from the 3 minute opener, the remainder of tracks range between 13-18 minutes in length). If you're going to have tracks that long, you've got to make them capture your imagination for the full duration, which unfortunately they don't quite manage to do throughout the entire album. Overall, I'd say they've certainly got talent (especially on the diverse track 'Solitude'), and they certainly could progress in the quality over quantity stakes bearing in mind this is their debut effort. So, one to look out for in the future? If they can fix the minor irritations, I don't see why not.

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