The Foreshadowing


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Italy's the Foreshadowing emerged from a two-year silence in 2010, bearing the "gifts" of melancholy doom in the shape of sophomore album Oionos. Not for these noble Romans the crude savagery of death/doom: theirs is a finessed and goth-informed style of languid melodic misery quite averse to extra-genre distractions, never mind brute or vulgar displays of power (thrashy bursts, ugly vocals, etc.). Yes, muscular riffs and thunderous percussion do bring down their respective hammers upon sporadic aural bruisers such as "Lost Humanity" and "Chant of Widows" ("Outsiders" also boasts an intriguing new wave energy), but never at the expense of genteel self-control. Instead, typical fare like the title track, "The Dawning," and the evocatively named "Hope. She's in the Water" (which is disappointingly based on Pearl Harbor, not darker mysteries) often mosey along almost too satisfied with their deliberate moroseness. Meanwhile, "Survivors Sleep" does without six-strings entirely, choosing a piano accompaniment instead, and the cover of Sting's "Russians," though daring and handsomely executed, is certainly not for everyone. Furthermore, on many of these tunes, Marco Benevento's shaky operatic baritone can't always match the surrounding instrumental majesty, but his higher registers tend to fare much better. In fact, multi-tracking is definitely his friend, leaving him less naked and exposed to the buffeting waves of doom that endlessly punish the shores of the band's dying musical world -- but not to the point of severely damaging the Foreshadowing's competent second musical observation, Oionos, which they carry out with reliable quality and convincing aplomb.

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