Review by Jabawock – 5/10
Vulturium Memoriae is a solo project from Italy, playing some sort of atmospheric/funeral doom. The project exists apparently since 2006, but this is their debut full-length, preceded only by one demo back in 2009. This album was released on February 14th by Avantgarde.
The music on this record is slow and repetitive, as you would expect from a funeral doom effort, except it lacks the heaviness and instead chooses to create disturbing, slightly dissonant soundscapes. The guitars are drenched in effects, and are supported by minimalistic drum patterns. The bass makes a few notable appearances, but keeps to a support role most of the time. The album is fully instrumental.
I usually like to describe the music in further detail, but in this case, that’s really all I can say! In fact, this record is extremely one-dimensional, as it relies almost exclusively on one or two guitar lines in all songs. It’s clear that the atmosphere is the key objective here, but even that is not convincing; even though the guitar sound and the effects used are intriguing, after two songs I had heard it all, and the overly simplistic construction left me bored while I waited for the album to end. It’s not exactly copy-pasted throughout, and there is some variety in atmosphere to be found here and there, but it’s clearly not enough for 43 minutes of music in my opinion.
The best comparison I could draw is with the band Esoteric, as some of the soundscapes have the same vibe between both bands. But the one-dimensional approach of Vulturium Memoriae does not even come close to the rich and multi-faceted compositions of the English masters.
To its credit, this is a very coherent piece of work, and it certainly doesn’t feel like a demo. This band is not a copycat of any notable band within the genre, and the music has a rather unique atmosphere to it. I could easily say : “I don’t get this music, to each his own”…. but no! I do get it! I think the artistic vision or Mirg, the sole member of the band, has much potential, but this release just does not convey it very successfully. It gives the impression that all elements were botched, with bare minimum requirements. Only the guitar sound feels inspired, but building a whole album on that alone is not enough in my book.
In conclusion, I was far from impressed with this release, which left me with the taste of an unattained artistic vision. I do hope that Mirg will expand this project further, for instance by working with other people to complement his ideas and add some more depth to his compositions. But there is still a long way to go.