Melencolia Estatica - _Letum_
(Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation, 2008)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (8.5 out of 10)
Female vocals have been frowned upon in true black metal circles ever since Cradle of Filth made it to the big time. But although their vocals fully handled by the raven-haired lady Climaxia, Italy's Melencolia Estatica will still no doubt be a treat for any Mayhem devotee. Doing black metal by the book is what this project is all about, and on _Letum_ this dark damsel has done some marvelous work both arranging and recording-wise.

A truly solid album is often defined by its sound; _Letum_ thunders ferociously with none of the instruments or the vocals being buried in the mix. This great production adds massive power to the five unnamed tracks, making sure they are both raw and substantially more impressive than those thin buzzing demos released on a daily basis.

The music itself is of an evil breed, grimly beautiful and relentlessly aggressive. Not unlike Ulver's _Nattens Madrigal_ or Mayhem's mighty _De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas_, Melencolia Estatica's second album achieves atmosphere, melody and variation through densely layered guitars, pulsating bass, relentlessly pummeling blastbeats and inhuman vocals, taking full advantage of the wall of sound and intensity. You cannot but sit back and marvel at the nearly ceremonial sound of "Letum IV" -- towering riffs, tremolo picking, staggeringly grand atmosphere altogether. A chilling and rather gratifying experience.


(article published 9/8/2008)

10/23/2006 P Azevedo 6.5 Melencolia Estatica - Melencolia Estatica
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