Black Therapy - Echoes of Dying Memories - (7.5/10)
Published on March 1, 2019
This band certainly strikes a sense of familiarity for those into finish melodic death metal. Sharing some common ground with the likes of Omnium Gatherum or Insomnium, Black Therapy’s third full length ‘Echoes of Dying Memories’ comes around as an easy and enjoyable album but not exactly the most original. I’ve always felt that the epic sounding melodeath was the best kind of death metal and theses Italians have a lot going for them in that direction. The melancholic emotional atmosphere with borderline grandiose instrumentation is bound to get you at least a bit nostalgic and the riffing is perfectly suited to have a fairly decent amount of hair flying around at a live show.
Black Therapy’s sound engineering is probably where the biggest evolution is felt from 2016’s ‘In the Embrace of Sorrow, I Smile’ coming around as more crisp and clear but also more impactful. Other than that, they kept their trademark style the same. Guitar work is based on different riffs from chugging romping bangers to more melodic simple chord patterns, built on top of a straightforward melodic death style of drumming full of kick-snare patterns and double pedals. Lead melodies take the forefront of the instrumental aspect, soaring above the riffs giving that aura of grandeur to the songs and the solos seem to evolve from such leads growing into faster and more virtuous interpretations. These guys don’t dwell in technicality sticking to the use of melodies instead and always bringing forward that sad melancholic vibe. Enhancing on this feeling also come the occasional sampled orchestrations.
From a vocal perspective, Giuseppe’s leading harsh screams don’t do much more then what’s necessary to complete the soundscape. Occasionally he switches to a darker more atmospheric style fitting to the slower sections of the album which I feel really enhances the ominous vibe of the end result. I find myself craving a counter-balancing clean vocal at times, but that’s probably just my inner Insomnium fan speaking. A few sprinkles of clean singing does eventually occur on the last track and adds a touch of sunlight to an overall dark sounding album.
For those of you who are now thinking ‘Ok so is it an Insomnium rip-off?’ the answer is no. But it’s still going to remind you of them a lot. Black Therapy might find themselves evolving fast in the melodic death scene, because what they offer is nothing new to listeners of the genre so and comes easy to take in. If you’re hoping to see somebody straying away from the path and bending rules you’re in the wrong place. The songs are very similar to each other and mostly revolving around mid-tempo riffs and ideas, rarely tripping over what may feel like a more technical or progressive structure. However at a 45 minute streaming time and with a few variations and stand-out moments in the slower songs such as ‘Rejecting Me’, the title track, or the piano interlude ‘The Winter of Your Suffering’, they create a fairly decent diversity and ambiance almost bordering on doom metal. This is no record breaking album, but it is a success simply judging by what you expect from a band in the field.