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Fuoco Fatuo : The Viper Slithers in the Ashes of What Remains

Many changes occured in this new release by Fuoco Fatuo compared to their previous Ep. Not necessarily for the best.

We left Fuoco Fatuo a short while ago with their review of their fantastic EP, ’33 Colpi di Schizofrenia Astrale Nell’Abisso Nero’. For you it could be just a matter of minutes between that review and this one but for the band it took about two years. Two years during which expectations from the underground Doom scene rose as to what the full-length debut of the Italian trio would sound like.

The answer is: we’re not so sure it’s actually the beast we wanted to hear! The elements that made up ’33 Colpi’ stand apart from the crowd literally vanished and I think it could well be just a vague impression telling me that there is this one riff on the track ‘Eternal Transcendence into Nothingness’ that revives a bit their previous material.

I had to check for myself if it actually was the same band, if all members of Fuoco Fatuo had not been abducted by aliens and replaced by the Greys or if they didn’t die on the Costa Concordia disaster to be incognito replaced by Reptilians! Musically, while I mentioned earlier that ’33 Colpi’ could have been described in a few words by Abysmal-Grief-meet-Ilsa, I couldn’t be further from the truth with ’The Viper Slithers in the Ashes of What Remains’.

First of all, the Black Metal vocals have disappeared, the up-tempo parts that were so thrilling have gone away and the organs à la Horror Metal, I just found out they’d been fired too; and Italian language was obviously deemed not Doom enough... So, what is left? Some very austere funerary Doom Death. That what you’ll get. If it weren’t for the band’s logo, you probably would never think there’d be any kind of correlation between their 2012 release and this debut.

If I were to describe this metamorphosis, I’d rather think Winter at its bleakest or even mention extreme bands like Witchrist or Diocletian when they play at their doomiest. Think of a track like ‘Fortress of the Unconquerable’ by Diocletian (youtube it, if you must). Their sound, which once was so rich, has been stripped to its bare essentials. The transition is like from baroque to orthodox, from the roaring twenties to war economy…

Past the initial surprise, which, on my magnitude scale, is like being trampled by a horde of zombies, the music stays and it’s not as if they’d decided to play Power Metal either. I find many qualities in the kind of Extreme Doom Metal I previously mentioned, so all appeal has not been lost. The problem lies mainly in the fact that a track like ‘Fortress of the Unconquerable’ is just that, one track on a whole record. But Fuoco Fatuo seem to have found their “new” formula and they’re trying too hard to stick to it, trying too hard to sound too austere and too raw and ultimately, where only a single track or two would work just fine separately, a whole record based of this blueprint tends to be tiresome, repetitive and dull in the long run.

I’m confident that this debut will find its audience but if, like me, you had fallen in doom with their previous works, you’re in for a big surprise and a light-to-medium disappointment.

Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Ancestral Devouring Anxiety
2. Junipers of Black Iridescence
3. Inner Isolation in a Sea of Mist
4. Eternal Transcendence into Nothingness
5. Requiem for Nulun

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes

Visit the Fuoco Fatuo bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-03-22 by Frédéric Cerfvol
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