A threnody is a poem of mourning, a song to be sung at a funeral. A fitting name for any funerary doom band. Aphonic Threnody started out as an international two man project between Roberto Muro and Ricardo Veronese. Both of them distinguished veterans of the doom scene and involved in many other bands.
This contributed to the fact that from their very first EP, aptly called ‘First Funeral’ they were backed up by a plethora from the finest doom musicians out there. For instance, none other than Kostas Panagiotou from Pantheist provided keys on their earliest releases.
Come 2020 the lineup has changed significantly. Roberto Muro is no longer part of the Threnody even though he had had a hand in much of the material on 2017’s ‘Of Loss and Grief’. Today the band consists primarily of of Veronese along with his Chilean comrade in gloom Juan Escobar ,who had taken over from Costas in 2014 already. You might remember him as the former keyboard wielding vocalist from the magnificently morose Mar de Grises.
‘The Great Hatred’, thus, is a somewhat different record from the previous ones. It is of course still highly atmospheric death doom with a clear penchant for orchestral arrangements, but you feel there is a distinctly different flavour to these six pallbearer poems .
‘Locura’ opens up in a characteristically familiar fashion with slow, lingering guitars that set up the mournful mood. The song then moves to a slightly higher tempo into terrain that is usually populated by the likes of Draconian. ‘Interrogation’ follows with some wonderfully progressive guitar melodies that could have come straight from down under in the guise of Mournful Congregation.
The title track starts up ominously with a spoken word intro after which the menacing tension builds up slowly befitting its moniker. The melancholic cello piece at the end leads to the pièce de résistance that makes up the next two compositions. ‘Drowning’ is one of the definite eye-catchers of the album. It is a pearl of a classic death doom song. Funereal and majestic, superbly subtle yet with enough gravitas to carry it across. At times its gentler guitar moments even reminds me of old The Gathering.
‘The Rise of the Phoenix’ is just as good, if not even a tad better with moody synths and sweeping lead guitars that bring back that Mournful Congregation reminiscence. The finale comes in the form of ‘The Fall’ which leads the album to its natural end in full orchestral pomp.
Release Date: October 25 2020
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
- The Great Hatred
- The Rise of the Phoenix
- The Fall