Fuoco Fatuo – Obsidian Katabasis

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Profound Lore Records presents the third album ‘Obsidian Katabasis‘ of the Italian funeral doom/death metal band Fuoco Fatuo. The lineup is assembled from Milo Angeloni (vocals, guitars), Davide Bacchetta (drums), Giovanni Piazza (guitars) and Andrea Collaro (bass guitar) who offer a slew of six, monolithic tracks of murky funeral doom metal. Since 2011 these Italians have released two EPs, one single compilation and three albums. The gruesome album cover art represents the animalistic worship that invokes the sinister cult practices. Fuoco Fatuo which means “will-o’-the-wisp” is wrought upon the bulky composition of thick, molten riffs. The album perfectly encapsulates a dark and doomy atmosphere sprawling over fifty minutes and worthy of attention to the fans of Thergothon and Disembowelment. ‘Obsidian Katabasis‘ holds a spectacle of cavernous death metal where the songs creep slowly and carry you on a bier into the realms of demise.

The opening track ‘Obsidian Bulwark (Creation of the Absurd)’ initiates the paradigms of doom. The riffs are molded and carved to create dense layers of funereal atmosphere. Despite the monumental work of the guitars and the guttural growls, Fuoco Fatuo‘s hallmark style is centered on this spooky atmosphere. The guitars provide heaviness that keeps a thick smothering effect sweeping across its long duration. The Italian quartet seems to follow the traditional templates of the sub-genre preferring to take each track on a gradual progression. The obtrusive drum transitions are brought by an austere sense of brilliance. With the heavy poundings getting louder, there are moments when the double bass is unleashed by the fury of a crushing, percussive pace. 

The Italian quartet seamlessly entwines melodic chords as the dirge-like riffs provide a gloomy kind of atmosphere. These elements are balanced by flawless instrumentation and contrast with the cavernous effect of the vocals. The doom-laden riffs are brilliantly displayed on the instrumental track ‘I‘. The emphasis on the slow drum tempos complements the wraithlike melody of the guitars. ‘Obsidian Katabasis‘ oozes filthy death metal riffs and expands on various moody themes that project its many funereal facets. Each cut on this album explores the basis of this musical style. For example, the following track ‘Thresholds of Nonexistence through Eerie Aeon‘ feels like it was cropped from the old principles of funeral doom.

The homogeneity of the song composition blends these different elements and influences together quite well. Therefore, the songs are coherent. With the dual guitars orchestrating a haunting rhythm, the growls on this track have a low-pitched sound that feels somehow meshed between the sluggish drums. Simultaneously, the band evokes the style of the Finnish band Thergothon by infusing slow, lengthy themes.

Despite the notable sluggishness, the performance is absolutely amazing, Fuoco Fatuo gradually builds up rich, swampy textures. They reach the moment when the atmosphere becomes rife with a palpable sense of darkness. In such spooky moments, the band conjures the heaviness of doom/death metal. The sludge-laden riffs mostly form different themes and often the band emphasizes aggression. While there are frequent tempo changes that give the album an unearthly feeling, the rhythm guitars provide a somber and dignified tone. ‘Obsidian Katabasis‘ features three monolithic cuts and three instrumental tracks that have an apocalyptic ambiance. ‘Psychoactive Katabasis‘ is another spate that seems to offer some kind of unworldly experience. With the steady rumblings of the hammering percussion, the prowling section coalesces together with the striking guitars.

Fuoco Fatuo brings forth some shattering moments of crushing cacophony. The sudden transition to straight brutality builds up heavy plodding tempos. Where piles of riffage are molded into alarming volumes of obscurity, we finally behold the impending doom of ‘Obsidian Katabasis‘. The menacing growls become weighty with the crushing pace of the drums and its unceasing pummeling. Midway through the track, the chugging sections are combined with a tectonic drum pace, thus the madness continues. The album closure ‘III‘ opens with a faint melody of the guitar chords, cascading dramatically in a stream of tranquility. Fuoco Fatuo’s third album is essential for fans of Evoken, Thergothon and Disembowelment. ‘Obsidian Katabasis‘ is one of those stellar funeral doom/death metal releases that justify the profound sound of this sub-genre. 

Release Date: April 2nd, 2021
Label: Profound Lore Records
Track list:

  1. Obsidian Bulwark (Creation of the Absurd)
  2. I
  3. Thresholds of Nonexistence Through Eerie Aeons
  4. II
  5. Psychoactive Katabasis
  6. III


  • Music8/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics9/10
  • Production/Packaging9/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality8/10
8.6The album perfectly encapsulates a dark and doomy atmosphere sprawling over fifty minutes and worthy of attention to the fans of Thergothon and Disembowelment. 'Obsidian Katabasis' holds a spectacle nature of cavernous death metal: the songs creep slowly and carry you on a bier into the realms of demise.
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