It rained all day. Again. Fuck Ireland anyway. Luckily, I had ‘Sob a Égide das Sombras’ to listen to. It reflects my disposition perfectly. I’m feeling negative, dull. Outside, it’s dreary, like always. Inside, it’s even drearier. But the debut full-length from Portuguese troupe Dolentia is a wonderful companion in these dark and uneventful times, as the rain hops off the gable and drenches my castle, soaking my life and drowning my mood.
Two of the first three songs are spectacular, emotional instrumentals that reek of pride and passion. In between, there’s the sumptuous, teeming ‘O Reerguer de Medos Antigos’, summoning the spirit of Lusitanian ancestors and filling the listener with a deep sense of nostalgia. Throughout the album, the raw yet melodic Black Metal on offer is of a distinctly epic variety that marks Dolentia out as a special force in modern extreme music.
The vocals are distressed and embittered, the guitars wobbly and dynamic, vibrating, almost humming their tunes of sombreness. The drums are like thigh bones banging off a coffin lid. Well, sort of. Underground Black Metal of the highest calibre from the depths of the Portuguese past, instilled with steel, individuality and purpose, ‘Sob a Égide das Sombras’ is an unremitting tour de force that has been wonderfully presented in vinyl format by two labels from polar ends of the Atlantic.
Black Metal doesn’t really get any better than this.