Review 1216 : Black Therapy – Onward – English

Black Therapy is back to play with melancholy.

Created in 2009 in Italy, the band led by Giuseppe Massimiliano Di Giorgio (vocals, Beyond the Dark), Lorenzo « Kallo » Carlini (bass, Invernoir), Andrea Mataloni (guitar, Ghost on Mars), Davide Celletti (guitar) and Francesco Comerci (drums, Helslave) announces the release of Onward, its fourth album, illustrated by Simon Bossert (Totengeflüster, Imperium Dekadenz, Necronomicon, Nyktophobia… ), which will be released in June 2022 by Black Lion Records.

The album starts with Onward, the eponymous track, which immediately puts us in this half-aggressive, half-lancinating atmosphere before welcoming the tortured and raw screams of the vocalist. The track is quite Old School while revealing dissonant and epic parts, then Blindness will wrap us in a certain majestic coldness with its hypnotic leads. The screams sometimes give way to a soothing clear vocal that creates a contrast with this permanent torrent of intensity, before the band welcomes Filippo Palma (ex-Lunarsea) on Betray My Ideals, a long track that starts off quite slowly. The rhythmic gradually joins the melodies, then voices spawn in this thick and yet bewitching oppression before Behind The Glass takes over with slow and melancholic elements. Once again, the enchanting clean vocals will do wonders in this melodious fog, which will develop a contrast with the sharper parts, covered by those screams of rage. Together takes over with more energetic riffs, but which reveal us a certain darkness while remaining catchy and at the same time quite heavy. Some tones put us in front of an imposing misery, transcribed by this emaciated solo, then At The Gates Of Soul wraps us with a comforting softness. The clear sound serves as a base for these haunting leads, then the quietness leads us to The Song Of My Absence, which is much more raw and heavy. Some more aggressive elements join the soaring mix that slows down before the last chorus to allow a powerful solo to come to life, then Destroy The Fate brings back that abrasive and dark energy. The track is suffocating, between the fast riffs and the more jerky parts completed by the dissonance, but the album comes to an end with A Quiet Place, a track with heady leads that leaves room for Chiara Filippelli for some vocal parts to develop Gothic accents. The new influences mix perfectly with the raw parts, and the duet in clean vocals is simply amazing, offering an important relief to the track that will leave us gradually after an explosion of violence.

I have always been sensitive to the universe of Black Therapy, it’s no secret. But with Onward, the group reveals us an important progress. If some tracks keep this abrasive contrast between raw rage and melodious melancholy, we can also notice some risk-taking moments which turn out to be profitable.


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