It’s been 10 years already since the last L’ IMPERO DELLE OMBRE album, “I Compani Di Baal” and I tried to be as patient as possible, counting the days for a new album. I finally got the digital promo from their label (Black Widow) and I just couldn’t wait to sit down and play the album to death.
So, the Italians L’ IMPERO DELLE OMBRE came directly from the bowels of the Italian Doom Rock / Metal scene. If you are familiar with artists like early DEATH SS, PAUL CHAIN VIOLET THEATER, THE BLACK, BLACK HOLE, then you ll be able to get a brief glimpse of L’ IMPERO DELLE OMBRE’s sound but there’s more than this.
This is the third full length of the band, entitled “Racconti Macabri Vol III” and in its 53 minute of running time you’ ll get devoured by their perfect balanced heavy, dark sound, enriched with beautifully composed and performed keyboards.
There are some horror film references on this album also, (like on their previous ones) something that I personally love! “In Morte di Buono Legnani” is homage to Pupi Avati’s 1976 classic giallo “The House with the Laughing Windows” (La Casa Dalle Finestre Che Ridono), while “Incubo A Dunwich” is homage to the classic 70’s Lovecraftian film “Dunwich Horror”. What I really adore about this track is the use of Les Baxter’s original theme played as the intro quitar riff; personally I got the chills every time the spoken intro ends and the riff kicks in. I also loved the use of the actual dialog from the film.
The rest of the tracks are dark themed, doomy, gloomy, with an early PAUL CHAIN-isque vibe, for instance that solo Andrea delivers in “Il Villaggio delle Ombre Assassine” it’s a pure PAUL CHAIN reference.
On this album we also have really great guest performances by the legendary Daniele BUD Ancillotti (STRANA OFFICINA / BUD TRIBE) and the “Negromante del Rock” himself Mr. Steve Sylvester (DEATH SS). I’m also very pleased that one of my favorite Italian and ultra-low profile musicians Freddy Delirio (DEATH SS / Solo Artist) also contributes on this album and to be specific on this beautiful last track “Finale, Ballata dell’Uroboro… o della Speranza” that probably is a direct homage to the master PAUL CHAIN with such a strong vibe of “Lake Without Water” from the Alkahest album.
In Conclusion, I was sure that “Racconti Macabri Vol III” is a great album. The sound of L’ IMPERO DELLE OMBRE is exactly what I love all these years, dark vibes, doomy atmosphere, Italian lyrics, 70s references. But, “Racconti Macabri Vol III” is not just a great album, it is a masterpiece. It is one of those albums that personally I can’t describe in words, I can only feel its otherworldly atmosphere, it’s one of those albums that I use to call “DNA” albums, after you listen to such a “DNA” album, you are forever bound to it.