This is the second album from Italy’s one-man blackened doom band Noctu.
Gelidae Mortis Imago contains 74 minutes of atmospheric blackened funeral doom. Containing three brief atmospheric pieces as preludes to the three main monstrous songs, this album is an imposing proposition for people allergic to long song lengths. It probably doesn’t help that Gelidae Mortis Imago is a hideously dark and bleak affair either, although to adherents of the style, this is essentially a selling point.
The blackened elements are prominently-displayed, and worm their way into and around the funeral core of the music like a foul corrupting influence. The vocals are of this blackened strain; anguished cries and tortured screams, where you might have been expected the usual deep growls.
The music is heavily atmospheric, steeped in sorrow and negativity. Slow, expressive leads provide a bedrock of feeling, while piano and keyboards add further layers, as well as a somewhat Gothic feel on occasion. Overall the music wallows in misery and woe, which is basically the point of Gelidae Mortis Imago. The artist behind this band knows his material well, and each of the three main tracks is proficiently-delivered.
This is music that requires patience, immersion, and a certain amount of fortitude. If you have a penchant for the style then there are ample rewards to be had here, especially if you’re willing to embrace the blackened darkness of Noctu’s take on funeral doom.