Italian/Finnish group Photophobia have taken colossal strides on 2012’s ‘The Seven States of Mourning’, returning with a cleaner more accessible sound than on Humana Fragilitas, the production is undoubtedly far slicker and sounds a lot bulkier overall. The wonderful reverb tinged intro to opening track “I Buried Myself at the Edge of the Sky” is sublime in its approach, and the doom-drenched brilliance of the keyboard backed riffing calls to mind classic My Dying Bride. Displaying some beautiful clean guitar picking and keyboards to boot, it is clear that the group have honed their skills and built positively from their well-received debut release. The band drives forward like a mournful procession, the rhythm and overall feel of it fits the title of the record perfectly as there is a myriad of rhythms on offer. This is frosty black metal with a scandinavian sound to it, doubtless as a result of Photophobia’s many influential artists that call that particular part of the world their home. The harrowing and scorned vocals of Letaliis are backed with huge scything guitars that paw erratically at you. The weaving, stirring keyboards again compliment the sound and feel of the record extremely well. Unfortunately however the bass sounds alarmingly flat, and the record suffers noticeably in parts due to this. ‘Lullabies Of Thorns’ rumbles through like a runaway train and is the second shortest track on the album at six and a half minutes long. ‘Orietur in Tenebris Lux Tua’ is a far harder affair with blast-beats that back the superb lancing guitars. It also features a wonderfully executed outro that lingers long after the disc has stopped spinning. Conclusively, this is a highly recommend release, which is available now through the excellent Immortal Frost Productions.
U. Morbid (Composing), Letaliis (Vocals and lyrics concept), Deimos (Keyboards)