Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

I have been reviewing CDs for over ten years and in that time I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to many great bands that I otherwise I would not have the opportunity to hear. Italy’s Dunwich is one such band. According to the bio on their web site this band from Rome have been around since 1985(!), but have only just now come to my attention with their new CD “Heilagmanoth”. Musically, this female fronted band is tough to categorize. They add elements of folk, gothic, medieval, symphonic, orchestral arrangements and metal to create an album that is loaded with atmosphere and takes you on an ethereal musical journey that is breathtaking. “Heilagmanoth” features 12 tracks and 54 minutes worth of music. Half of the songs are song in their native Italian and the rest are sung in English. Their are no gaps or spaces between the songs as they flow into one another. The opening track “Aranmanoth” is an eerie intro that clocks in at about a minute and a half. Complete with keyboard and some weird chanting. It leads us into the next track “La Casa dell’ Alchimista”. One of the many songs sung in Italian, there is so much going on her. Vocalist Francesca Naccarelli shows some great operatic range here. There are some church choir-like background vocals and the song really delivers a big sound. Next, we have “Tales from the Ninth Wave”. This one starts off a bit slower with Francesca bringing it down a bit. In fact, that is one thing that really impresses me about her. Throughout The CD she doesn’t just rely on her operatic talents, she knows when to hold back a bit and do whatever fits the song. Next we have “Guardians of the Threshold”.’ It opens with some cool sounding keyboards supplied by founding member Claudio Nigris and soon accompanied by some nice, serene acoustic guitar. This is a quiet, very pretty song that also features some flute.“Escape from Innsmouth” is just huge sounding, with orchestral arrangement and a rich sounding choir. Another strength of Dunwich is their incorporation of many non-metal type instruments, such as Flutes, harps, string quartets, brass quartets and an absolutely amazing choir. The whole presentation of  “Heilagmanoth”  is so ambitious. The almost 7-minute “Beowulf” is quite possibly the finest moment here. It features some more great musicianship and all around great performances from everyone. This song is very dramatic and emotional. Other highlights include: “Il Falso Principio” (check out the violin solo at the end), “The Flying Fear”, “Leaves On the Altars of the Moon”.’ The one minute outro “Heilagmanoth” bring things to a close. It is a pretty piano piece that is the perfect way to end things. From top to bottom “Heilagmanoth” is one hell of a release. The entire presentation is well done and top notch. The musicianship is great, the production is crystal clear and the CD packaging really is impressive. It comes in a nice digi-pack with beautiful art work and a nice booklet. And then there is the most important thing the songs. Musically, there is a lot going on here and it will take more than one listen to digest everything but once you do that it will be a journey worth taking.

Rating – 100/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Aranmanoth
  2. La Casa dell’Alchimista
  3. Tales from the Ninth Wave
  4. Guardians of the Threshold
  5. Escape from Innsmouth
  6. Il Falso Principio
  7. Beowulf
  8. The Flying Fear
  9. Absence of Yourself
  10. Leaves of the Altars to the Moon
  11. Terra di Ambra Neve e Fuoco Nero
  12. La Lama, Il Ghiaccio e il Fuoco
  13. Heilgmanoth

 

Line Up

  • Francesca “Elayne” Naccarelli – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Claudio Nigris – Composer & Keyboards
  • Roberto Fasciani – Bass 
  • Luca Iovieno – Drums  

 

Links

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