ANNO MUNDI (Cloister Graveyard In The Snow) LP

More from the the well of early 70s-inspired Doom that seems to not run dry as of late. It more seems like it is flowing stronger than ever. This time we got a band called Anno Mundi. A Latin name for a band from Italy's captial Rome. Well fitting. The band and label emphasize the strong link to Birmingham's innovators of Rock music, Black Sabbath so much that they think it is very important to let us know their guitarist is left-handed as well. It is not. More interesting is the fact that the band did not even have a stable line-up when recording this release that comes along as both LP and CD. The CD contains two extra tracks as well as longer versions of 'Scarlet Queen' and 'Timelord', but I cannot say anything about it 'cause my promo only includes the 6 tracks of the LP version.

Masterminds behind this outfit are Allessio Morelli who plays guitars, percussions and his partner Gianluca Livi, who plays drums, acoustic guitar and some bass. They had two more bassists for this one as well as not less than three singers plus their producer is playing flutes and sax on a couple of tracks. Jeez. Let us speak about the music. There surely is Black Sabbath in their sound. A lot of that to be precise. So much that 'Dwarf Planet' does not even just steal the chord progression of Sab's band hymn but even the lyrics are the same at the beginning. Thank god, the singers do not sound too much like Ozzy. I cannot tell you precisely who sings what, but all vocalists have two things in common: They got this nice Italian accent we know and like from Italian bands. I do not know why, but somehow I already link this accent with dark rock.

The second thing is that they all have voices that you need to get used to a little. Beyond this the band manages to combine their admiration for Iommi and co. with influences from this typical Italian Dark 70s Rock sound, especially when flutes or sax enter the musical scene. Add some hints of the NWOBHM when a couple of galloping riffs come into play. Songs like the aforementioned 'Dwarf Planet' are pretty likeable due to the interessting arrangement. The beginning of 'Gallifreyan's Suite' - a piece in three parts - is another highlight. I like the mid-tempo-metal of the opening part a lot. It changes to a proggy-psychedelic section in the middle. The Doom returns in the long last part. Compared to contemporary 70s-influenced Doom bands, these guys are not one bit below quality than all the likeminded groups which are way more popular. I guess if you dig stuff like Devil as well as some of the famous Italian bands, this should be up your alley. Give it a try. Due to the progressive nature of Anno Mundi's Doom there is quite some stuff to discover here.

(Thorsten Frahling)