Intaglio – Intaglio (15th anniversary remix)
The 2005 debut was considered a murky, sub part funeral doom album. Very lengthy passages with repetitive chords and distortion tended to bury the atmosphere of what the artists presented. Now, with the 2020 version, listeners can enjoy this atmosphere to a much clearer degree. Much of the tracks such as ‘Dark Cherry Day’ and ‘Solitude’ have everything a funeral doom fan could want- minimalistic sound built by guitars, vocals, drums, and some programming sounds such as chiming bells make up a lot of the tracks. But with the added production the clarity of the guitars stand out on the album. They are grim, but atmospherically clean and listeners can feel the weight of the depression and darkness in them, which is different from lots of funeral doom artists who use the distortion to channel the weight instead. The vocals are still pushed into the background and sometimes get drowned out by the guitars but they are still clearer than the 2005 version.
Intaglio’s only real downfall is the lack of variety on the tracks. There are only so many times the group can use the same chord melodies over and over before listeners tend to get bored. Funeral doom is known for its grinding lengths and tendency to be simple, and Intaglio fell into that pit unfortunately versus some of their fellow artists in the genres who took more experimental routes by adding in organ, piano, and even female vocals to try and expand on the sound to help stand out. The instrumental tracks such as “The Beginning” and “The Interlude” are a little too similar and for a bonus track fans were probably expecting something a little bit more. Still, Intaglio have taken a step in the right direction for their music by correcting the faults from their debut.
Despite being a plain funeral doom album, the raw atmosphere and sheer simplicity of the instrumentals can really be appreciated as opposed to the earlier release, and fans new and old can finally enjoy the Intaglio album they should have gotten back in 2005.
3 / 5 STARS