Sunday, 16 October 2011

GOTHIC ATMOSPHERES FROM THE ETERNAL CITY


DUNWICH is mainly the brainchild of keyboardist and composer Claudio Nigris who started to work on this project back in 1985. The present line up was assembled in 2004, after three albums released in the nineties and a long pause. Now, along with Claudio Nigris, Dunwich features Francesca “Elayne” Naccarelli on vocals and Roberto Fasciani on bass. For their last studio album, Heilagmanoth, they got the help of a large number of guest musicians (including a choir and a string quartet) who provided an extremely rich musical texture. The result is a very interesting blend of metal, classical music, Celtic and Medieval influences.
 
The excellent artwork describes in some way the musical content. Esoteric literary works by writers such as Gustav Meyrink (in the dark and mysterious “La casa dell'alchimista”) and H. P. Lovecraft (“Escape from Innsmouth”) inspired some of the pieces while others were inspired by myths and legends as “Beowulf”. The lyrics are in Italian, Latin and English and the words seem just “swimming in the dark”, sung by the beautiful, operatic voice of Francesca Naccarelli, often backed by a powerful “church-like” choir while all along the album the keyboards and electric guitars perfectly interact with acoustic instruments such as flutes and strings.


One of my favourites tracks is “Il falso principio” that features an obscure and Medieval atmosphere and was inspired by the character of Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600), an Italian philosopher who was victim of a false principle and of his quest for knowledge. For this reasons he was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition... “Blind is the man who can’t see the sun / Fool is the one who can’t know / Ungrateful is the one who doesn’t thank such as great light...”.


Other good tracks are the epic “La lama, il ghiaccio e il fuoco” (The blade, the ice and the fire) and “Terra di Ambra, Neve e Fuoco Nero” (Land of Amber Snow and Black Fire) that was conceived as a mystical musical journey through a forgotten, frozen land. Anyway, the overall impression I got from all the tracks on this album is very positive. If you’re in dark symphonic metal atmospheres I’m sure that this album will be an excellent addition to your collection...

Dunwich: Heilagmanoth (2008). Other opinions
Iván Melgar-Morey: Dunwich is a box of surprises... The metallic element is the preeminent and the album is some sort of Symphony X with operatic vocals, as if Dunwich had already ended a ´progressive metamorphosis from XV Century troubadoresque music to Prog Metal, a fantastic voyage through five centuries of musical history done in fifty minutes... (read the complete review HERE).

You can read an interview with Dunwich on Progarchives. Click HERE

More info about the band: