Deathless Legacy – Mater Larvarum
Release Date: 09/12/2022
Running Time: 51:27
Review by Victor Augusto
Here I am in front of one more band that are one of my cases of love at the first listen! The Italians, Deathless Legacy, hit my ears about 4 years ago with their amazing album “Rituals of Black Magic”, with pure Heavy Metal with a great and dark atmosphere of horror and heavy themes. My love for them heavily increased when they released a masterpiece called “Saturnalia”, a 23-minute-long soundtrack of what became a short movie. It was not only the best album of the year (in my humble and irrelevant opinion), but it was one of the best songs I’d ever listened to in my life. So epic, and Italian history based as well. Now they are back with a new full album and let’s understand what we have here.
First, let me enforce the important impression I had of Deathless Legacy. They like to offer different sonority in each album, despite the fact that they already have their own identity. If you hear the previous albums, they are all mainly based in classic Metal, with a dense atmosphere created by the keyboards and a theatrical interpretation of the singer Steva, with her powerful and clear voice. But if the subject of “Rituals of Black Magic” looked like a gospel of Black Magic being told track by track, “Saturnalia” also relates to Goddess, black rituals, but it isn’t the main theme there. This last offering was more a history, based in an ancient Italian celebration which involves killing, betrayal and vengeance.
Now, I felt a blend of these two previous works. Again, we still have the occultism and dark themes, but the way the band entered in these subjects changed a bit. Even the heaviness of the instruments had to decrease to embrace this new concept. Before, I felt connected to them by how they reminded me of the eighties classic bands like Rainbow, Iron Maiden or Manowar. Now, when they play epic songs (with much more horror), I felt the Italians going more to something that Ghost (band) has been perfectly doing along the last decade.
From what I could understand from the lyrics, allied with Steva’s way of singing, it is like a metamorphosis of someone, probably a woman, living an inner conflict among the religious dogmas and all sins we have as temptation. Mainly in ‘Nightfall’ you can understand it. Even the solos are at a more calm and depressive speed, as you hear in ‘Hollow’, increasing the sensation of pain that is being talked about. In ‘Absolution’, this conflict shows to be clearer, when the character feels that faith, church and sin can often be connected and that she tends to keep going to what religion calls as The Dark Side, until reaching a point of no return.
My general impression is that the keyboards became the main instrument to guide all the band members, having the vocal as the lament over it. It also adds the religious side of this history by emulating the church keyboards and chants. Another change is how the bass offers a good versatility, also seems to be more present than before while the guitars sound more restricted to the basic, with few exceptions as you hear on ‘The Coven’. There we have a good remarkable riff on this intro and his work became more powerful in this track.
The same looks to happen with the drums of Frater Orion. On most of the songs, he maintains a cadenced but in songs like ‘Fade Into the Dark’ and ‘Queen of the Infernal Pantheon’ or ‘Run’, he shows all his power. By the way, these tracks I’ve mentioned rescue a bit of the musicality that I’ve heard in “Saturnalia”, especially on ‘Moonless Night’.
The best of the album is from ‘Queen of the Infernal Pantheon’ until the closing title track song where things turn heavier and dense. Here, we have more from what we already know of Deathless Legacy. She even stops to sing so melodically on the chorus on these tracks and it looks like it represents what happened after the character finally embraces the darkness. By the way, all these chances on Deathless Legacy sonority look intentional to really act like a soundtrack of this journey.
There is no doubt that “Mater Larvarum” is another incredible Deathless Legacy release! They kept strong in how to create a saga evolving in chapters, without repeating themselves. Musically, I wished to have more heaviness and aggressiveness, but it is what the history asked for the music, and they know what they do after many years releasing incredible albums.
For sure they are one of the best bands I had the pleasure to discover! Congratulazioni!
‘Moonless Night’ Official Video
01. Ora Pro Nobis
04. Fade Into the Dark
05. The Coven
07. Moonless Night
08. Queen of the Infernal Pantheon
09. Altar of Bones
11. Mater Larvarum
Steva – Vocals
Frater Orion – Drums
Alex Van Eden – Keyboards
Sgt. Bones – Guitar
Deadwood Nick- Bass Revyla – Performances
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