Two years have passed since the release of the notable EP by Rome In Monochrome, "Karma Anubis", a span during which guitarist Gianluca Lucarini hasn't stopped for a single moment, as shown by the grindcore EP unleashed in 2017 with Exhume To Consume. As for myself, there was quite some anticipation for their debut full-length "Away From Light", published by Russian label Solitude Productions via BadMoodMan Music.
Some sort of Babel tower in construction (of course in greyscale) is perhaps the perfect cover artwork for "Away From Light". Things get started with the utterly elegant "Ghosts Of Us", highlighting the guitar melodies painted by Lucarini, Reggi, and Paparella, accompanying Granieri's clean vocals and some rare (but perfectly fitting) growl by Lucarini himself. Once again, in this release you will be able to perceive all that obscure music heritage that all Rome In Monochrome enthusiasts love, from Antimatter (as in "Uterus Atlantis") to Katatonia ("Between The Dark And Shadows"), frequently crossing the vanishing borders between proper doom metal and other styles.
In fact, while the EP had probably seen the band trying too many things in too short a time, we can say that this time their efforts were considerably more consistent, as all the many facets of the Roman band found some suitable room to flourish. Valerio Granieri's vocal performance clearly is one of the highlights, managing to capture our attention throughout the fifty-plus minutes of the record, while aptly supported by Lucarini's harsh vocals in several passages (not to mention the guest appearance by Carmelo Orlando in "Paranoia Pitch Black"). The band successfully passed the debut album test, even boldly becoming a potential candidate for full-length debut of the year in Italy, as far as our favorite horrible music is concerned.
Rome In Monochrome has now become much more than a side project. Here on Aristocrazia we are glad (or sad?) to have crossed our paths again with the sextet after their intriguing beginning with "Karma Anubis". The album was introduced in late April with a great party at Associazione Defrag in Rome after the band had, among other events, opened for last summer's Roman show of the Cavanagh brothers. At this point, we just have to hope there will be a tour that can finally take the six musicians out of their monochromatic Rome.