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Anno Mundi: Cloister Graveyard In The Snow

The label on the front of the rather clumsily titled Cloister Graveyard In The Snow from Anno Mundi proudly states "Heavy Rock In A Pure Black Sabbath Style", with the logos of - and the statement "Featuring Members Of..." - Graal (an excellent under rated early Uriah Heep like band), Banco Del MutuoSoccorso, Periferia Del Mondo, and Ezra Winston. However no matter how varied (and obscure) that list of contributors, Anno Mundi is in all honesty a two man band and as with so many of these types of projects, that is this album's main strength and critical weakness. Guitars, percussion and backing vocals come courtesy of Alessio Secondini Morelli, while drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, bass and "noise" (you're guess is as good as mine as to what that means?) are provided by Gianluca Livi although as mentioned there are obviously contributions from many other people as well.

There's no denying that the statement regarding Black Sabbath being a major influence behind this music is completely true, with deep, dooming riffs being king across the six tracks on CGITS, however making the album itself sound as though it was recorded in the mid-seventies is possibly pushing the authenticity to extremes. Muffled in places, booming in others, Anno Mundi sound dated and while some of that process was the band's intention, the mixture of muffled guitars and booming bass does little to help you engage with the songs themselves. The tracks are well constructed, if more than a little obvious and while pure doom devotees will find something to get excited about (in a depressed kind of way obviously), the rest of us will merely be rather confused by how such gigantic guitar bursts and pummelling drums can sound so safe and unadventurous. Add to that the two vocalists, Federico Magagnini and Luca Jason Serafini, who between them sound like a slightly unsure Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Ozzy after a little too much of his medication and you have a strange mix of songs which come close to ticking all the boxes, while being strangely unsatisfying.

Now I'm not sure of the lyrical content (the press release is in Italian) of the whole album, but "Gallifreyan's Suite" does indeed concern itself with a certain Timelord under the name Doctor Who, while "Dwarf Planet" and the short instrumental title track adds to the spacey theme. In truth it is all a rather odd, confused mixture of ideas, approaches and themes and while absolutely nothing about this album is bad, little about it really shines through to suggest Anno Mundi are even remotely close to greatness.

Track Listing
1. Scarlet Queen
2. The Shining Darkness
3. Dwarf Planet
4. Gallifreyan's Suite
5. Cloister Graveyard In The Snoe
6. God Of The Sun

Added: December 15th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Anno Mundi MySpace
Hits: 2478
Language: english

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