La Janara — Tenebra
(Black Widow BWRCD 222-2, 2019, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-01-19
La Janara is an Italian progressive goth band named after a legendary mysterious creature in Irpinia, a district of the Apennine Mountains in Southern Italy, about 50 km east of Naples. Janara is also a term for the witches in Benevento in the same area. This explanation and the cover art convey the dark, satanic, and gothic nature of the dark metal music on La Janara’s first full length album, Tenebra. The music is somewhere between 70s Black Sabbath, aggressive metal prog guitar shredding, and gothic Italian prog. La Janara is Rafaella Cangero aka La Janara (vocals), Nicola Vitale aka Il Boia (guitars), Rocco Cantelmo ala l’Inquisitore (bass), and Antionio Laurano aka Il Mercenario (drums), plus guest musicians Riccardo Studer of Stormlord (keyboards and orchestration), Alession Cattaneo of Onryo (bass and drum programing), Alessander Liccardo of Hangarvain (guiitar), and Giulian Latte of Scuorn (vocals). The album is set in Irpinia, surrounded by mountains and old villages, and explores the dark side of the human soul, as well as the sorrow and freedom of women who have endured the weight of oppression over the centuries. Hiigh points for me are “Violante aveva un osso di capra,” “Il canto dei morti.” and “Volano i corvi.” Raffealla has a strong rich alto that drives the music. Many of the songs alternate between aggressive Metallica-styled metal prog and quiet interludes. Taken as a whole, Tenebra is an album that avoids the excesses of Antonius Rex, yet approaches similar subject matter.
Related artist(s): La Janara
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