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Mater a Clivis Imperat — Atrox Locus
(Black Widow BWR 242, 2022, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2023-02-07

Atrox Locus Cover art

Italian multi-instrumentalist Samael Von Martin, AKA The Lord of Sorrow, first hit the scene in the late 90s, writing, singing, and performing with a number of different Italian black metal bands:  Abhor, Death Dies, Evol, Satanel, and YoosaHateRon. Now in 2022 Samael (choir, electric guitar, bass, and keyboards) has gathered together Isabella (lead vocals and choir), Tomas Contarato (drums), Natalija Branko (piano), Alessio Saglia (organ and keyboards), and guest Elisa di Marte (soprano) to form Mater a Clivis Imperat and release Atrox Locus, a danse macabre of Italian gothic progressive rock. The intense stare of the demonic fiddler and the three succubi on the cover set the stage for the thirteen tracks, a mixture of instrumentals, incantations, and songs. The album leads off with “Coemeterium” and closes with an alternate version of “Coemeteritum.”  Both versions are like a slow overture to darkness, with the first version like an intro to Howl of the Wolf Movies, whereas the alternate version is superior with its cathedral organ, tolling bell, ghoulish effects, and female incantation. In between the slices of this gothic sandwich are helpings of pseudo-60s-70s Italian vampire movie soundtracks, sepulchral gothic horror, nods to Dario Argento and Goblin (namely Claudio Simonetti), and some tasty Italian prog rock. If you are a fan of the dark horror of Antonius Rex’ 70s/80s albums, you will definitely enjoy Atrox Locus.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Mater a Clivis Imperat


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