Today, Eisenwald sets April 24th as the North American release date for Blaze of Sorrow's highly anticipated sixth album, Absentia, on digipack CD format.
Since 2007, Blaze of Sorrow have been a veritable institution of Italian black metal, a scene and style too long overlooked. Blaze of Sorrow both embody and defy the Italian idiom: medieval in its melancholy, nearly "romantic" in the literary sense of the word, but always revealing (and expanding upon) new shapes that keep their aesthetic surprising and ever singular. And that canon keeps growing through the years, with each new release a poignant piece in Blaze of Sorrow's breathtaking mosaic.
Although initially begun as a solo endeavor of multi-instrumentalist Peter, with a number of drummers coming and going over the years, it could be argued that Blaze of Sorrow hit their first peak of creativity with 2012's Echi. This third album revealed a more autumnal sound - the sonic approximation of flickering fires and the wind wisping through fallen leaves, the chill that creeps into the air prior to wintertime hibernation - harkening to overseas progenitors Agalloch, but adding to that hallowed headspace rather than merely aping it. With that album, drummer N. became a constant and the Blaze of Sorrow lineup was mostly solid for the next number of years, culminating in 2017's masterful Astri for Eisenwald.
Now, with new guitarist A.S. and bassist V. joining the fold, Blaze of Sorrow are set to release their most fully realized work to date: Absentia. Comprising seven songs in a taut 'n' tight 44 minutes, Absentia bursts into being with a brilliance that's blanching to behold. Undeniably emotional as ever, it's immediately apparent, however, that Blaze of Sorrow are operating on a different wavelength on Absentia. Their windswept, cascading black metal is undoubtedly melancholic at heart - their moniker was well chosen, after all - but the range of textures and sensations across this sixth album encompass a far broader spectrum than most usually associated with "black metal." Laced within the deepest heart of Absentia is an aching nostalgia, a bittersweet wistfulness, and even rays of hope: doomed they may be, but delivered with an indeed-blazing passion that puts Blaze of Sorrow into a rarefied field. Which is to say nothing of the utterly cathartic lead work here, buttressed by frequent detours into plaintive acoustic territory; shredded and shredding, these leads are immediately memorable and long-lasting, well after the final notes of Absentia have rung out across the soul...
Put more directly, Blaze of Sorrow aptly describe their inspirations as thus: "Day, Night, Darkness, Light. With music, we try to reach the highest peak of our feelings playing what we we're supposed to play. Our notes are captured from sadness, nature’s beauty, water, fire, earth and wind. Let the shades embrace you thoughts, let the abyss caress your soul. We’re what we are: a fire’s breath in the infinity of the Sun." Behold the full glory of Blaze of Sorrow and submerge thyself into total Absentia!
Begin submerging thyself with the brand-new track "Notturna" HERE
at Eisenwald's official YouTube channel. Ordering info can be found at Eisenwald's North American webstore HERE
. Cover artwork, courtesy of Erbograph, and tracklisting are as follows: