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Atrium Animae translates loosely from the Latin as “Hall of the Soul,” and that’s not a bad description of the Italian duo’s sound. Dies Irae sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral, with Massimiliano Picconi‘s orchestral keyboards and Alessia Cicala‘s ghostly soprano swimming in a sea of reverb that gives the impression of sonic waves emanating from some astral plane. There’s a prevailing aura of spiritual transcendence here, as if Atrium Animae is channeling messages from the divine – not happy thoughts, unfortunately. The lyrics (all in Latin) travel the spiritual path between man and God, but the end result in “Angelum Abyssi” is not redemption, but the opening of the Seventh Seal and the beginning of the end of the world. Most themes this dark come with harsh, dissonant accompaniment (cf. virtually the entire black metal catalog), so it’s strangely refreshing to hear the apocalypse transmitted with such haunting beauty.
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