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Ecnephias - Seven - The Pact Of Debauchery (2020) - Review

Band: Ecnephias
Album title: Seven - The Pact Of Debauchery
Release date: 20 March 2020
Label: My Kingdom Music
Genre: Dark Metal

Tracklist:
01. Without Lies
02. The Night Of The Witch
03. Vampiri
04. Tenebra Shirts
05. The Dark
06. Run
07. The Clown
08. Il Divoratore
09. Rosa Mistica

It's since 2013, when album named Necrogod came out, that I'm telling you to check out and give some attention to this many times overlooked Italian band who are active on the scene since 1996 and are absolutely one of the most consistent and interesting acts coming from the Apennine Peninsula. Now with the renewed line-up the band centered around the mastermind Mancan decided to continue as a trio, and their seventh offering, deftly titled Seven - The Pact Of Debauchery, is the most original work that this band ever made. Yes, I can say that this band which was often lurking in the shadows of their influences, finally sounds like an entity on its own ground.

With The Pact Of Debauchery Ecnephias announced a return to their more extreme origins, which were left off in huge part on their last two fantastic albums, Ecnephias (2015) and even more on the The Sad Wonder Of The Sun (2017). Mancan and co. never hide that they own a lot to the acts such as Moonspell, Tiamat, Rotting Christ, Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Fields Of The Nephilim,... and just like the sound of their main influences also Ecnephias offer very varied compositions. I was expecting more of black metal this time, like on their first couple of albums, but what we got is an interesting and stark dark metal album, a mix of many different genres, it's partly black, gothic, darkwave, doom, as well the band adds some electronics into their sonic picture, and there's like always, maybe this time even more, present this special warmth of Mediterranean charm. With every consequent album Ecnephias are becoming more mature, and Seven - The Pact Of Debauchery is an album that has it all, power, melody, darkness, melancholy, and evilness, yet it can be very enchanting.

Powerful blackened dark tracks like the opener "Without Lies", "The Dark" or the closing "Rosa Mistica" to name a few, are the proof that they do remember their evil roots. Gritty heavy but seductive guitars, often at the border of doom/gothic metal, with some acoustic lines, with evocative dreamy/darkwave kind of synths, strong varied Mancans vocals that range from kind of blackened shrieks to mesmerizing deep clean voice are not anymore just a copy of Mr. Ribeiro and Mr. Sakis. Half sung in Italian and half in English just adds another dimension to the overall experience, and I don't remember when was the last time that the Italian language fitted so perfectly in metal music. Yet with consistent rhythms and many other things that are there waiting to be discovered, Ecnephias can offer a special voyage into dark unknown mystical ancient lands of Italian south. Always keeping the pace at the highest rate they add a lot of very captivating melodies and catchy parts. As much as the songs can be direct, they are also complex, mysterious, at certain occasions even tribalistic and in a way sensual. Ecnephias for sure did a new milestone of dark metal.

The most impressive tracks in my opinion are the moody ones like "Vampiri" and the enigmatic "Il Divoratore". Especially the second one is a pure masterpiece of evocative gothic metal, a dark sparkling semi-ballad that has kind of an Italo pop/rock flavour inside, yes Vasco Rossi came into my mind when Mancan sings those sing along lines. How powerful and captivating it is and it gets easily stuck into your head for a long time. "Il Divoratore" is an epic song written to be played on a big stadium in front of thousands screaming fans who sing along with Mancan. It's as much sinister as much it's beautiful and not many bands are capable of doing something alike, apart of course the masters like Moonspell, Fields Of The Nephilim or Tiamat.

Seven - The Pact Of Debauchery is one of the best albums that Ecnephias did so far. I was also in ave of both previous two releases, but this one goes beyond, by adding that black magic heaviness that was found on Necrogod and Inferno. I can't hide the fact that here and there we can find some more mellow parts, like it's first half of "The Clown", which then smoothly transforms into the most varied song up here. It's an album that whoever is into darker side of metal music can't leave it aside. A must album for everyone who wants to discover new realms of occult Mediterranean dark art.

Review written by: Tomaz
Rating: 8/10

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