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Famine – Cocytus

[MP3/CD, Bugs Crawling Out of People]

Cocytus is the river in Hell referred to in Greek mythology as the river of wailing and described by Dante as a frozen lake. Inhabiting the ninth and lowest circle of Hell are the perpetrators of the most despicable and reviled acts of betrayal and treachery, Dante describing Cocytus as imprisoning Lucifer himself from his waist down in ice, the lake replenished by his tears and frozen by the flapping of his wings as he tries to escape. This release features remastered versions of three of Famine’s tracks from 1995 and adds two new tracks to complete the album. Available as a free download and limited edition CD, the album contains four tracks named after the four greatest traitors in history; Caina (Cain), Antenora (Antenor), Ptolomea (Ptolemy) and Judecca (Judas Iscariot). Perhaps surprisingly, “Cocytus” is not harsh and unforgiving but full of soft tones and drifting textures that ebb and flow. Although it undulates calmly there are hidden depths to this music, ominous drones darken the tone; “Cocytus IV: Judecca” depicting the theme using tortured screams and sudden dramatic crashes while the clanking of chains in the 17 minute “Names of Dead Kings” hints at the suffering endured for wrongs committed. “Cocytus I: Caina” is a melancholy opener full of remorseful sentiment while “Cocytus II: Antenora” is more minimal and atmospheric, punctuated by tortured wails. “Cocytus III: Ptolomea” heads down a similar route, toning down the demonic wailing but increasing the droning atmospheric tones to heighten the feeling of condemnation. Loaded with a subtle but dark, tortured presence “Cocytus” slowly unfolds and paints its picture of eternal damnation with careful attention to detail. What at first seems quite soft and gentle in tone slowly reveals its true nature on further listens.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆



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Published by Side-line [June 25th 2009]

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