Zolfo Premiere “Apoptosis”; Descending Into Inexorable Absence Coming Soon


Italian lurch-conjurers Zolfo return with their second album, Descending Into Inexorable Absence, on Zann’s RecordsViolence in the Veins and Riff Merchant Records. Comprised of six tracks running 58 doom-resounding minutes, it is the light-consuming follow-up to their 2020 debut, Delusion of Negation (review here), which set them forth on the course of malevolent extremity that the new album continues. The initially subdued take on post-“Black Sabbath” nod with the sax-laced intro “Last Layers” that provides entry into the dark, scream-topped churn that is foundational to the titular descent — and the sax gets a little jazz-active, but otherwise, the movement down is already grueling — and “Lament of the Light” seems to raise the level of impact as each of its crashes and thuds slams down, a correspondingly huge death growl providing decisively inhuman presence.

In the midsection of “Lament of the Light,” the five-piece — first names only: Dave on vocals, Fabrizio (also sax) and Nicolò on guitar, Saverio on bass and Piero on drums — preface some of the speed they’ll inject periodically throughout, whether it’s the early rush of “Apoptosis” (premiering below), the title of which references a withering and death of a body’s cells, or the wall o’ punishment that the subsequent 18-minute closer “Silence of the Absolute Absence” becomes around 10 minutes in. You know, before the guitar hints at psych and drops out to leave the listener momentarily to their fate with bass and drums before shifting into a more post-metallic procession. Extremity is the thread that draws Descending Into Inexorable Absence together, though, and that resonates even in the spaces of “No Home for an Eternal Wayfarer” purposefully left open early on in the style of Bell Witch, an engrossing melancholy pushing toward caustic with the screams overlaid on its about-to-explode dirge. There is a beat’s pause right about at 7:35 into “No Home for an Eternal Wayfarer,” barely there, but there, and the build that ensues thereafter pushes into an absolute overwhelm of harsh, densely-toned chaos, wielded with a controlled hand but pointedly vicious. Have you ever been shoved off a cliff into a pit of metal spikes? Me neither, but if I was, I have to think the silence to which that track cuts at its end is how it would feel to be thusly impaled.

Active in its drums at the start, “Admire the Mire” almost teases respite in context. At Zolfo Descending into Inexorable Absencenine minutes long, its tempo finds a mid-paced groove in which to dwell, but even here the gnashing harshness of the vocals and the punishing brutality led by the guitars preside, and as it gets faster, it gets noisier, and the outright will to crush persists, certainly no less so with the big-doom slowdown around seven minutes in. Later in the reaches of “Silence of the Absolute Absence,” Dave‘s voice doesn’t so much give out, but echoes with the kind of high-register shout that results when your throat is done tearing itself apart for the next however long, and I don’t know over how long a period Descending Into Inexorable Absence was tracked, but I remember recording screaming takes, and if “Admire the Mire” and that finale were done the same day, or even just the latter piece on its own, I’d have no trouble believing genuine physical recovery was required afterward. That they chose to preserve that moment rather than dub it over is admirably organic, and gives “Silence of the Absolute Absence” a suitably desperate crescendo to its initial voidward cries and fuller death-doom plod.

Before they get there, “Apoptosis” bursts forth from the faded feedback of “Admire the Mire,” a count-in of one before the onslaught begins. While still nowhere near accessible in terms of broader stylistic geography, the effects-topped shouts that cut through in the first half are as close as Zolfo come to ‘clean’ vocals, but the screams and growls resume amid a pummel that tips the balance toward more death than doom, holding to the monolithic presence and tonality of its surroundings as its pushes itself down your throat, no doubt with some kind of cellular decay in mind. If by the time “Silence of the Absolute Absence” kicks in — and the only question is if it’s your life or all life that’s gone; could go either way — you don’t feel as though the chasm into which you’ve plunged was inside you all along, chances are you’ve already stopped listening and gone about your day as a probably-well-adjusted human being. Depressive aural misanthropy has never been for everyone, and Descending Into Inexorable Absence could hardly be called shy in its motives.

Nonetheless, if you’re up for it, “Apoptosis” premieres in the embed below, courtesy of the band. Some other preliminaries follow — recording credits, tracklisting, lineup; the necessities — and the music is the rest of what you need to know at this point, apart perhaps from an exact release date, which is to-be-announced. Don’t worry though, you’ll hear it coming in the distance when it’s time.

With best wishes:

Zolfo, “Apoptosis” track premiere

This spring we are going to release our new full-length album “Descending into Inexorable Absence”.

A polyphasic compound of 58 minutes, divided into a massive blend of doom/sludge intensity and layers of blackened and post-metal contamination, recorded at MOLOTOV recording by Andrea Lenoci, mixed and mastered at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding and framed by Khaos Diktator Design.

The second chapter of our discography, will be released on double gatefold coloured vinyl by Zann’s Records and Violence In The Veins, and on a limited edition tape by Riff Merchant Records.

1. Last Layers (2:55)
2. Lament of the Light (9:25)
3. No Home for an Eternal Wayfarer (11:19)
4. Admire the Mire (9:43)
5. Apoptosis (6:14)
6. Silence of the Absolute Absence (18:04)

Dave – Vocals and Lyrics
Fabrizio – Guitars and Sax
Nicolò – Guitars
Saverio – Bass
Piero – Drums

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Riff Merchant Records linktr.ee

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