The reliably simple macabre theatre of occult fuzz-toned ‘stoner’ doom metal needn’t evolve in the hands of Ossi, Sardinia-based trio 1782 but surely their brand of effectively droning doom must generate some manner of interesting dramatism or subject matter to sustain our greater hypnosis. On their third full-length album, ‘Clamor Luciferi‘, we find their crew obsessing over most classic visions of ancient evil in a way which reads more as endearingly classicist fixation than it does plainest pandering tale up front. As they go on naming daemons, describing black masses and such our original thesis admittedly unravels and, yes, all they really need to hex the greater population into submission is stylized iteration upon their unholiest melancholic voice within the niche and a bit of variety applied to their sound design to sustain interest. This’ll have to be the best realization yet for what the band initially promised when they’d cropped up out of nowhere a few years back.
1782 formed circa 2018 wherein the mostly extreme metal experience hand of vocalist, guitarist and bassist Marco Nieddu met with the stoner rock guided focus of drummer Gabriele Fancellu in development of a heavily stylized form of doom metal with effects-strained vocals, retro-fired fuzz scraped guitar tones and shambling bass forward production values which spoke directly to second and third album breakthroughs of Electric Wizard in a mostly direct way on their debut single “She Was a Witch“. Creeping pace and eruptive, heavily distorted sound is typically enough to generate buzz in the fuzz underground but that wasn’t what’d been particularly special about this group up front but instead their somewhat tuneful narrative and the appreciable tension which they’d delivered it with. If I can be as frank as possible too often vocalists in this style try to emulate the odd diction of Jus Oborn unto very fake, forced results yet Nieddu managed a quite garbled yet convincing cadence on that single and their self-titled debut full-length (‘1782‘, 2019). I’m not sure if the project had been all that serious when their first single released in early 2019 but they’d gotten serious and cranked out a characterizing debut LP within five months, suggesting it’d all been tentative on public response and the idea was ready in mind otherwise.
The question on my mind at that point in time was essentially, is there any sort of soul to this group? Or is it just a cool take on a well-known style? Fast forward a few years to the release of the better produced, polished and entirely average ‘From the Graveyard‘ (2021) and at the time I’d concluded that this’d just been a bit of “genre music” that caught on at the right time, offering arguably questionable substance on a perfectly alright sophomore release. That record had brought in bassist/co-vocalist Francesco Pintore alongside their more traditional doom metal aspect, something akin to the wah-shredded corridor of ‘Born Too Late‘ and its slow-trilled riff endpoints. This’d kept things interesting enough but I don’t think too many folks outside of the truly invested approached 1782 part two with great enthusiasm beyond appreciating a bit of smoked out kitsch. For part three of their ongoing dirge the trio which nothing but the worst for humanity, presenting a more present and threatening response which seems to intentionally pull back into the throes of ‘1782‘.
Radiation burns, black suns, and orange amps. — Nieddu‘s vocals are distant in placement and backward in echo while his guitar tone crisps and strangles with a nuclear mid-range scald while the distorted clobber-tones of the bass guitar bulk out the lumbering, fried skull pacing of ‘Clamor Luciferi‘. This is again a distinct shift away from the glowing low mood and cleaner atmospheric register of the previous album. It isn’t the most hi-fi version of this sound you’d ever heard but any fan of ‘Witchcult Today‘ will appreciate the placement of each performance and how the focus has been pushed toward the bassier ripple of the full band in motion while a distant orator directs the greater dirging misery of it all. None of it would work if they didn’t manage to switch it up a bit within each song and carry few decent riffs into the experience here and there. As is the case with many records in this style things start off very strong, distinct in their intent and slowly fizzle out of their electricity in a meandering sort of way.
Striking hot upon the sacrificial organ with intro “A Merciful Suffering” the mood is set for the thunderous tone that grinds upon the ear the moment “Succubus” begins, an unholy first strike which does a fine job of pulling the ear down to 1782’s morbid, spaced realm for a few variations on a sludgy main riff and a few staggered walks between. The pulverization of that opening and its segue into the simple statement of “Demons” was enough gravitas to yank me into ‘Clamor Luciferi‘ many times. The band find their variations and some more traditional doom metal riffcraft on “Black Rites” and the especially potent “River of Sins” but this is essentially where the full force of the album hits. The rest of the record is generally instrumental as the band begins to fiddle with the notion of psychedelic doom metal on the largely uneventful washes of “Tumultuous XIII” and the far more notable, riff focused “Devil’s Blood”. At this point where the realization comes that these pieces are a major part of the experience this record’s overall point of view begins to clarify, an object of keen resonances and dark sounds which is set upon the public entirely for the sake of its “pleasure listening for the demented” type ride. For my own taste there were enough big, growling evil doom metal songs here for the whole ride to redeem itself unto countless spins.
There’ll be no need for astute analysis, deeper referential storytelling or any truly involved examination of what 1782 do for the sake of a record like ‘Clamor Luciferi‘ being intentionally a bit skin deep as an anxietous and dreadful dark chord struck within the stoner/doom metal space. Granted this is remarkably stylized as a point of purpose and it is, for my own taste, a sharp example of pleasure listening with a simple and readable effect that is easily enjoyed for its growling tones and distant incantations. Of course manage your own expectations and reactions dependent on tolerance for fuzz, Satan, and heavy-ass stoner doom riffs. A moderately high recommendation.
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