NIGHT GAUNT – “Night Gaunt” Tape, 2015

You just cannot go wrong with Italian Doom Metal. Coming from Rome, Night Gaunt’s debut album is a striking example of well-written dark Doom Metal. Heavy as Electric Wizard, weird and osbcure like Cathedral, epic like Candlemass this is a huge album of dark, tenebrous, epic Doom Metal.

Released on professionally manufactured black tape, limited to 100 copies, some last copies available in our official shop.

REVIEW from The Metal Archives:

“What with all the sunshine and pizza and hand gestures, Italians don’t really have a reputation for being dark, though I’m starting to change my mind because of bands like The Ossuary, Black Oath, and Night Gaunt. This quartet really have a fetish for that repetitive riffing style that Hour of 13 and some of Phil Swanson’s other old projects have included, though a marginally slower pace makes this creepier. On this self-titled debut, the 7 songs mostly remain very simple, riffs droning on with a stoner doom sense of structure, while the effect comes closer to the misanthropic sluggishness of Seamount or even Electric Wizard thanks to thick, polluted distortion.

Just as with the cover art, Night Gaunt proves an extremely monochrome affair, almost everything covered in the same feeling of lurking terror and obscure darkness, guitars barely breaking from down-tempo riffing and the rhythms doing nothing to distract. Even the solos don’t stand out much from the grinding heaviness. Perhaps that sounds boring, and I’ll admit that I do hope for more excitement at times, though Night Gaunt have mastered the atmosphere of their style so well that the whole release feels tense and meaningful, as if waiting for the hideous truth to appear from the shadows. I get a feeling from the song titles and the lyrics I can decipher (the vocals are slightly distant) that everything is based around old horror movies or Edgar Allen Poe tales, with some musical movements dramatizing those stories.

Take as an example ‘The Patient’, which farts out of the blocks like Cathedral’s famous guitar tone rising from a grave of mud; the desperate wails of Giuseppe Colio paint a bleak picture whether or not the listener hears lines like “I hurt myself once again”, while the riffs change over more than one might think from the fuzz-covered surface impression. When the song develops into a largely instrumental section after the mid-point, the note selection of the slow passages maintain the tension, while the faster kick drums drag behind them an unwilling lead that seems to shed notes like drops of blood along the corridor; finally, a slower marching riff comes in like Candlemass being forced to a funeral, and ‘The Patient’ concludes with another verse. The album doesn’t contain much variety in sonic range or methods of gaining attention, but the drama and structuring lies just below the grimy surface.

Because of the heavy similarity to a couple of bands mentioned above, I don’t quite feel that Night Gaunt had found their footing when recording this debut, although that’s not to say that they miss the target by much. With a genuine atmosphere, some great riffing choices, and calling cards like ‘The Patient’ and ‘The Church’, these Italians suck all the sun out of the day.”