The Polish one-man band Sacrimony was born in early 2010, and this is its debut album from early 2011. The band gets its influences from the writings of Feliks Wiktor Kres, as well as the mysterious tales about Guido di Conza on which this album is based on.

Whereas the second tune is a two-minuter with a piano and cello-synths, the remaining four of the five songs are ten-minute ones. Stylistically they are repetitive and highly atmospheric, even emotional funeral doom-songs with a good dose of synth-ambience giving them a big chunk of their character. The songs' tempos are snail-slow and their moods flicker somewhere between melancholic remembrance and ethereal beauty.

The sole guitar (note, there's no bass guitar) has a somewhat thin and buzzy sound, but it's strong enough to give the songs their metal-feel. The riffs are monotonal and simple, but still rather decent when it comes to proto-funeral doom due to their nice rhythms and good, logical flow. The guitars get their pacing from programmed drums with an unsurprisingly echoed sound, and although the drums sound authentic and have as much variation as one can ask for in this slow tempos, many of their hits seem to miss the actual pace of the songs. Although the drum misses are not a big bother per se, they serve as the most forceful instrument in the whole band, which means that a single off-beat can cause great disturbance to a song's flow.

A sole guitar can't provide enough mass for such doomy moods, which is why the band puts a lot of emphasis on the synth-usage. Some basic and slow synth-ambience is used to back up the songs and to create their atmospheres, and often they deliver a more clearly melodic variation of the guitar's riff to sound more meaningful and appealing. Cello-synth (both a clearly synthetic one and a more authentic one) is the most frequent sound used, but luckily they have a good amount of variation and layering so that they don't become numbing, and are more capable of keeping the songs alive and breathing through their lenght. Especially the less synthetic-sounding cello-synth brings a great deal of life and movement to the atmospheres, as "Stay Under the Snow" and the end of "Angels Autumnal Shimmer" clearly show. Do note that only the finishing song has any vocals in it, and even though they provide a nice twist and an uprise to the album's finale, the growly speaking sounds halfhearted and dull.

When noting the 8 euros price tag, the album could look better. The DVD-sized cardboard fold has pleasing cover imagery, but the thin and low-ish quality cardboard makes it look a bit foggy. The inlay looks dull, and the infos come on a separately printed paper slip. Simply said, I would've expected more from the visual side due to the music being so heavily atmosphere-reliant.

Sacrimony carries a good sense of style, but there are many other things the artist should work on. The thin and cheap guitar buzz doesn't flow too softly, which causes unnecessary bumps to the songs' flow and does quite a bit of damage to the atmospheres - and the same applies to the drumming mistakes. The songs are decent but too safe, which is a shame since there clearly would've been potency for greater results if the artist had taken more time to further tweak and polish the album, and to find a more powerful soundscape. The basics are on a good level, the compositions and atmospheres are appealing even if they're far from original, but in the end the album turns out to be a disappointment as it promises more than it's able to give.

5½ / 10