April 9, 2020

Ciminero show that doom can be modern, interesting and doesn’t have to be just about crunching guitars and gut-wrenching misery.

Ciminero is a brand new four-piece doom band based in Helsinki, with guitars, bass and drums played by Finnish natives and female vocals from Italian Valentina Vigato. Valentina may have had a strong say in naming the band too since it is a play on the Italian words cimitero (cemetery) and nero (black).

The doom tag and the name of Black Cemetery could be a little misleading here though. True, the music isn’t lacking in melancholy themes and some heavy guitars but the pace is rarely slow. Some of the faster tracks, such as Dare To Dream have an almost art-rock feel to them, perhaps caused by Valentina’s vocal delivery which tends to meander along a little like Patti Smith. Even Culto Notturno (the only track sung in Italian, by the way; the rest are in English), which is really slow, is still delivered in a restrained almost polite way. Guitarist Jukka Aravirta adds some nice guitar touches throughout the album without ever fully letting loose.  One of the best tracks, Inferno, has a middle section which sounds remarkably like the vocal melodic line from Van Der Graaf Generator’s Pioneers Over C. I doubt that is plagiarism since the song is unlikely to be known by these youngsters. Actually, it’s a sobering thought that not only was that song written before any on the band members were born but it may have been written before their parents were born too!

There is a lot to like about this album. Ciminero show that doom can be modern, interesting and doesn’t have to be just about crunching guitars and gut-wrenching misery. They’ve even got an impressively colourful and slightly psychedelic painting as the album cover. The only gripe I would have is the length which is barely 30 minutes.  Still, they are a new band and can be forgiven for being eager to get their first compositions out of the gate as soon as possible. This one is well worth checking out for fans of doom, stoner, or art-rock.

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