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Cruel Life Inside - Eclipsis Vitae (2021) - Review

Band: Cruel Life Inside
Album Title: Eclipsis Vitae
Release Date: 12th March 2021
Label: Casus Belli Musica
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal

01. Dolor
02. Ignis
03. Fletus
04. Infirmus
05. Vernum
06. Loricum
07. Cura

The Italian black metal scene got another member in March this year, C.L.I. - Cruel Life Inside.  I say this because the Calabrian band was formed in 2017 and only released one single in 2019. I think the band is still is not very known but have the potential to conquer more fans. C.L.I. are dedicated to post-black metal but undoubtedly can also be classified as atmospheric black metal. The line-up is composed of Angelo Pellicano on vocals, a former member of the death/gothic metal band Forgotten Hope, Francesco Brisinda on guitars and programming and Giando Sestito on bass. Giando also acts in the doom metal band Bretus and in the thrash metal band Dripping Sin.

The theme of Eclipsis Vitae is the channelling of human emotions that are invariably capable of passing through different phases through life experiences. An emotional journey begins with the pain and despair caused by inevitable events, the transmutation of these emotions for anger and then, the glimpse of hope for softer and happier moments. This album is one of those that is preferably to listen to in full. C.L.I. guide the listener through a continuous ebb and flow experience that is often dreamlike but also powerful. The band skillfully interweaves elements of atmospheric black metal, melodic doom, progressive metal, gothic metal and, of course, post-metal. The album also unfolds through instrumental textures and include exuberant soundscapes, classical-inspired piano performances and acoustic guitar with vocals ranging from clean singing and wild growls.

Eclipsis Vitae consists of seven tracks that make up 41:36 minutes, three of which are instrumental.  The first track, "Dolor", the fourth track, "Infirmus" and the last one, “Cura”. "Dolor" is that kind of traditional intro, just two minutes and something with fizzy guitars and sounds of thunders and rain. By the way, all tracks start with these elements, sometimes both, sometimes just the rain. The second track, "Ignis", is the track that explores black metal in the broadest conception of the word. Intensity through drums and more savagery, though restrained, not as violent as I would like. At 2:02 minutes, "Ignis" change,  is the first track that uses piano, which in time is replaced by a more obscure and heavy touch. I call attention to the gothic tone of the guitars. "Fletus" is developed through an acoustic guitar, some agitated riffs and marks the first appearance of the clean singing. Melodies and light vocals take over all the tracks from now on,  except for the beautiful instrumental "Infirmus" where the piano dominates from beginning to end.

"Vernum" for me is the one that shows the most atmospheric elements of black metal, but I believe that it would be better with more angry vocals than the clean ones here. Both "Vernum" and "Loricum” seem to be much more post-rock than post-black metal. As an appraiser and a lover of meaningful lyrics, I fully understand the necessary transition from the beginning to the end of the album. Not only the title tracks in Latin speaks by themselves, but the lyrics also. But for example, "Loricum" who speaks of redemption and the embrace of death, could without losing the hopeful melancholy be more violent, perhaps adding more groaning infernal vocals or the drums popping and blasting more. My favourite tracks: “Ignis”, “Infirmus” and “Vernum”.

But, despite some points here and there, Eclipsis Vitae is an excellent trip, full of feelings. Without a doubt, a virtuous album for those days when we need a little more calm, peace and, to rescue our soul from this terrible world. The album will appeal to those that appreciate Woods Of Desolation, Harakiri For The Sky, Katatonia (early), Midnight Odyssey. Enjoy and support!

The review was written by Felin Frost
Rating: 7,5/10