In Onirica (2012) is the first full length album of the four piece band Bretus (founded 2000) from Catanzaro/Italy. They had two releases before, one demo and one EP in 2008 and 2009.
Bretus basically play a traditional style of stoner doom metal, with an edge of sludge to it. So there’s nothing essentially new to it and yet the 7 tracks of In Onirica caught my attention from the first song and kept it to the last one.
The combination of breathtakingly well written songs and great vocals is extremely captivating and addictive. There are great melodies, catchy choruses, cool riffing, a lot of tempo and rhythm changes. The atmosphere is mostly dark and eerie, matching the “lovecraftian” themes with a strong touch of 70s stoner sounds.
But the really exciting thing is, paradoxically, the unobtrusive use of all the elements. All the goodies are precious for not being abundant. The riffs are heavy but not massive and totally crushing. The strikes of sludge are tiny bolters, almost mere hints. The atmosphere is “occultish” dark, but never brooding. The production is smooth and clear, yet gritty enough to make the guitar sound filthy – again just a hint. There’s almost a teasing attitude to this unobtrusiveness which is highly enjoyable.
If you love traditional Stoner/Doom you should not miss this album. Tightly written songs, strong expressive vocals and this special kind of teasing unobtrusiveness make it captivating and unique.
words by Ulla Roschat