I find it strange that Dario Derna, beastly drummer for beastly death metallers Drawn and Quartered, would make such un-beastly sounds as Krohm. His one-man black metal band is easily on par with more well-known American peers in terms of vulnerability and malnutrition. For some of the saddest, pastiest sounds this side of The Cure, I recommend A World Through Dead Eyes and Slayer of Lost Martyrs/Crown of the Ancients.

I Respiri Delle Ombre
Tra La Carne E Il Nulla
Translating “I Respiri Delle Ombre”

Krohm’s sound toughens on The Haunting Presence (Debemur Morti, 2007). Derna adds more double kicks, and his guitar work is more epic. Krohm now sounds like a full band instead of a one-man project. The overall sound is harsher and less intimate. However, Krohm still retains the Cure-gone-black-metal vibe (e.g., the ringing melodies at 1:46 in “I Respiri Delle Ombre”). The delicate synth tones in “Syndrome” recall later Burzum. This album is less accessible than previous work, but is more layered and perhaps ultimately deeper (e.g., the keyboards and subtle clean singing in “Lifeless Serenade”).

Interestingly, the best tracks are in Derna’s native Italian. I got some friends, a non-metalhead Italian-speaking couple, to translate the lyrics. Amusingly, the man, an Italian professor, said, “It’s really horrible. It’s a 12 year-old elaborating about death.” I’ve included a clip of his wife, with his help, translating “I Respiri Delle Ombre” (“The Breaths of the Shadows”; “Tra La Carne E Il Nulla” is “Between Flesh and Nothingness”). Understandably, they poke fun at the lyrics – but don’t worry, Krohm, we still love you.

The Haunting Presence is available in Europe at Mystic Arts and in the US at Moribund.