Canaan - Of Prisoners, Wandering Souls And Cruel Fears,
Canaan was formed back in January 1996 after the split of RasAlgethi, one of the forefathers of funeral doom and the first doom band to come from Italy. The new project's musical approach was directed towards a contamination of dark, wave and experimental music - samplers and keyboards mixed and intertwined with “traditional” instruments (guitars, drums and bass). Although the music was well-received, in 2006 the band was put on hold due to various reasons, returning in 2010 with their seventh album ‘Contro.Luce’. The music had changed during the break, and it was way more atmospheric and ambient as well as being extremely dark and broodingly powerful. For their 2012 release the band decided to change tack slightly again and brought in a female singer for the first time, Arianna.
She hasn’t exactly lightened proceedings though and this is very much a dark place, an album that is full of atmospheric ambience that in some ways is hard to listen to as it is emotionally draining. It is also a very long album as there are 22 songs over two CDs that provide more than 100 minutes of music. Probably the only fitting way to describe this album is to say that it is progressive as it is truly breaking through musical genres and is doing something quite different. As to whether your average Genesis or Gentle Giant fan could listen to this all the way through without wanting to slit their wrists is another matter altogether. I enjoyed this as opposed to endured it, but it was a close run thing. This is definitely an album for those who want their music to have depth as it has that in spades, just don’t expect to go around singing any of the melodies after you have finished playing it.