Job : A Pale December is an Italian atmospheric black metal band that focuses mainly on melody and melancholy. Don’t expect furious riffing or eerie and dark chord progressions going into this, because that’s not what these guys are about. Their sound is more akin to bands from the French regions of black metal, and not so much Scandinavian-influenced. A lot of folk has seeped into the release as well and bands like Agalloch come to mind from time to time.
The band leaves some to be desired though, especially in the production and the structural meaning of the songs. The former gets pronounced mostly through the programmed drums, and while I’ll always praise honesty in saying drums are programmed, the ones found on ‘The Shrine of Primal Fire’ sound forced and rarely truly match the underlying riff, at times even creating a (probably) unintentional disparity and imbalance in the songs themselves. Those songs already suffer from a rather basic concept of songwriting, so it’s not doing them a lot of favors. While all of the songs sound diverse enough to be recognizable, none of them really are because the band can seem directionless at times in their execution.