If you are going to approach a deeper sonic ambiance in the gothic doom metal genre, you might as well assemble a varied group of musicians. Case in point- this Italian band, with seven full time members: three female (Laura- keyboards, Judith- clean and soprano vocals, Federica- extreme vocals) and four males (Marco Cattaneo- bass, Sergio and Marco- guitars, Stefano- drums). Taking a number of years to hone in on their sound from their 2005 start, this debut album "Amnio" illustrates what can happen for the good if you really wish to drill into the art of songwriting- the careful nooks and crannies of note placement, tempo, lush quiet moments sitting side by side against extreme growls or depressive, down-tuned doom distortion.

These 9 songs have an average arrangement span that clocks in around the 7 minute mark- so prepare your heart and mind for slow swaying motions in a similar vein as My Dying Bride, Swallow The Sun, and Mar de Grises, with occasional nuances in Type O Negative’s direction. "My Last Murderer" for instance wins me over with a brief section around the 2:21-3:01 mark where the keyboards, bass, and cymbal hits carry the mood, building ever cautiously with Judith’s operatic confidence before the guitars cascade like the incoming tide. "Testament" is another head churning effort, the opening drum march fitting perfectly against these killer doom riffs, as the transition features triplet hits rhythmically against a simplified clean guitar part- Federica forcefully barking out the lyrics of sorrow.

Even the electronica elements that punctuate the title track closer appear in minute ways- giving Raving Season a tool to explore without forsaking their gothic doom/ death style. The avant-garde cover work with legs and arms intertwining matches the variant feelings that come across with each takeaway following successive listens.

It’s not easy charting a career in a sub-genre that is far from instantaneous due to its exploratory nature. When the music is as good as "Amnio", all is forgiven. Those who wish to succumb to Raving Season will see the light- and wait patiently for more albums.