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Principia Sardonica

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Album Review

Despite its indicative title, Principia Sardonica's opening instrumental "In Autumn Twilight" actually begins with a rather uplifting combination of vocal choirs and synthesizer chords; their soaring strains tentatively promising the smallest glimmer of hope for humanity's happy ending... Until next track "The Dead," that is, at which point it becomes abundantly clear that humanity is in fact truly doomed — "Doooomed," I tell ya! Indeed, such is the unimaginable funereal quality of Rigor Sardonicous' ungodly creations: an earth-shaking, bowel-loosening, sub-sonic cacophony punctuated by frontman Joseph J. Fogarazzo's utterly inhuman throat noises — rumblings so low as to be barely audible to human ears. Equally dour, bleak, and subterranean (feel free to insert another dozen synonyms here) are choice ensuing numbers like the "Sleepless" (a relative hit single at a mere five-and-a-half minutes!), the sanity-defying magnum croak-us "Possession," and the quite self-explanatory "Soulless Extinction," which concludes on a synthesized blast-beat, incidentally. Which brings up the telling observation that Rigor Sardonicous' commitment to sloth is so complete that no human drummer was apparently capable of staying awake behind the kit, requiring the use of a drum machine for all of these recordings. Nevertheless, excepting the instance above and certain portions of the instrumental "Phases of Death" (supposedly conceived as a musical representation of the dying process!), the sound approximation is close enough that one can hardly tell. Finally worth noting is the unusually accessible and highly effective "Risus ex Mortus," which replaces sheer power chord grind with delicately picked guitar notes for a no less fearsome and gloomy experience. And for all these reasons, Principia Sardonica virtually transcends the realms of musical entertainment to constitute a groundbreaking study on the effects of infrasonic sound waves upon the human body, never mind psyche — fascinating!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Rigor Sardonicous are Joseph J. Fogarazzo (vocals/guitar) and Glenn Hampton (bass) -- two Long Island natives committed to unearthing the darkest, deepest funereal doom sounds imaginable since coming together in 1988. The fact that they've only managed to record two albums (1999's Apocalypsis Damnare and 2004's Principia Sardonica) and one 2002 split EP during the ensuing 18 years is further testament to the uncompromising stance of their self-described "raw apocalyptic doom." This draws inspiration...
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Principia Sardonica, Rigor Sardonicous
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