Back in 2020 I reviewed the debut album by Kariti, ‘Covered Mirrors’, and she is finally back with the follow-up. Kariti (карити), which means ‘to mourn the dead’ in church Slavonic, is a Russian-born artist now based in Italy and this release sees her moving away somewhat from the funereal folk of the last one. Although this is still incredibly emotional and atmospheric, there is a lot more doom stylings going on and overall this shows a lot of development in terms of instrumentation and stylings, even if it is still heavily focused on her vocals and passion.

As well as electric guitars, this album features various synthesizers, analogue piano, strings by Jon K (live Cough, Dorthia Cottrell), a song with drums and bass, multiple contributions from Marco (Grime, Simian Steel) on guitar/noise, and a haunting duet with Dorthia Cottrell (Windhand, solo). This is music which needs to be played on headphones when the listener has the time and expectation of doing just that, as otherwise this will just pass them by. It took me longer to get into this one than the debut, which I still rate very highly indeed, but by spending the time I was able to let her vocals get right inside my mind. It is her vocals which are at the heart of everything that is going on, whatever accompaniment is provided is only there to provide support, as it is her voice which is the focal point at all times. I have no idea why she is no longer with Aural Music, but I guess it because she just does not fit with the overall direction of that label which has always been very heavy (if also quite experimental), so I can only hope Lay Bare Recordings will stick with Kapiti and promote her album effectively as while this is not quite as special as the debut it is still a wonderful piece of work. As I said last time, “There is a purity and wildness here, a delicacy combined with inner strength and darkness, being given voice by a wonderful singer.”

Rating: 8/10