Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thrawsunblat : "Metachthonia"

Woods of Ypres alumni return with a more explosive burst of black metal than what we heard of their more folk tinged previous album. Cellos adorn the opener, but do not create the kind of frilly pageantry that gets referred to symphonic metal. The scowling vocals give way to actual singing three minutes in.Rae's drumming is more aggressive this time around. The cleaner vocals are delivered with more of a folk cadence causing my wife to ask if I was listening to power metal.They are more triumphant than melancholy like the last album. I really like how the song breaks down at the seven and a half minute mark. They grow even more melodic on the moodier " She Who Names the Stars". The harsher vocals come in at about the half way point and the band gets credit for not using the typical good cop/ bad cop formula when it comes to this variation. The song eventually builds into a heavier section, with some blast beaten accents. I think their more melodic moments often serve them better than these heavier sections .

"Dead of Winter" falls closer to their more black metal side, despite the tug of the sung vocals to bring it in a more folk metal direction. I think where the guitar takes the song at the three and a half minute mark. Within two more minutes they are locked back into a more feral snarl and the ebbing down into an acoustic interlude that serves as a better spotlight for their nuanced playing. Three minutes into the uptempo "Hypocthonic Remnants" and it doesn't grab me with the urgency the previous songs possessed. "Rivers of Underthought" comes to a perfect balance between their more aggressive side and the band's more melodic moments. When it is time to dial up the intensity level at the six and a half minute mark it makes perfect sense and seems heavier after the more introspective guitar interlude it follows.

The album closes with the more explosive "In Mist We Walk" that blasts out of the gate with a fury. I don't mind the brisk pace, but feel its more effective when they are locks into the more palm muted section. I also like when the harsh vocals and the sung vocals are layered. The pace slows at the songs mid-way point for an acoustic folk interlude. I'll give this one an 8, it's pretty solid if you are looking for folk with your black metal, but don't want to sacrifice much of the aggression. This album is released on June 17th.

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