THURISAZ – The Cimmerian Years
Any form of atmospheric music is always hard to decipher. Just the vastness of the music makes for a very tiring and confused listen, with very few bands being able to do enough to interest the listener. Thurisaz, however, come up the ‘very few bands’ category. Combining death metal with bits of black and loads of atmospheric elements, this Belgian band has delivered a very impressive release that I just can not get enough of.
Beginning with a customary intro ‘Broken’, the album leads into ‘My Precious Unknown’ and that’s when the music really starts to stand out. A straight double bass-heavy riff leading into a groovy progressive riff with gruff vocals and melodic segments. The album consists of equal parts clean guitar and equal parts distortion. The drumming is spot on and the keyboard riffs are quite splendid although there are definitely parts that would sound better without. The vocal onslaught is quite imposing, featuring not one but three singers sharing the vocal duties with Paul Kuhr of November’s Doom adding in on one track. ‘Inner Voices’ consists of a single acoustic guitar backed with vocal harmonies; quite beautiful, if I may use that word to describe a metal song. High in complexity, Thurisaz blend various forms of metal including folk, melodic and power metal into their concoction of blackened death metal. The production is top notch, better than most other European bands and that only adds to the listening experience.
What I like about his album is that there are no dull moments. Even the soft, atmospheric parts keep you interested and when the distortion kicks in, the sheer heaviness of the riffs weighs you down. A highly recommended album, one that I will keep coming back to and one that I hope will make my Top 10 lists at the end of the year.