THRAWSUNBLAT - Metachthonia

Thrawsunblat - Metachthonia

6 songs
59:53 minutes
***** ****
Ignifera / Broken Limbs


Formed initially by Woods Of Ypresí final guitarist Joel Violette as an outlet for some of his different ideas, Thrawsunblat became his main occupation after Woods Of Ypresí vocalist David Gold died after a traffic accident. Metachthonia is meanwhile the third longplayer by Thrawsunblat from New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada. The strange band name can either be interpreted as a garbled way of screaming "Thrash and Blast", or alternatively as an anagram of "narwhal butts". I prefer the latter, as it shows that these guys surely havenít lost their sense of humour over time, even though their music doesnít necessarily show it.

On the surface, one might dismiss Thrawsunblat too easily as just another melodic black metal band, but closer inspection of the six songs, all running for about ten minutes, on Metachthonia show a band that smartly combines the best of black metal, power metal and folk metal. Take for instance the epic opener Fires That Light The Earth which begins with a moody cello intro, before very soon it evolves into a high energy black metal anthem, complete with clap along parts that you rarely encounter among likewise bands. Currently Joel Violette is not only playing guitars, but also in charge of the vocals, and frankly he does a perfect job. His blackened screams are absolutely convincing, and his melodic power metal vocals work just as well, unlike with many other melodic black metal bands where they too often come across as a mere gimmick. At times you get the impression as if Blind Guardian decided to try their luck as a black metal band. The following She Who Names The Stars shows the band from a more serene side. The black metal component is cut back while the power metal elements are amplified by a melancholic folk side. At times there are even post rock moments shining through, showing that Thrawsunblat know no boundaries. And best of all, the result always sounds very homogenous and tight.

The album continues in a likewise way with long tracks full of ideas that makes this hour long album a true piece of art. It is often said that black metal is the only genre still able to innovate, and Thrawsunblat are another perfect case in point. Conservative black metal and mild-mannered power folk metal fans might feel confused, but those hopefully not too few metalheads that consider themselves adventurous are definitely in for a suspenseful ride. Metachthonia is one of the reasons why after all these years I still love listening to metal.

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