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Thanatos: Undead, Unholy, Divine

Purists like their extreme metal played in the clasic style of the late '80s and the early '90s. Well you won't find the imaginative structures of a Borknagar, on Undead, Unholy, Divine there's none of the technical prowess of a Children Of Bodom, and don't look for the progressive edge of an Opeth. Classic extreme metal is hard and dirty and evil and unrelenting - and with their brand of death-with-a-thrash-infusion, that is what Thanatos does very well.

11 Songs in 40 minutes, some have interesting intros and outros, some passages feature atmospheric keyboards, all feature monotonous grunting vocals, and all have bleak track names like "Beyond Terror", "Servants Of Hatred" and :Devour The Living". The dual guitars are well co-ordinated and you can follow the riffs easily because they don't use excessive distortion. Several songs feature brief, similar-sounding chaotically fast tapped-out lead guitar solos. The percussion is not particularly prominent and the fast rhythms are driven more by the guitars than by the bass and drums - which is uncommon for this genre of music.

The standout track is "Beyond Terror", which is somewhat out of step with the rest of the CD and could have been the soundtrack to a cheap horror flick. It starts with sampled choirs and piano floating lightly over the top, the guitars come in slowly, then dual guitars play a riff which is traded with those choirs and other sampled sounds.

The Dutch quartet has been around since the beginning of this genre and were instrumental in defining death metal, yet they've only produced 4 albums in 14 years. Undead, Unholy, Divine is their 5th and it brings nothing new to the table - just old-fashioned death metal done well with a few keyboards and samples to add a touch of texture.

Track Listing:
  1. Lambs To The Slaughter
  2. Undead.Unholy.Divine.
  3. Eraser
  4. Beyond Terror
  5. The Sign Of Sadako
  6. Servants Of Hatred
  7. Devour The Living
  8. Godforsaken
  9. The Suffering...
  10. ...The Sweet Suffering

Added: February 5th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Thanatos's Web Site
Hits: 1979
Language: english

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