Sweden's Thalamus return with their third release for Transubstans Records/Record Heaven, this one titled Soul, and if you liked their previous effort Subterfuge from 2011, you'll be more than pleased with their latest slab of '70s inspired melodic hard rock. Once again the heavy guitars, Hammond organ, and soaring vocals are ever present, which makes this one a sure fire bet for Deep Purple & Uriah Heep fans of all ages.
Soul was produced together with Daniel Bergstrand (who has worked with In Flames, Meshuggah, and Evergrey among others) and the results are quite excellent. The majority of the songs are catchy and very memorable, featuring thick guitar riffs and raging Hammond organ, so of course the comparisons to Black Sabbath, Purple, and Heep are recognizable, but Thalamus also have a strong bluesy edge, almost Southern Rock-like at times, so you can even hear some Lynyrd Skynyrd influence in spots, especially on the raucous "Caveman's Crib", as nasty guitar licks and whiskey soaked vocals meet up with some spectacular Jon Lord styled Hammond pyrotechnics. The smoldering "Eleven Maids" and the passionate title track again showcase that sultry Hammond from Joakhim Åslund as well as the powerful vocals courtesy of guitarist Kjell Bergendahl. Some of these tunes also get quite heavy, like the crunchy stomp of "In My Hour of Dying", "This House is Going Down in Fire", "The Great Divorce", and "Whenever I Fall", each one stocked with more than their share of mighty guitar riffs and potent grooves. "Just Like Robert Johnson" is like the perfect marriage of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and emotional closer "Where the Roses Never Fade" offers bits of blues, heavy rock, metal, and prog into one tasty package.
I almost feel like a broken record sometimes as I constantly praise not only the great retro sounds coming out of Sweden, but also of the fantastic work that the folks at Transubstans Records/Record Heaven are doing bringing some of these solid underground bands to our attention. Thalamus are now three albums into their career and there seems to be no end in sight to the creative juices that are flowing within this band. Soul is mandatory listening to any fan of classic '70s styled hard rock.
This House Is Going Down in Fire
The Great Divorce
In My Hour of Dying
Marooned in Space
Whenever I Fall
Just Like Robert Johnson
The Death of the Last Mermaid
Follow the White Rabbit
Where the Roses Never Fade