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Thonian Horde: Downfall

Lately, bands always have a different name for what they do, and Thonian Horde is no exception. For them, the music you’ll hear on this album is called “black and roll,” a suitable enough label. Whatever you think of the title, however, you’ll probably like the music. It seamlessly blends impossibly energetic drumming with the pitch and groove of doom metal and the vocal rasp of black metal. Even better, Thonian Horde often surprises listeners by mixing things up in their song constructions and in their style. The closing track “Downfall,” for example, opens with a slow bass line that is soon joined by a clean series of chords that shimmer in ways reminiscent of surf guitar. Similarly, “Hymn to Lilith” also opens with a really cool bass line that is shortly joined by some nice clean chords. As things progress, the guitars start bending notes to create just enough dissonance to drive you crazy. Not surprisingly, things explode a few moments later, but Thonian Horde never simply covers over that cool opening. Instead, they bring all the elements together into one of the album’s best tracks.

If you like “Hymn to Lilith,” I also recommend “Gremalkin,” a killer romp through the band’s thrashier side. This track also shows off Tyler “The Beast” Lee’s drumming. Sure, he’s great on every track, but “Gremalkin” finds him adding beats and fills out of nowhere. He is definitely Thonian Horde’s secret weapon. But just when you think you’ve got this track figured out, things slow way down (except for Lee’s drums, of course) and take a turn toward the psychedelic. There’s not only some impressive lead guitar playing at this point, but there’s also some cat noises. I’ll bet you didn’t expect those!

After “Gremalkin,” check out “Brickstorm” and “Pan 131.” The former highlights a bit more of the band’s black metal side whereas the latter has another cool bass-fueled opening that quickly turns into thrashy rock.

If you like extreme metal that mixes things up without going crazy, this album is worth a listen. It takes the familiar and plays with it persuasively.

Track Listing:
1. The Narcissist
2. Cathedral Spire
3. Cold Blooded Hypocrisy
4. Gremalkin
5. Hymn to Lilith
6. Chaos Theory Magick
7. Bring the Pain
8. Brickstorm
9. Pan 131
10. Downfall

Added: July 27th 2019
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 833
Language: english

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