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Thanateros: On Fragile Wings

Isn’t it amazing how some bands seem to go so far under the radar that they can have a 20-plus year career and release five albums - On Fragile Wings being their sixth - and yet, you’ve simply never heard of them? In my case that band is Thanateros, a German five-piece who look to go under the banner of ‘powerful folk rock/metal’. That in itself is quite a wide remit and one, I’d say, only loosely followed here. Yes, there’s strong use of violin right across this album, but I’m not sure that anyone who dreamt up the idea of folk music ever imagined that it might come with the rumble of Rammstein, or the gothic tinge of The 69 Eyes, because that’s as close to a description as I can get here.

Admittedly none of those elements could hope to land in the realms of groundbreaking and yet, while there are clear and present influences upon Thanateros right across On Fragile Wings, they do to a large extent have a sound (nearly) all of there own. Singer Ben Richter operates in that speaking in tune style where it’s difficult to call him an outstanding vocalist, and yet, he’s perfect for this mid-paced, atmospheric and slightly bombastic fare. “Coven Of The Drowned” is a prime example of this style, Richter’s deep voice sliding in alongside some (uncredited as far as I can see) female vocals that bring a welcome symphonic metal twist. The rock from which all of these weapons spark is a determined and hugely melodic swathe of riffs and violins, with the latter (and admittedly lots of keyboards) filling the void that you might expect a more obvious synth swathe to sit in. “Passengers” goes slightly against type with a more frantic pace breaking through the crawling atmospherics - and there’s a stinging guitar solo form Chris Lang as well.

From start to finish, the likes of “Burn” (not the Deep Purple song) to “Running Up That Hill” (yes, the Kate Bush song, but in fairness this version will have been recorded prior to Stranger Things breathing new life into it) are handled with real skill and care and it’s easy to hear that we’re dealing with a band with a long legacy behind them. However, that said, even with the slight alterations in attack and style along the way, for me, as an album the mood and tone can feel all too similar, and repeat listens haven’t had quite the same impact as my initial encounter. Fans of The 69 Eyes would do well to check this out to see if it offers enough of a different take on that band’s attack to snag their interest, my guess is that there will be, but how much of a wider appeal Thanateros can create I’m not so sure. This is a solid album nonetheless.

Track Listing
1. Kybalion (Time To Fly) 

2. Burn 

3. On The Barricades 

4. Coven Of The Drowned 

5. Passengers 

6. Black Forest Calling 

7. We Are The Ravens 

8. Source Of It All

9. Solitude 

10. Fading 

11. Nothing Lasts Forever
12. Running Up That Hill

Added: July 30th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Thanateros @ bandcamp
Hits: 703
Language: english

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