It’s the End of the World with Thrawsunblat
Often when we get this level of dark arts, they tend to lean toward the levels of adventure and fantasy through forelorn lands of the imagination; i.e., everything Dungeons and Dragons with a massive symphonic tilt. And even though Metachthonia, out on Ignifera Records/Broken Limbs (ancient Greek for “the age after that of the Earth”) is a fantastical journey, there is nothing epically processed to the ideology behind Thrawsunblat’s latest album.
Thrawsunblat loves concept albums, releasing several in a complex arc of storylines, and this is no different. Metachthonia works both in a linear flow and as a grand thesis of a futurist abyss. At this point, the earth has practically burned down and life as we know it has been taken away. This is the story of the aftermath. This is how we cope with humanity in a time of darkness, and Thrawsunblat presents and amazing picture through sound and imagery of what could eventually happen to the human race. It’s a science fiction diarama that is fascinating both psychological and physiological.
A little less “folksy” than the band’s past identified them with, this rich canvas bounces between expressive death metal cacophony and impressive metal experimentation, not in a technical Voivod way but an organic approach to composition. “Fires That Light the Night” may begin with neo-classical cello swells but the band rides that metal horse, galloping guitars and rhythmic immediacy. This is a band who is ready to come to the rescue from the beginning as the fires (either interpreted at face value or the fluorescence lights that consume society and drowns out the natural world) are reference to the collapse. Don’t let the 10 plus minutes scare you for an opening number, the band makes it all feel very natural.
And when you get to “She Who Names The Stars,” you experience a more symphonic approach in the way you can revel together in a dank pub, clinking mugs of ale in solidarity. There is beauty in the darkness and Thrawsunblat proves it with there imaginary and mystical prose.
With several awards won by this Canadian band, the level of experience is wel felt on Metacthonia. You may hear its dominance in Joel Violetta’s guitar work, but the musicianship by all is a comforting level of awe felt by the listener. I would consider their music more enlightening than jaw-dropping maddening. The group creates room to explore as none of there songs on this album dip below the eight-minute mark.
With the methodological “In the Mist We Walk,” gives us the hope that humanity will survive no matter what catastrophe we fall into but the album also makes us aware that nothing will ever be the same. And in some string-theory conceptualization Thrawsunblat makes it feel like a campfire story that has already happened.