Germany’s melodic black/death metal quartet Thulcandra finally returns after five long years of silence. The fourth and highly anticipating album “A Dying Wish” harnesses the melodic elements and classical arrangements with the songs swiftly alternating between blazing paces and frosty guitar hooks. Their debut album “Fallen Angel’s Dominion” and the sophomore “Under a Frozen Sun” served as a respectable tribute to Jon Nödtveidt’s legacy with Dissection. With the growing sense of time, the German quartet has withstood the test of time and the newest album spans a wide selection in forming majestic vibes. Thulcandra showcases with “A Dying Wish” an enormous talent as they prove once more that their freezing melodic landscapes still run as cold as the glacier.
Thulcandra became a torchbearer in the spectrum of melodic black/death metal, helmed by mastermind guitarist and vocalist Steffen Kummerer (Obscura), sculpting his unique way by embodying the true Scandinavian vibrancy of fusing frosty melodies and profane aggression. Though musically steeped in the aesthetic of bands like Unanimated and Sacramentum, the songs depict the melodic facets of the second wave of black metal. Continuing with the strong lineup of Mariano Delastik (guitars), Christian Kratzer (bass), and Alessandro Delastik (drums), they return to etch frostbitten landscapes of glacial outbursts. Chilled to the core, “A Dying Wish” delivers ten songs of sonic aggression.
The dynamic effects of the guitars on the album opener “Funeral Pyre” give away to dramatic riffs to cascade, the melodies are encapsulated by the icy tremolos. The song oscillates between up-tempo and the lead guitars merge so well with the acoustic frills. There are ostensible hints of Scandinavian melodies which show the fundamental influence of the band, Thulcandra managed to impose a unique sense of identity to the songs. The guitar tone is abrasive and harsh, emphasizing eloquent instrumental balance. For example, “Scarred Grandeur” is awash in freezing melodies and meanders through blasting sections of blast beats that are meticulously wrought by layers of tremolo-picked riffs.
The acoustic guitars on “Orchard Grievance” give away to a short instrumental piece that works as a perfect interlude. Uncovering new qualities of the craftsmanship, the icy rhythmic sections and the blazing riffs lays a groundwork for effective dynamics. “In Vain” seamlessly fuses the elements of early Swedish melodic death metal. From the eruption of the drums unleashing sudden blast beats, the thundering riffs vibrate intensely, with each passing song Thulcandra captivates the listener with the arrays of blazing riffs, followed by layers of avalanche-like blast beats. In its old school spirit “A Dying Wish” remarkably displays the modus operandi of the German quartet, each track highlights the splendid work of the lead guitars.
“Nocturnal Heresy” delivers plenty of tremolo black metal riffing, the guitars creates a galactic theme and the melodies are soaked with untamed aggression and nostalgic passion. The German quartet transferred its signature sound into a modern idiom. “A Dying Wish” sees the band at the utmost grace of inspiration, and the flame of inspiration flickers within the captivating performance. From the opening riff on “The Slivering Silver”, the bone-chilling melodies sweep through, the raspy black metal vocals and the rhythm imbues the song with haunting qualities. The guitars weave a dark lace serving a pivotal moment. While rhythm guitars funnel melancholy, the dark riffing patterns interweave with catchy lead guitars. Throughout the album the riffing work stands out, the memorable songwriting and production offer a true work of fine musicianship.
“In Bleak Misery” is a brief instrumental track packed with dark spectral tunes before it segues into “A Shining Abyss”, which opens into a melodic tremolo section that centers on the raspy growls of Steffen Kummerer. Raw surging guitars are driven by fast-paced drumming that will make your bones shiver. There are moments when the drums deliver a blizzard of blast beats and the acoustic passages are all over the place. “Devouring Darkness” offers unrivaled quality full of tremolo lines, shimmering textures, and soaring lead guitar hooks give a majestic aura to this beautiful track that builds on a cold icy atmosphere that merges with dramatic melodies.
The final (and title) track “A Dying Wish” begins slowly with the strum of the acoustic guitar, when the sprawling melodies lend a cold sense of epicness to opulent riffs. Through the somber guitar lines and ghastly charged vocals the music takes the listener on a wintry journey through icy landscapes. Thulcandra’s sonic permutation recaptures the soulful essence that defines the majesty of the Swedish melodic black/death metal. Now that it has become a hallmark, “A Dying Wish” recaptures these patterns and textures with a strong technique that has developed into a masterly and unique work of art.
Release Date: October 29th, 2021
Label: Napalm Records
- Funeral Pyre
- Scarred Grandeur
- Orchard of Grievance
- In Vain
- Nocturnal Heresy
- The Silvering Silver
- In Bleak Misery
- A Shining Abyss
- Devouring Darkness
- A Dying Wish