Thurisaz has been a mainstay in the Belgian underground music scene for several decades. For me personally, this band was one of those local bands I banged my head to plenty of times almost 15 years ago. A band that you could catch at a show several times every year and introduced me to the epicness that blending different metal genres can bring forth. The rawness of black and death metal with the intricacies of prog and melancholic atmospheres of doom metal gave me a hunger for more of this and solidified my love for well-crafted, complex and emotionally charged music. In the vast sea of new music and bands and the lower activity of Thurisaz itself, I honestly lost track of them a bit. So when their new release ‘Re-Incentive’ popped up on my radar, I jumped at the chance…
Starting off the album with the longest track is always sort of a ballsy move. However with Thurisaz it sort of makes sense. Especially with the over 2 minute intro that is part of ‘In-Balance’. It promises the kind of atmospheric music that I’ve come to expect from these guys. Who were in a way ahead of their times with that blend of wonderful melodies and harsh, churning passages they already had, before atmospheric black metal became oh so popular. Once ‘In-Balance’ properly kicks off with a long scream, you immediately get some headbang-inducing riffs with strong keyboard touches that remind me of Ihsahn‘s more recent work. The harmonics of the growls from Peter and screams from Mattias have always been one of my favorite parts of their music and it doesn’t take long to be greeted with the powerful combination. The first minute and a half of the song sounds dirty, angry and cold. Emotions that I can imagine were purposefully infused into it since, in the time towards the moment of release, they discussed that they wrote most of the music coming from a dark place. Much of the rest of the song is a tour-de-force of combining beautifully soaring melodies and clean vocals, with rabid screams and growls and chunky riffs. A showcase of how good this band was, is and will continue to be.
The following tracks ‘The Veil’ and ‘Monologue’ continue in much the same layered way. ‘The Veil’ starts with an epic-sounding blackened sound, snarling growls and soaring symphonics, only briefly interrupted by a whispered passage. A bit before halfway impressive clean vocals enter into the mix and balance out an already great atmosphere. This kind of music so easily sweeps you up and takes you to another plane on a whim. I found myself regularly going from wanting to bang my head to moving side-to-side to the beautiful melodies. ‘Monologue’ invests clearly more heavily in those gorgeous melodies with only every now and then some black/death metal pounding to break things up a bit.
‘Illuminight‘ brings back the epic scales of the opening track with an even stronger blackened touch and a very prominent place for the gutturals and screams during the first couple of minutes. To then make place for clean vocals and atmospheric bits in the middle part and only come and join the party again more towards the end of the song where everything blends together perfectly. An absolutely impressive track yet again. The last 3 songs, ‘Exemption‘, ‘Isle Of No-Man‘ and ‘Eternity Expires‘, introduce a relatively less heavy side of Thurisaz, but no less mind-blowing. With these tracks they ratify the often made comparison with Swallow the Sun, especially their more recent work where they put a stronger focus on melodies and stunning songwriting/compositions.
Thurisaz proves with their 5th full-length ‘Re-Incentive’ that they deserve a spot among some of the best atmospheric death/doom/black outfits that are around. Comparisons with renown bands like Swallow The Sun, Katatonia or even Green Carnation are never far, but still with their own distinct signature sound. The combination of the guttural growls, gnarly screams and impressive clean vocals brings the songs into another dimension and lift the already soaring music to new heights. To me, they still sound as exciting as they did almost 15 years ago, but with the experience of a weathered band that went through many things together.
Release date: September 1st, 2020
- The Veil
- Isle Of No-Man
- Eternity Expires
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!