Thy Darkened Shade – Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya

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Having gone through innovative changes, the Greek black metal outfit Thy Darkened Shade has set the bar high for its third studio album 'Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya' released via World Terror Committee on January 10th, 2023. Consequently, the duo Semjaza (guitars, vocals, bass) and The A (vocals) along with session musicians HG (drums) and Herc (Choirs) offers an outstanding mélange of modern and avant-garde black metal. The new album was mixed and mastered by V. Santura with Semjaza at Woodshed Studio, Thy Darkened Shade proves that their groundbreaking performance formulates the nature of their craft.

Mixing the themes of occultism and anti-cosmic Satanism like their countrymen Acherontas, although with a more grandeur approach, the majestic chorale makes an instant impression on the opening track ‘Luciftias’. The tenacity of the inventive composition and dissonance which captures the sublimity of the layered guitars endows an air of epic pomp. Yet the vocals and the chorale arrangements sound ominous as they display the dynamic aspect of classic traditional black metal. Often the majestic keyboards come at the forefront of this cosmic symphony with dissonant black metal guitars like on ‘Sacrosanct Pyre’ while the choral work intersects between the mid-pacing drums and tumultuous guitars.

The music often draws similarities to Emperor’s ‘Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk’ and Abigor. The guitars present a captivating eloquence with refined melodies. Nowhere else with the Hellenic black metal bands has this sheer method ever been so refined: ‘Into Eerie Catacombs’ is another outstanding song that engages in this pompous and reverential tone. Thy Darkened Shade slowly unfolds its method and while the band hasn’t changed its sound, the songs are riddled with intricate guitar layers. The sense of complexity is disguised in the lucid guitar work. There are some blast beats here and there. However, the songwriting is an agglomeration of traditional black metal and nuances of Deathspell Omega.

The mid-pacing track ‘Sathanastasis’ is another impressive piece infused with the traditional style of Scandinavian black metal. The grand scale of the choral plays is a bewitching spectacle that unveils the overuse of the dissonant guitars and while the pacing of the drums is quite harmonious, they’re mostly played at a mid-paced tempo full of twists and turns. The bass guitar provides nothing but a beautiful parade. Thy Darkened Shade continues to fascinate me with their effective song structure. Riffs flow with glamour, simply transforming each moment into the most fabulous experience. ‘Qelippot Epiphany’ offers a vast array of beautiful guitar displays and the cascading choral lines are perfectly tailored to the blazing guitars. ‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’ manifests sophisticated talent from this duo that has returned after long years of silence. The songs in the album unfold slowly, thus requiring patience due to the one-hour duration.

As a result of the virtuoso talent and the sonic vision, Thy Darkened Shade provides an immersive experience. The choral elements play a deep aspect in adding catchy, sonic dimensions to the music. The drums on ‘Acausal Current of Thanatos’ and ‘Veneration for the Fireborn King’ create a maelstrom of blast beats in which the guitars utilize some sharp tremolo riffing and ominous swirling in fury. Thy Darkened Shade shifts from furious black metal and simultaneously the guitars are laden with an absolute technicality where dissonance rips through the blasting percussion. ‘Noxious Witchery Of The Titans’ tackles the furious style of unorthodox black metal like a tornado of whirling growls sweeping into fury. Later on, in this track, the bass guitar is brought to the front as you can hear the strong influences from Iron Maiden.

The backbone of the nine tracks is very detailed: each instrument has a distinctive feel as well. The vocals might not be as effective as they should be, but I’d say the bass guitar in the album truly shines. The final track ‘Typhonian Temple’ is one of my favorite songs from the album. Thy Darkened Shade simply follows the classy style of the previous songs and begins with the recital of the majestic choral lines. As for the drums, they are stunning and the pacing is just brilliant. Although the album is mainly mid-paced, there are a few blasting sections that shift in speed. The guitars are charged at full gallop and the riffs are harmoniously melodic and full of dazzling riff structure.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 10/10
  • Originality 8/10

‘Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya’ is elaborately crafted with modern black metal gimmicks. Thy Darkened Shade’s third studio album manifests the duo’s refined trademark towards reinvention into the realm of the avant-garde.

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