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Thence - These Stones Cry From The Earth CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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4 stars Definitely an interesting release from Norway, Thence's first release apparently took eight years to culminate into the end product we see here. I was lucky enough to download this when it was released by the band for promotional purposes - and I must admit, I was impressed. Essentially a two man effort, there are grounds to compare this to Green Carnation's Light of Day, Day of Darkness - in the sense that it is made up of only a single, 57 minute track. But where Green Carnations opus is excessive and powerful post metal, this is much more subdued and meandering ambient progressive metal. In this regard, it has perhaps a lot more difficulty in retaining the listeners attention, due to periods of peaceful saxophone, lightly strummed guitar and ambience. And that it concludes with an eight minute wind-down reminiscent of Pink Floyd. For the work of two people however, I hope this piece gets the attention it deserves, as it is impressive technically, although for some - I'm certain the daunting length and slow pace in parts will not be well received by those not open to them. But this is prog, and changing tones and textures throughout an epic 57 minute song should be expected. Besides - it shows great potential for the band, and considering that this ambitious project is their debut, is highly recommended by me.
Report this review (#572128)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I guess I wasn't patient enough. There are long parts to this single song album which go on for a rather long time. And it's all one song, so skipping around a CD isn't really that easy. And a good song shouldn't have you reaching for the fast forward button. That said though, there's some really good stuff in here. I feel the same about this as I do with Green Carnation's LOD,DOD - it's got good ideas and execution, but it seems like it just stretches the novelty on for far too long. It could have been a 45 minute track, rather then 57. And the lyrics finish before the 50th minute. I guess 8 minute outro pieces don't really do it for me.

If it seems like i'm being too negative, believe me, I do enjoy this. It seems like Thence took a page out of Green Carnations book with this album, and why not? Ambition can sometimes lead to great success, and I'm sure that they will find it in their later works. But here it just felt as if there wasn't enough 'oomph' to sustain the journey for as long as it went on.

The quieter parts, such as the slow section that begins just after nine minutes in, is really nice and calming - and it does seem like there is confidence and talent in the musicans work. And if it did take them eight years to fully conceive, then good work for a two person effort. I definitely can't fault them for trying to match, if not conquer the hefty conquest of mastering the one track album format. It's a risky path to take, given that the one song has to reflect its themes and lyrical content throughout a very long single piece - so in that respect, I think they succeeded grandly.

I just don't feel that this is their grand definitive statement in the prog and musical world. And given it is their debut, perhaps we'll see their true statement in the near future. For now, I give this three stars - and depending on their next musical exploits, that may rise or fall.

Edit: 4 stars. It shows off more then I gathered after listening to it a few more times. For those out there that enjoy progressive metal and ambient music, this may be the release you're after.

Report this review (#572681)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars THENCE is a Finnish duo of multi-instrumentalists that, after a couple of years of work, put this beautiful 57 minute opus together. The most immediate comparison that comes to mind is GREEN CARNATION's "Light of Day, Day of Darkness". Next to a similarly long title, the albums have a similar mood and sense for melody and melancholy, often reminding of PINK FLOYD, but also of KATATONIA and ANATHEMA. Good company if you ask me.

The track alternates between heavier metal parts with clean downcast vocals and soft interludes with brooding acoustic arpeggios, ambient synths and some nice Floydian guitar and sax interventions. The main melody and riffs that constitute the opening and at the end of the piece remind me a lot KATATONIA, especially their end 90's album 'Discouraged Ones'. The music builds up to a climax that resolves around minute 49. It would have been the ideal moment for closure, as the quiet 8 minutes that follow don't add much and stretch the mood too long. Even if they are fine by themselves, I miss an element of surprise, a change of chords or mood, or simply an abrupt end that would have made a stronger impact.

A wonderful album for fans of a gentle gloomy Floydian take on metal, similar to GREEN CARNATION, ANATHEMA or KATATONIA. The band gets carried away in their enthusiasm and could have improved their work by cutting some corners for the sake of a more concentrated impact. For sure one to remember for the top 10 year list.

Report this review (#576617)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 | Review Permalink

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