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THY CATAFALQUE

Experimental/Post Metal • Hungary


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Thy Catafalque biography
THY CATAFALQUE was formed in 1998 in a small town of Hungary consisting of the duo Tamás Kátai (keyboards, guitar, programming, vocals) and János Juhász (guitar). After their first and only demo "Cor Cordium" the band was signed to KaOtic Productions which also released their debut album "Sublunary Tragedies" in 1999 and "Microcosmos" in 2001.

KaOtic Productions ceased to exist and the band self-financed their third album, "Tuno Ido Tárlat" (An Exhibition of Vanishing Time) which was released in 2004.

The band is currently looking for a label to release their 68 minutes long, 9 track album "Róka Hasa Rádió" for 2009. It's a concept album with the physical and supernatural phenomenon of the childhood memories of the main character that is triggered by a strange transmission from a timeless radio. Also includes guest appearances by Zoltán Kónya and Balázs Hermann (GIRE), Attila Bakos (TARANIS), Ágnes Tóth (THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT), and Ádám Tóth (MOCUN).

WHY THIS BAND IS IN THE ARCHIVES:

Although THY CATAFALQUE originally played traditional, epic black metal their sound became very experimental with deep touches of electronic and folk influences by their third album. They were approved by the Prog Metal Team and are recommended.

Thy Catafalque official website

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THY CATAFALQUE discography


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THY CATAFALQUE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Sublunary Tragedies
1999
4.59 | 8 ratings
Microcosmos
2001
4.53 | 19 ratings
Tűnő Idő Tárlat
2004
4.02 | 41 ratings
Róka Hasa Rádió
2009
4.09 | 23 ratings
Rengeteg
2011

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THY CATAFALQUE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rengeteg by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.09 | 23 ratings

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Rengeteg
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Earendil

5 stars Thy Catafalque manage the impossible. No one can maintain an atmosphere composed of such earth-crushing heaviness, such vibrant textural earthiness, and such a range of timbre like Thy Catafalque. Even the lyrics contribute to the album's massive, ancient atmosphere. I didn't imagine an endeavor like this was possible before I heard it. But Thy Catafalque doesn't just maintain that atmosphere on Rengeteg; they mold it into brilliant structure after brilliant structure. The grace with which the compositions dance around while maintaining their astonishingly heavy and organic atmosphere is astounding. The music weaves back and forth between deeply moving post-black metal progressions driven by 50-megaton blast beats and an eclectic range of industrial, rock, and folk, all the while maintaining that impossible atmosphere. Renegeteg contains some of the heaviest moments of music that I've ever encountered yet doesn't dwell on them like many bands do; it weaves them into its rich tapestry of sounds. Tamas Katai, who performs all the music on the album except the cello and clean vocals, is one of the most brilliant composers that I've come across. This is the first album of his that I've listened to, and it is an absolute masterpiece. Tamas is an artist of an incredible magnitude.

Rating: 9/10

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 Rengeteg by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.09 | 23 ratings

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Rengeteg
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Rengeteg' - Thy Catafalque (8/10)

There's something to be said for a metal band that manages to find an original sound. Even in the so-called avant-garde metal style, a listener is bound to find scores of artists pulling out the same 'weird' cliches, without necessarily doing something fresh with them. First hearing Thy Catafalque and the work of Tamás Kátai through his more death metal-oriented project Gire, it was clear to me from the start that there was something sincerely 'out there' about this music. On "Rengeteg", fans of this Hungarian act's previous work will get what they expect: a viciously eclectic dose of strange folk melodies, industrial percussion, and plenty of synthesized goodness. It's not a taste for everyone, but "Rengeteg" is one of the most interesting musical experiences I've heard in recent times.

As far as avant-garde music goes, it almost feels wrong to get the impression of catchiness, or even 'fun' in the music. After all, this is supposed to be heavy, experimental art- catchy hooks and danceability are traits most often reserved for the worst forms of pop. With that being said, "Rengeteg" is an album filled with crazy hooks. "Trilobita" is a feisty folk metal jig fueled with mesmerizing vocal and synth melodies. "Az eső, az eső, az eső" is a little more melancholic, but no less instantly memorable, built around a fiery organ lick that blends perfectly with the more jarring metal riffs. Compared to Thy Catafalque's earlier stuff, "Rengeteg" comes across as a more melodic incarnation of the band's sound. The industrial riffing is still potentially heavy as ever, but Thy Catafalque has largely absconded its more black metal-oriented origins.

"Rengeteg" may have moments of accessibility, but at its core, it remains challenging, even ugly in parts. To counter off the shorter pieces, "Vashegyek" looms around the fifteen minute mark, swerving through Eastern European folk tradition and harsh industrial riffs. Although it largely amounts to personal taste, the industrial elements feel less fitting for Thy Catafalque's sound. It is not so much that it is so much heavier than the rest of "Rengeteg"s ingredients, but rather that it sounds so robotic. Thy Catafalque enjoys some brilliant guest vocalists, warm keyboards and synths, and vast atmosphere. In the midst of this, electronic double-kicks and noisy guitars don't seem to fit as well as they could have. As one could expect from something so eclectic, the production is a little inconsistent, once again favouring the warmer, 'human' elements of the album over the industrial sounds.

There are a great deal of synth and keyboards on "Rengeteg", but the strange Eastern melodies seem perfectly suited for them. Thy Catafalque takes a vast array of styles and ambitions, and condenses them into a blending pan of strange, enjoyable music. Comparisons may be drawn with Sigh, but it's clear that this Hungarian act has a sound it can call its own. Nightmares may ensue, but they'll be worth it.

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 Róka Hasa Rádió by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 41 ratings

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Róka Hasa Rádió
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Thy Catafalque's fourth album is a bizarre black metal mutant which constantly surprises the listener with the range of genres the band manage to cram into it - there's folk, space rock, ambient moments and more as well as some vicious metal outbursts to be enjoyed here. I'm particularly impressed with the way the band are able to explore all these different styles without the album becoming unfocused, and also the way the album is constantly in transition; just when you think you've got a handle on what they're doing at any particular point, the compositions start incorporating little twists that build up to move the soundscape in an entirely different direction. I'll have to listen to more of these guys.

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 Rengeteg by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.09 | 23 ratings

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Rengeteg
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by bartosso

4 stars A forest of sounds

Tamás Kátai, the mastermind of Hungarian experimental, post-black metal, eastern European folk... *breath*... industrial, "space rock" metal band Thy Catafalque, as you can see, has an intriguing vision of his music. Having recorded four albums before RENGETEG, it's actually the first one released by a major record label, namely french/american Season of Mist. And well, I must admit that it's one of the most interesting metal albums I have heard lately.

The record is produced in a professional way which means the sound is clear, fairly selective yet not overproduced or artificial. Distortion is heavy, a little bit fuzzy, kind of reminding me of sludge and industrial metal. Same for computer generated drums. Besides heavy distortion, Thy Catafalque uses a whole range of guitar sounds - from soft space rock overdrive to occasional classical guitar nylon strumming. The vocalist is one of the most intriguing aspects of RENGETEG. Mostly clean, folk-influenced vocals with a few shrieked parts here and there are very well performed. However, it's a presence of various synthesizers and space rock sound effects that determine Thy Catafalque's uniqueness in terms of sound and ambiance.

For an avant-garde metal album, RENGETEG is surprisingly accessible. The most prominent element here are Hungarian folk melodic patterns, that pervade the whole with unique atmosphere and provides the listener with unforgettable musical experiences. All the more so because they're combined with otherworldly atmosphere of space rock in the vain of Ozric Tentacles. Experimental approach to composition and general diversity of moods completed the task - RENGETEG is a very successful release and an excellent addition to any metal music collection. Despite having many masterpiece qualities, it's not absolutely flawless though. First of all, some cheap sounding parts could have been avoided. Some artificially sounding synthesizers could have been replaced with real instruments ("violin" part in Kő koppan spoiled it for me). Some underdeveloped ideas could have reached the masterpiece level if developed (e.g.: "Kel keleti szél", "Kék ingem lobogó"). And finally, some songs could have been better composed and cleansed of generic riffing (e.g.: "Vashegyek").

I really, really like that album despite all the things I've just said above. It's a great effort that deserves 7/10 - 8/10 rating, and for its undeniable originality and emotional charge, I'd gladly give it full 4 star rating. I'm an asshole though. Essential for avant-garde, post-black metal, dark folk and atmospheric music enthusiasts. Hell yeah!

TRACKS BY RATINGS: 9/10[fantastic!]: Kel keleti szél; Kék ingem lobogó; Az eső, az eső, az eső|| 8/10[great]: Fekete mezők; Trilobita; Tar gallyak végül; Minden test fű|| 7/10[very good]: Kő koppan; Holdkomp|| 6/10[good]: Vashegyek||

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 Rengeteg by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.09 | 23 ratings

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Rengeteg
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 8/10

"Rengeteg" is a must for Avant-Garde Metal fans.

Thy Catafalque have been on the map for quite a few years, yet they've been pretty much ignored by a good part of the metal community and had a few but very enthusiastic fans. Personally, this band for me was always one to check out, especially after releasing "Roka Hasa Radio", easily one of the best albums of 2009. It seemed hard to top that release, however, "Rengeteg" maintains the same high quality.

Frequently labeled as Avant-garde Metal, this band is a lot more than that: being from Hungary, the traditional music of the country is a huge influence in Thy Catafalque's melodies, and has always been. But we also have Black Metal, Industrial Metal, Folk, Electronic beats and samples, and not to forget Progressive Rock. Their vast amount of influences have made them a pretty impacting band for whoever has listened to their material. "Rengeteg" keeps this same mixture of styles as the previous albums, but there's somewhat more straight-forwardness here, the songs and melodies being a lot less experimental per se and more focused on the melody. As a consequence the ten songs here are relatively shorter than the other albums, with some inevitable exceptions of course. But the melodies are always clear and easy to remember, even after one sole listen, unlike the tracks featured on "Roka Hasa Radio".

The previous album, although more experimental and brave, was sort of a one-faced album, meaning that for the great part of it the music was pretty much mellow. "Rengeteg" elegantly mixes the heaviness with the calm parts, creating a wonderful balance that is almost symmetrical. This symmetry is there also in terms of straight-forwardness and quirkiness: the first part of the LP is more easy-going, while the second part is more experimental, even though this division is not at all firm: there are indeed experimental moments in the first part, and there are very memorable ones in the second part. The two distinct sides of the album are clearly separate by the axis of these ten songs, the fourteen minute epic "Vashegyek", placed obviously in the exact middle of the LP.

Each one of these songs is pretty much a little gem of it's own: the nine minute intro, possibly the heaviest song here, the extremely memorable "Trilobita", and the more electronic based "Ko Koppan" are the definite highlights of the first half, while the second part boasts songs like the mind blowing electronics of "Holdkomp" and track number eight, but also more heavy moments like the closing track.

Overall "Rengeteg" is an extraordinary follow up to "Roka Hasa Radio", which might even outdo it in some ways. Thy Catafalque are a band that should be infinitely praised for the utterly original sound and songwriting abilities, as well as their bold experiments with Hungarian Folk music, Ambient and Electronic. A must for any Avant-Garde Metal/Black Metal fan, in my book.

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 Róka Hasa Rádió by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 41 ratings

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Róka Hasa Rádió
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 8/10

"Roka Hasa Radio" is unexpectedly one of the very best Avant-Garde Metal albums of the last few years.

Hungary is one of the most unexpected countries to have a good metal band. We know that in Ukraine there's the black metal band Drudkh and Nokturnal Mortum, but nobody I can think of comes from Hungary. Except for Thy Catafalque, which with "Roka Hasa Radio", have completely blown me away, like I never thought they would. This is the band's fifth studio album, surprisingly, meaning that they've been around for a while, without receiving the attention they fully deserved. But now in 2009 with this new album it seems like the band got a little less unknown by the public. And thank god.

What hit me the first time I heard this album was the huge amount of experimentation, keyboards and synthesizers used, that are accompanied in second hand with the incredibly dark sounding guitars, distorted or not. Thy Catafalque's style can't really be labeled as simple Avant-Garde Metal: there is a lot of Industrial Metal (combined with Black Metal), Electronic, Ambient, and maybe some Folk elements as well. All the songs have amazing arrangements, even though with a kind of harsh production. The thing that I found most interesting about these nine songs is that all of them, melodically, have a pretty noticeable Eastern Europe feel, even when the music is at it's loudest. This shows how the country of a band can influence them. Of course, all the songs are sung in Hungarian, so I don't see why I should even try to understand them, even if I do translate them.

Highlights are most definitely the first two tracks: "Szervetlen" , an eleven minute epic, probably the heaviest song off the album. After te dark Ambient intro, we hear amazing Industrial metal guitars and rhythmic section, with Black Metal growls to go with that. Of course there are tons of variations during the whole song, which is another reason to love it. But the second track, "Molekularis Gepezetek", more than nineteen minutes long, is even moe complete and epic sounding, even though not as heavy, and much more open to experimentation. We hear, during the middle of the song, a great, techno Jazz like section, followed by a beautifully female singed part, that moves me every time I listen to it. Most definitely the strongest highlight of the album. Then they're the rest of the album, none of them as long as these two tracks, but still very much worth the listen. But it's obvious that after those two songs all the other even songs are much more experimental and Avant- Garde, with only a few harsh parts here and there. But the main instrument here are definitely the keys and synths, that really give a unique atmosphere to the music. Keep also in mind that nearly every time there is some great, great melodies, which are as always inspired by Eastern folk music.

An album that completely blew me away, even though I discovered it two years after it's original release. I have only a few complaints about it (the last two songs could have been improved from many points of view), but it still remains one of my favorite metal albums of 2009.

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 Microcosmos by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.59 | 8 ratings

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Microcosmos
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by bz.krzyzaniak

5 stars After great debut album "Sublunary Tragedies", group coming back with fresh and very experimental material, without loosing their black metal roots at the same time. Sometimes it's very hard to classify this album, music here in general doesn't fit to any progressive sub-genere, during listening can be noticed a evolution of their music. Kind of progress, that some groups reaching during 10 years of activity, creativity of band members is on the top.

Tracks 1-5 are dominated by black metal sounds easly compareable to previous album, but with distinct progressive extras. Attachment of electronic experiments, lush keyboard solos in background, pleasant calm moments between haevier parts, that oddly fiting perfectly whole composition, unexpected reversals in tempo and instrumentarium building a new image of Thy Catafalque, as a band focused on art metal . Nothink more deceptive! The sixth track "Fehérlófia" can astonish somebody used to style presented on first five tracks, here appears folk metal, great combination of accoustic, strong electric guitar and violin, this one shows versatility of musicans and composers. "Micro To Macro" is instrumental the shortest track, frankly, it's hard to describe it, as i'm prog fan since long time, never heard somethink even similar. This song apart, would be ignored by me, i'm almost sure about that. During listening album from first to last track, when it's part of whole album, it seems to be a boarderline between old and new music experiences. "Panta Rhei" isn't last track, but really sounds like completion of album. Wonderful work on drums and fantastic keyboards background, materpice of experimental metal music. "Panta Rhei" could be a answer for question:" what if Vangelis/Klaus Shulze would be a metalhead". Time for a deep breath, "Októberi Kép"- mellow instrumental composition before final "Desolation", the longest track here, begining with stuning guitar playing, that reminds Pink Floyd, but containing much more dark atmosphere. It's also wonderful pice of music, very touchful piano and guitar perfectly closing album.

Imo no weak points, black metal, folk metal, experimental music and electronic experminets in very good style, made this album essential for me. I realise that some metal/progressive music fans, can be disapointed by this variety, i have to admit that "Microcosmos" doesn't sounds like a album created by one band, rather like 3 bands without any connection put randomly few tracks and they recorded an album, but one think is stable, dark and depressive atmosphere, ambitious compositions. Self realeased "Microcosmos" deserves full 5 stars, imo essential with no doubts.

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 Sublunary Tragedies by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Sublunary Tragedies
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by bz.krzyzaniak

3 stars Here history began back in 1999 year. Outststanding debut that contains everythink that black metal album should have, dim and depressive atmosphere, strong memorable riffs and vocal parts that makes the creeps. After previous sentence do not excpect a music in classical form of the genere, Tamas Katai and Janos Juhasz elaborated their own style that is based on changing tempo and very peculiar mellow passages. Frankly, "Sublunar Tragedies" reminds me first Ulver's album "Bergtatt", it's the only association i have now.

This album can be found on PA, because of TC next releases, that are pure experimental metal, this one is black metal with a little progressive elements, that's why somebody can rise the question. For who this album will be suitable? If you are a fan of TC latest work, or black metal fan in general, you should give it a try, if you are looking for somethink mostly progressive/experimental, just return to this album after experiences with "Microcosmos" or "Roka Hasa Radio"

Now i am hesitating, because heart saying "3 stars", reason in opposition "only for fans"... Finally good, but non-essential, less prog, more metal but played and recorded on very good standard.

Bz. Krzyzaniak

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 Róka Hasa Rádió by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 41 ratings

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Róka Hasa Rádió
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ChrisDawid

3 stars This experimental metal act from Hungary attracts my attention although I'm usually not into this genre. Interesting concept of strange radio transmission and reserved using of metal sounds make this album more accessible to classic prog fans. Notable is also the using of electronics and classical instruments which make this work versatile. Really interesting melodic passages as well as calming female voice create unique, east-european character of this album.

Still most interesting parts of "Róka Hasa Rádió" are the post metal passages present on every track, outstanding on first two extended songs. After mediocre Köd Utánam the rest of album is more mellow and instrumental. I really enjoy the Hungarian vocals which make this work really magnificent.

The album is a good position for beginners with east European progressive metal. Favorable direction of prog metal development and really enjoyable work, 3 stars.

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 Róka Hasa Rádió by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 41 ratings

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Róka Hasa Rádió
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by dirk66

5 stars Ok, wow.

It's been a while since something, musically speaking, caught me by surprise in such ways that I felt compelled to announce it in such ways. So here I go, let me try to translate in a few paragraphs the magnificence of this work.

The band's style is defined as "Avant-garde metal" and really, there's no other way to put it. Extreme metal, carefully arranged melodies, electronic/industrial touches, folk-ish passages, all kinds of vocals, all of them of great performance quality, this album has it all, mixed and diluted in ethereal ways to create a certainly corporeal piece of music that's ready to rock the socks off of anyone who's looking to be blown away.

Let's vivisect this work and separate it's parts in a detailed manner.

When you put the album in whatever means you have to reproduce it, you'll find yourself in the face of an ambient intro, which will expand and expand until it explodes into metal, right in your face. The ambiance will remain and take an important place in the whole album albeit interrupted sporadically. Keyboards are half of what makes this such an unique piece, layers and layers of different melodies and tones, some just meant to be a background sound to give certain songs a darker or more mysterious feeling, extraterrestrial at times, other being crucial part of central melodies, the synthetic sounds give this album a futuristic, if not technological feeling once in a while, the rest of the time sounding even shy and melancholic.

The guitars are heavily distorted, something that rarely goes along with such predominant keyboard work (see: most myspace black ambient bands), but this concert of heavy chainsaws blends in perfectly in the mix, being loud enough but not quite occupying the spotlight, even during the most extreme parts. As of the melodies, we've got practically anything, from doom-ish chugs and extended riffs to fast and furious black metal-ish powerchords and tremolos (from time to time this reminds me of Negura Bunget, if that's any encouragement for you). And spreade all across the album you will find clean passages filled of an almost nostalgic nature, highly technical and experimental melodies interlaced in defying ways, folky, even dancey moments and enough dissonance to make any Blut Aus Nord fan become interested.

It is worth mentioning that folk, or rather, folk-like melodies are clearly the inspiration for some of the main melodies in songs like Köd Utánam and Űrhajók Makón, which I feel gives the whole album a more deep meaning and artistic target, even though the lyrical themes already seem to be quite profound, from what I gather, since they, supposedly, focus in themes like "time and space". Go figure.

Vocals. Now, this element is as special as it gets. First off all songs are sung in their native Hungarian, which, or so I feel, is one of the most intriguing European languages. That makes it a pleasure for me to hear clean male and very beautiful female vocals, all of them very well arranged, very elegant and pleasant. The growling is not particularly unique but does set a great mood and goes along with the music nicely. The pitch reminds me of Garm in Nattens Madrigal, but a bit less guttural.

Drum and bass are, and I don't think many people will be surprised, the least outstanding elements of this piece, nonetheless, they do find their place to shine, and oh man do they shine. Drums especially. While programmed, you can tell the programmer has a lot of talent and he's not just an empty-headed bastbeat-machine like most black metal these days (not to say this is black metal, most of the extreme parts do resemble it a lot). There's a passage in the first song, some time after 7:15, in which the drums take a central part, backed up by keyboards and eerie sounds, it maintains a rather jazzy rhythm for some minute and a half, and that's just some part in the first (and second longest) song in the album. Which, by the way, is an immediate highlight.

Apart from these elements, there's the use of violins and similar instruments in certain key parts, these parts tend to aim for a folkish spirit and melodies. You could also listen to other stuff like flutes and instruments I cannot name. But then again some of those might very well be the result of the clever use of keyboards. The use of samples from dialogues or origin unknown is also a practice that I appreciate when not overdone, and that's what I also found in this album. Just a little mention.

How can I close this review? This album is so vast it's hard to enclose it in a few paragraphs. If you like experimental, avant-garde, unique, fresh and eclectic (that is the key word here, perhaps) metal (or music in general), then you should really consider giving this album a listen or two. But beware, this is one of those albums that will either be idolized or ignored, treated as the new edge of experimental music or just a bunch of guys playing random [&*!#]. This is an album that demands more than just one or two spins in order to make his point valid. But really, go listen to this already.

Originally written for the paper version of the Terror Cult Zine by Avestriel.

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