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On Thorns I Lay - Threnos Award winner

On Thorns I Lay
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 27 January 2020, 4:29 AM

ON THORNS I LAY is a Melodic Death/Doom band based in Athens, Greece.  Over the years they changed their sound to various degrees.  Early in their career, they were Death/Doom but later changed to a Gothic/Metal sound before once again switching gears, this time to Hard Rock for the album, “Egocentric,” in 2003.   In 2015, they tried their hand at Melodic Death Metal with “Eternal Silence.”

Enter 2018 and the band released, “Aegean Sorrow,” which was absolutely grandiose.  The album’s sound took their Death/Doom roots and melded it perfectly with Melodic Death.  Fast forward to 2020 and once again the band finds themselves playing Melodic Death/Doom.  Excuse me for trying to tell a band what to do/play but they definitely need to stick with their ongoing formula because this album is just as good as “Aegean Sorrow,” if not better.   The Gothic tones returned with their previous effort but “Threnos,” is an album that adds them into the formula seamlessly—this band was born to play Melodic Death/Doom with Gothic undertones and this album displays this tenfold.

The first track, “The Song of Sirens,” immediately hits like a ton of bricks with a sonic guitar riff that just drops the hammer.  Melodic guitar comes in soon after, bringing in that famous sorrow filled Doom atmosphere but also Gothic touches, not unlike MY DYING BRIDE, PARADISE LOST, and DRACONIAN.  This track is almost two songs within one; after the Death/Doom attack stops around the halfway point, clean keys shine through like the sun finally poking through a cloudy day.  It doesn’t take away from the songs previous harrowing minutes but instead adds a different perspective.  The guitar solo that follows along with the keyboard is extremely moving—not since OMNIUM GATHERUM have I heard such beautiful melodies mixed with tear jerking Doom.  When Stefanos' deep growls come in with the keys and guitar…the mix is just surreal, heavy, and touching all at the same time.  I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Cosmic Silence,” begins very melodic but Stelios' drums and the Death growls keep t hings firmly planted on the heavier side of the fence.  Just like the first track, Chris and Akris really throw in their very being to these melodic riffs and solos.  The song is tied together by JIM’s bass which compliments the Gothic darkness while also holding down a solid rhythm section.   Around the 2:30 mark, the song gets more aggressive with a blanket of epic keys smattering up top riffs that could bring down buildings.  Antony really knows how to use keyboards to not only enhance a track’s atmosphere but just to make the songs better in general.

Misos,” is the shortest track on the album at a little over 4 minutes long but its placement at about the album’s halfway point couldn’t have been better.  This track is a throwback of sorts to more of their Death Metal days and it breaks up the potential monotony well enough.  I could definitely see this one being a banger in the live setting. The title final track, “Odysseia,” is the culmination of the entire album.  Thick, Doom riffs, Death metal intensity, even acoustic passages find their way inside this nearly 10 minute long track that includes a wide variety of moments. “Threnos,” is a very impressive Doom Metal album that kicks off the genre, and Metal in general, on a high note in 2020.  Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Song of Sirens
2. Ouranio Deos
3. Cosmic Silence
4. Erynies
5. Misos
6. Threnos
7. Odysseia
Stefanos – Vocals
Chris – Guitars
Antony – Keyboards
Stelios – Drums
Akis – Guitars
Jim - Bass
Record Label: Lifeforce Records


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