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Thūn — II

by David Hough at 24 July 2022, 5:24 PM

The aptly titled “II” Is THŪN’s second album. It features Karl Sanders of the death metal band NILE on lead guitar. “II” isn’t the average doom metal album due to Jonathan Grenville Higgs’ use of low growls and higher-pitched raspy vocals.

The album’s story picks up where their first album left off with the Lovecraftian misadventures of an eco-witch-terrorist, at odds against any person or corporation that puts profit before preservation of nature. In keeping with the ecological themes of the album, THŪN has decided to make “II” available only as a digital download on their Bandcamp page.

The first track that I would like to address is “Where All Truths Lie.” The clarity of the snare drum is slightly distracting in this song, but I quickly acclimated to it. This is a long song, but instead of giving each passage room to develop, they added more passages to fill up the time. This leaves the song feeling kind of bloated. Higgs’ low growls alternate with screeches that sound straight out of a black metal song. The amazing lead guitar work provided by Sanders sets this song apart from the rest of the doom metal pack.

The third song, “Kiss the Ground,” is lots of fun. It starts out with a psychedelic guitar riff that develops throughout the entire song. A couple of bursts of black metal vocals break up the excellent leads. Honestly, this track would have been much better as an instrumental. “Kiss the Ground” feels more like a Karl Sanders song with the other members in guest spots.

After “Kiss the Ground,” there are two filler tracks. “I Have Failed You” is two minutes and thirty seconds of bombast without any real structure or development. “Completely” is one minute and forty-six seconds of clean guitar instrumental. It sounds fine but completely out of place on the album.

The next cut, “Zero Growth,” starts off with a nice drum solo followed by death growls. The instrumentation really shines on this one. Once again, Sanders’ magnificent lead guitar parts save this from becoming just another boring death/doom track. This dichotomy makes the song feel like two separate melodies that overlap in places.

The final cut, “Final Cut,” starts off in doom metal territory. At times, the drumming seems to outpace the rest of the elements, but once you make it to this song, you have already become familiar with the alternating slow doom metal and fast, almost black metal parts interspersed with some really great lead guitar. There is a surprising bit of clean singing near the song’s end, but by the time that part came along, I was already tired of the track as a whole.

Overall, “II” is an okay record enhanced by Karl Sanders’ thrilling lead guitar parts. If you’re already a fan of THŪN, you’ll probably like this album. If you’re curious about their eco-conscious brand of doom metal, it would be best to skip this one and see what their next album offers. If it weren’t for Sanders’ leads, this album would be one to avoid outright. The problem is, there’s only so much one person can do to lift up an otherwise dull album.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Where All Truths Lie
2. Look to the Sea
3. Kiss the Ground
4. I Have Failed You
5. Completely
6. Zero Growth
7. Final Cut
Jonathan Grenville Higgs — Guitar/Vocals
Hugo Wilkinson — Bass
James Knoerl — Drums
Karl Sanders — Lead Guitar
Record Label: Eat Lead And Die Music


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