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Thakandar - Sterbende Erde

Sterbende Erd
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 November 2017, 7:20 AM

Dystopian Melodic Black Metal band THAKANDAR formed in Germany in 2008. Their name is a variation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy “The Wheel of Time” and describes an area of land where evil had entered (Thakan’ Dar). The band released Demo in 2009 and an EP in 2012, and now presents “Sterbende Erde,” (Dying Earth) their first full-length release, containing seven new tracks. Several guest musicians were involved is this project as well, on cello, piano, vocals and keyboards. Lyrically there is a theme running through the album: “In a post-apocalyptic world the last scattered remnants of human civilization fight for their survival. The people have their own fault to repay. After every new beginning, the renewed ending is doomed again by decadence, waste and greed.”

“Erbschuld” is a four minute opening track. Though the vocals are pretty traditional sounding, the music itself is more akin to the Melodic Death Metal genre, with harmonic guitars and shifting chords. Furious drumming holds the rhythms together. That closing riff is just bossy. “Hinter dem Schatten” is nearly eight minutes in length, opening slowly, cautiously, with acoustic guitars leading to fuzzy electric guitars, and thunderous drumming. At times it hisses menacingly, like a coiled snake that has been cornered. There is a good deal of layering here as well, building over top of the base with varied riffing and timing. The acoustical ending is a nice stamp on the sound. “Signal of Sorrow” opens with howling winds, and what sound like a siren rising and falling. At first it moves slowly, with a deep sound and an air of mystery. Some spoken word trades off with harsh vocals. Some speedier passages are mixed in, as well as clean female vocals and cello notes that provide some diversity.

“Todesmarsch I Verdammnis” is part of a two song movement with track six being the second. It’s nasty and biting, and varies in pace. The vocals are angry and it sounds like a tale of revenge from the depth of the assault. “In der Asche der Alten” is the first song that has a Doomy sound in the beginning; a regal sound of sorts, but it does not last long, as chaos ensues quickly thereafter. Sometimes the chord progressions go into territory I might not expect. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does seem to interfere with the cohesiveness of the song as a whole. “Todesmarsch II Verbannung” is the second half of track four. It’s similar in length but has its own personality. This song has a rhythmic swing of sorts that fuels the movement, and some chords on the major scale that provide some rays of light in the murkiness.

The ten minute title track closes the album. This song really brings the melody. Truthfully a little more of this in some of the earlier tracks would have gone a long way on the album, without taking away from the fervor of Black Metal. It combines some of the sister genre Post/Ambient Black Metal with the traditions of the latter. One thing you are left with as an impression from the album is a detailed method to their songwriting and craft, using the proverbial blood, sweat and tears to their audience with their first-full length release. For me, it was a good listening experience and is right on the edge of breaking out. Spend some time with “Sterbende Erde” and discover for yourself.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Erbschuld
2. Hinter dem Schatten
3. Signal of Sorrow
4. Todesmarsch I Verdammnis
5. In der Asche der Alten
6. Todesmarsch II Verbannung
7. Sterbende Erde
Xorg – Vocals
Zavragor – Guitars, Vocals
Kelrath – Guitars
Argui – Bass
Marlek – Drums 
Record Label: Einheit Produktionen


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