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Thalarion – Dying On The Scorched Plains

Dying On The Scorched Plains
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 January 2022, 5:43 AM

THALARION is a Gothic melodic Doom/Death from Slovakia that formed in 1990 as BASTARD before changing their name to FATAL INFECTION in 1996. They finally settled on THALARION soon after. "Dying On The Scorched Plains" is their sixth full length album and they have also released a split.  Despite their long history, this is the first time I am hearing them. Based upon my research, their previous album "Hellium," had them leaning more towards melodeath. Well, although I haven't heard that album to comment on it, I'm glad they returned to doom because this album is a damn fine example of the style. Similar to TRISTANIA, THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, DRACONIAN and countless other bands, THALARION's style incorporates the "beauty and the beast" vocal attack. Is it an original sound? No. Do I care? Also, no. It isn't what you do but how you do it. It is hard to go wrong with this type of doom—and "Dying On The Scorched Plains" is a fitting ode to that sound and filled with great song writing.

"Prelude To Dolorous Scenes," is actually a decent intro that does got me excited for the rest of the album. It is short but sweeping with wonderful atmosphere. It rolls right into the first proper track, "Burning Pile." It is here we are introduced to Nela's vocals. She is everything I could want for this style. She harmonizes well and her vocals are angelic yet powerful enough to rise above the music even during the heavier moments. The song is rather melodic, especially the bass in some places, but it switches between clean and distorted passages effortlessly. On top of all that, the chorus and lead guitar add a ton of catchy moments to the mix. While this song laid the basic foundation of the band's Gothic tones, the next track "Space Between" adds in the death metal elements.

I'm not sure if Nela helps out with any of the extreme vocal styles or if it is all Juraj but both the low growls and high screams fit into their sound as well as they should. The song also shows that Gothic doom doesn't always have to be slow and can still bring in riffs and double bass without compromising the morose atmosphere. "Wandering Mistrel" combines faster pace melodic death with their brand of doom for a song that packs a punch yet is downtrodden enough to satisfy the hardcore doom fans (like me). The opening is surprisingly both jaunty and beefy. Not long after, Nela croons over clean guitars as the song begins to build back up to heavier waters. The background vocals are somewhat annoying but the mid section consisting of big riffs and deep growls makes up for it.

"Back To The Light" is another banger due in no small part to the drums which infuse energy while complimenting the song. The chorus is yet another catchy part of the album and I loved the guitars that back up the lyrics. "Into The No Where" rages with some unexpected but very welcomed black metal elements! The song fires out of the gate with searing riffs and vicious screams! Nela's cleans are the perfect counterweight to all this carnage but she also just makes the song stay inside the head for days. The constant barrage of drums is more than enough to make the song chaotic. All in all, this is a super solid slice of doom metal with enough variety and catchy moments to keep it in rotation for a long time.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Prelude to Dolorous Scenes
2. Burning Pile
3. Space in Between
4. Dead but Still in My Heart
5. Fairy Garden
6. Wandering Minstrel
7. Sub Rosa
8. Back to the Light
9. Dying on the Scorged Plains
10. Into the Nowhere
Juraj Schlosser - Guitars
Peter Schlosser - Drums
Peter Dvorák - Keyboards
Peter Bartakovič - Bass, Guitars, Guitars (Acoustic)
Juraj Grežďo - Vocals
Petronela Hederova - Vocals
Record Label: Uprising! Records


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