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Thanatomass - Hades

by David Hough at 08 May 2023, 10:50 AM

Hades” is the third release and first full-length album from the Russian three-piece black metal act, THANATOMASS. This album will be released in the US by Living Temple Records. “Hades” is a complex concept album about the place called Hell. Each track flows into the next and is part of a greater whole. As such, this album is best when listened to in one sitting. “Katabasis (Intromass)” is a short intro track that begins with the sound of thunder and quickly ramps up in intensity, preparing the listener for the ensuing chaos that is about to come. The first proper song on the album is “Templvm Carnalis / Vomit Ceremony.” This track is almost impenetrably dense. There is some nice interplay between the drums and guitars and the deep, growled vocals sound particularly hellish. The biggest detractor is the amount of reverb on the vocals. This was probably done to make A. Thanatos’ vocals sound booming and ominous, but the constant echo only adds to the discord that is the entirety of this track and album.

The next track, “Gravedance Sabbath,” is another hellscape, albeit a short-lived one, since this track barely exceeds two minutes. I’m not sure why this track is separated from the others. Its short length makes it easy to tack onto the front or back of one of the surrounding tracks. The track, “The Bone Nimbus,” is similar in that it’s barely longer than a minute. Since the tracks on the album flow together, these two could have been easily integrated into other tracks. The album’s other three tracks, “Living Tombs Of Tartaros,” “Sorcery Of Hades,” and “Retromass (Morbid Ordinance Of Doom)” are quite lengthy, with each one being longer than eight and a half minutes. While the chaotic music sounds great at first, the sheer intensity of these tracks mixed with their continuous sonic overload can be too much of a good thing. No doubt this album was made to be unnerving, given its subject matter, but there also needs to be more melody present to balance everything out. Otherwise, the album just becomes a wall of constant aggression and noise.

Hades” is a challenging album. I understand why it was structured to make the listener overwhelmed. After all, Hell is perceived to be a place of endless torment. From the overuse of reverb on the vocals to the screeching guitar noises, to the blast beats, it’s just too excessive to be thoroughly enjoyed by most extreme metal fans. On the other hand, THANATOMASS has created some truly evil soundscapes that demand to be experienced. Repeat listens also reveal more subtleties and direction. All in all, “Hades” is an album to be respected whether you enjoy it or not.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Katabasis (Intromass)
2. Templvm Carnalis/Vomit Ceremony
3. Gravedance Sabbath
4. Living Tombs of Tartaros
5. Sorcery of Hades
6. The Bone Nimbus
7. Retromass (Morbid Ordinance of Doom)
TLG - Bass
V. Scorn - Drums
A. Thanatos - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Living Temple


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