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Thanos – Unholy Award winner

by Quinten Serna at 15 July 2021, 9:05 AM

Rare is it to come unto the discovery of one whose passions and ambitions outstretch the combined efforts of full fronted groups and coalitions, and yet that is exactly whom THANOS is. Formerly fronting a number of bands for the past couple decades, Unholy, marks the first integral solo work for the man behind the name whose labor of love has produced an LP more than likely lives up to his namesake.

Beginning with “At Dusk” the album commences on synth soon met with an electric kit and bass each instrument acting as a segue such that the instrumental feels as a song complete just past the minute mark; the keys completely alter the shape and direction of the song in their immediate incorporation serving to draw attention and segue into the next song. “Unholy,” the title track, opens as a continuation of the previous song starting with bass and vocal harmony though near about 20 seconds in the song shifts to a heavier progression embracing in full the truer essence of the music, that which is powerful made eldritch by atmosphere and other manners of accentuations—the song touches on the main concept of the album which is that of a vampire in attempt to live out his life as near to the human condition that he can manage. For whatever reason—intentional or not—

The Priest” begins in the exact same manner as the title track albeit with a slightly different ending, in this instance the bass and harmony are replaced by guitars playing a lead melody; regardless of its familiar introduction this track is my favorite on the whole of the album in that it offers a pretty stark juxtaposition between the lighter tones, complimented with a rich voice, and that of heavier rhythms a truer bout of metal made complete with lyrics delivered in a more self-inflictive manner the sense of desperation and raw energy continue to crescendo until the ending. “Bloodlust” is among some of the shorter track on the album yet as well one of the most, if not the most, aggressive; the opens in a synth similar to something that would’ve been intrinsic to an Atari before breaking into blast beats and a Death Metal manner of progression, the return to a jazzy type of progression once more turns the song completely on its head. “At Dawn” brings the song in full circle combining all the strengths of the album preceding this track into a singular progression all the striations between loud and quiet, the inclusion of synth and harmony, the bittersweet lead melodies, and as a token ends on the bass and harmony mix that opens up “Unholy” and The Priest.“”

The usage of instruments in the soundscape is inspiring to say the least as the mixing and melding of accented effects and synth with live instruments is very well done, neither section completely overlaps one another or forces the listener to shift attention, the manner by which they share the same space is quite sublime. The guitars are bitter, bottom-heavy, and dry panned each contributing in an eerie but memorable sound. The bass is surprisingly clear for how deep in tone the other strings are and is itself grounded center giving a foundation to the whole of the soundscape. The drums are exceptionally well mixed as well having quite a large reverb to them somehow existing with a great and roomy sound to them, but nothing contributing to a bassy or muddy mix. The vocals are quite exceptional changing in timbre and delivery for every track to better mix with each theme of lyrics and melody, the mixing is just as impressive as they sit in with the instruments but are clearly identifiable without standing out.

Unholy” took me by a great surprise offering a sound I was completely unfamiliar with, and in that one I certainly will not forget. The fidelity of the music is just as impressive as the composition and the writing, though the repetition of that bass and harmony noodle in 3 separate tracks was an odd and auspicious inclusion, though doesn’t exactly hinder the record. Coming in at just over 32 minutes in length the LP feels a bit short but certainly has an incredibly involving track listing for those 32 minutes. For anyone with a penchant towards extremes this album serves as a paragon.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. At Dusk
2. Unholy
3. The Priest
4. Darkness Within
5. Bloodlust
6. Temple Of Truth
7. Road To Madness
8. Piece Of Me
9. At Dawn
Thanos Bertsatos – Everything
Record Label: Value for Nothing


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Edited 17 September 2021

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