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Theraphosa - Transcendence

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 May 2020, 8:14 AM

Taking its name from the world’s largest spider, THERAPHOSA sees in the spider and its myths a symbol of determination, adaptation and liberty. Brothers by the blood and by the bloodshed, it is since their earliest youth that Vincent, Matthew and Martin have been playing music together. The faith they have in each other’s and the will to always improve has very soon allowed them to gain a solid experience of live shows and studio recordings. It is then that the French trio crosses path with Jan Rechberger, drummer of AMORPIHS. The alchemy is total. This meeting will be the starting point of the collaboration that will give birth to their debut EP, in 2018. Now, the band returns with their debut full-length, which contains eight tracks.

“Stigmata of the Purest Pain” leads us off. A downtrodden, despondent rhythm opens the song. The vocals are harsh at first, then clean in the chorus. They remind me a bit of GOJIRA, and not just because they are from France. “The Curse of Chronos” opens with clean vocals and bass guitar. The guitar creates a Progressive sound, and that groove comes through strong here. It has a depressing sound overall…very much like a curse. “Mother Night” is an eight-minute opus. It opens with melancholy tones and clean guitars. Lead guitar notes carry much of the opening melody. The vocals are clean at first, then the sound turns dark with guttural harsh vocals. The diversity of the album so far is noteworthy. The band is able to really run the gamut of various sounds and approaches.

“Dies Irae” is a short three minutes of a bit of a faster moving track, where the guitars are on full display. The clean vocals however are beginning to sound a little bit familiar. Vincent sings mostly in the same range when it comes to his cleans. “Obsession” opens with a bit of a groovier sound established from the guitars. Progressive elements come into play, as well as perhaps a bit more melody, with harmonized vocals in the chorus. “The Morning Star” is another shorter song, with eerie opening melodies, and clear bass guitar notes. The groovy cadence comes through stronger here. “Attrition” opens with operatic vocals and a dissonant guitar riff. The clean vocals are despondent here…and the overall sound takes on ominous tones. The guitar solo at the end really ties the song together well.

“The Legacy of Arachne” links the band name with the title of the song. It opens with short, tense notes. From there, a march of clean vocal chants appear as the guitar riff begins to establish dominance. It a six-minute instrumental that produces many diverse sounds along the way. Overall, I found this album to be dark and mysterious, as well as quite varied in the approaches they took in songwriting. This is a very promising effort from the trio from France. They seem to have been able to carve out their own niche when it comes to their sound, and that is a difficult thing to do these days. Bravo, fellas, and please keep up the great work!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Stigmata of the Purest Pain
2. The Curse of Chronos
3. Mother Night
4. Dies Irae
5. Obsession
6. The Morning Star
7. Attrition
8. The Legacy of Arachne
Vincent – Guitar/Lead Vocals
Matthieu – Bass/Backing Vocals
Martin – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist


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