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Thumos – Symposium

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 February 2023, 2:35 PM

Their EPK came to me without any bio information, and The Metal Archives did not help much. They are a Progressive Doom/Post-Metal Instrumental band from The USA. I reviewed one of their earlier albums, and found it mediocre. But I decided to give them another run. This is their latest effort, and contains eight songs. “Phaedrus” is the first. Tense strings open the song, followed by some keys. This song sounds a lot better put together than the previous album that I reviewed. When it finally comes together, the Doomy sound is glorious. I like how thick the tension remains through the entire song.

“Pausanius” is another song with a good deal of texture, and ambiance. The tones thicken as the song moves along, adding more and more layers to the sound. Doom settles into outright depression, and the bottom end of the song is weighted. Eerie keyboard notes are added to the mix. “Eryximachus” flows more smoothly but still has that frightening element to it…the feeling that something is still out there in the shadows. Subtle layers are added and they dull out some of the rougher edges. “Aristophanes” was a playwright in ancient Greece. This song is a bit heavier as it thuds with guitar and drum accents. Some darkness creeps in along the way, as the sound becomes more accentuated.

“Agathon” is close to nine-minutes long. It opens with clean guitar tones that turn heavier with distorted ones. The heaviness flows smoothly but not without some purposeful bumps along the way. “Socrates” keeps with the theme of ancient Greece figures. It has solemn tones that build to a mountain by the end. Along the way, beautiful tone can’t be restrained, and they come pouring out of every crack and crevice. “Diotima” has melancholic and sad tones, to the point that they break your ribcage and are reluctantly inserted into your heart. The lengthy “Alcibiades” closes the album. String are featured in the beginning, and they swell with purpose. A heavy riff clears the palate, and the strings return. Layer upon layer is added, and you can feel a sense of implosion on the horizon. But it never comes.

I am so glad that I gave this band another chance. If you keep an open mind, you can be pleasantly surprised by nearly anything. One of the best parts about the album is the increasingly tense mood the songs creates, but they never let you succumb to them. They lead you gingerly to the edge of the cliff, but never push you over. I very much enjoyed these instrumentals and the shifting moods they created while listening. Anyone who tells you that music without vocals can’t create a vivid listening experience doesn’t know what they are talking about, or aren’t able to feel things in a variety of manners.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Phaedrus
2. Pausanius
3. Eryximachus
4. Aristophanes
5. Agathon
6. Socrates
7. Diotima
8. Alcibiades
Record Label: Snow Wolf Records


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