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Thyrant - Katabasis

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 July 2020, 9:43 AM

THYRANT was formed in the summer of 2015 in Southern Spain, still without a name, just an idea and some riffs…five guys playing together for the first time in a city where everyone knows everybody else. It took nine months for them to fill the rehearsal room with a concept and create a full album ready to go to the Artesonao music studio and embrace the mountains of Málaga with earth, wind and fire for the last ten days of May 2016. “Katabasis” is the band’s second album, and contains eight tracks.

“Face the Thyrant” is close to nine minutes in length. It opens with a heavy and aggressive riff, and Death vocals. The pace is lumbering, It’s Black/Death Metal as advertised, but with some Progressive elements as well. The clean vocals are a nice surprise. I really like the way the bass guitar moves in this song, and that it is pronounced. As it moves to completion, it gets darker. “Dunes of Desolation” is a shorter song with a little more “get-up-and-go” attitude. The faster pace allows for more ominous tones. It’s primarily a riff-driven song where the riffs vary a bit but keep their nose on the tracks for the most part. Darkness abounds.

“Chapter I: Shipwreck” is just under three minutes in length…an instrumental to break up some of the previous chaos. It has melancholy tones, and lead guitar notes that repeat. “Black Oceans” is over eight minutes in length. The Death Metal vocals come through strong here, but the music is dissonant as well. There are some light Progressive elements mostly in how the meter is manipulated. “Chapter II: Hopelss” is another short instrumental that again helps to break up the weight of some of the previous tracks. “Ephemeral Lighthouse” is another lengthy track that goes for the throat right out of the gates, with thunderous drumming and vocal screams. It then settles into a slower groove, with clean guitars and a ray of hope. It goes pretty hard until a little ambient passage in the middle of the song, then it’s back to the previous sound.

“Chapter III: Descent” is four-minute instrumental, where the band explores a bit more, but they again keep their nose on the track. It’s despondent and melancholy in nature. “Katabasis/Chapter IV: Catharsis” closes the album, and it’s a whopper, at close to eleven minutes in length. Clean vocals and guitar lead off the sound, riding that line between hope and despair. Even when the heavy guitars drop, the clean vocals are kept. It’s a trippy combination of some psychedelica. Then come the Death vocals, interspersed with the cleans.

Overall, what I like about the album the most was that it nearly defied categorization. Several sub-genres are represented here…Death, Black, Doom, and a touch of Prog. What I didn’t like as much were that the longer tracks sounded very similar. The shorter instrumentals brought a nice change of pace to the table, and at times the band reminded me of RIVERS OF NIHIL, without the overly technical stuff. If they band can continue to try to distinguish themselves a bit more, I believe we will have a winner here. For now, it’s good, but could be better.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Face the Thyrant
2. Dunes of Desolation
3. Chapter I: Shipwreck
4. Black Oceans
5. Chapter II: Hopeless
6. Ephemeral Lighthouse
7. Chapter III: Descent
8. Katabasis/Chapter IV: Catharsis
Ocram – Vocals
J. Mérida – Guitar
Miguel Navarro – Guitar
Rubens Oliver – Bass
Miguel Vegas – Drums
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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