Resonance - Thumos - Hate Forest - Ultar - Tryglav
Updated: Feb 1
Thumos – Symposium 9.5/10
Inspired by the classical themes of Plato yet modern in its delivery, American Artist Thumos returns with the latest offering Symposium an album of textures, brutal heaviness, and haunting melodies.
Being able to seamlessly merge the classical components with the huge dense guitar riffs Symposium is quite the progression over The Republic, the classical inspired Alcibiades with its rousing choral sections underpinned by a huge riff and driving rhythms, this is a instrumental journey that is pure in its approach and captures the essence of philosophy and inspiration made tangible, rich in dialogue without vocabulary and the power of thought.
At times introspective “Diotima” is rich in its subtleties and progressive guitar work, its harmonies and gradual escalation linger long after its gone, begging to be heard again ‘’Agathon’’ is more immediate and unleashes the power of the large dissonant inspired riffs and ‘’Socrates’’ asks the questions and creates its own answers by the intertwining of styles and dynamics.
An instrumental juggernaut that is also stunning beautiful and a delight in its ability to be everything all at once. Symposium is incredible heavy, emotional, a soundtrack to thought, intellect and an ode to ideals, and stunningly executed.
Hate Forest – Innermost 8/10
Entrenched in waves of riffs that conjure a musical storm from the moment ‘’ Those Who Howl Inside the Snowstorm’’ the result is a cacophony of black metal offset by the utterly death metal approach of the vocals, almost like an anchor in the mayhem, keeping everything grounded whilst the storm rages over head.
Hate Forest need no introduction and for over twenty years like their Ukrainian brethren, Innermost is a steadfast uncompromising representation of their ideal, cold, tangible vitriol and driven with a single-minded purpose that cares little for subtlety. Innermost is confrontational and minimal in its approach, its blackened spirit pure and devoid of any excess trappings to achieve its purpose. The main riff to ‘’Temple of the Great Eternal Night’’ is a swirling black metal tremolo piece of savagery that is without pause and the percussion is intense the double kick fervour with a more traditional vocal approach, the middle passage the eye of storm a brief moment of acoustic melody before the onslaught continues. “Ice-Cold Bloodless Veins” continues the defiance of expectations it is inspired by tradition yet treads its own path.
Innermost is destructive and bloody minded, it is desolate and barren and heralds the spirits of darkness without compromise, it is a cold intense journey through some familiar soundscapes yet remains true to its own defiance.
Ultar - At the Gates of Dusk 8.5/10
Inspired, painful and using some incredible vocal techniques Siberia’s Ultar have returned to unleash a moment of pure art, the horror an ode to its inspiration, the musings of Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
At times a mid tempo nightmare, or an intense delivery of speed at others orchestrally inspired turbulence. At the Gates of Dusk offer the briefest glimpses of respite before some of the great riffs explode upon their canvas. It is a feeling of intense discomfort the organ bombastic the percussion suitably savage in execution and the atmosphere thick and cloying. It is a style with its basis in black metal extremity that has mutated into … something else.
‘’Antiques’’ is simply excellent, its darker moments reflected by some great guitar work, its dynamic, powerful, and imminently inedible on the psyche, a great composition with a touch of introspection. Ultars music commands your attention 100% of the time or you may miss the hidden Keys under the bombast that is ‘’Evening Star “and its incredible refrain or the dense arrangement that is ‘’ Midnight Walk and Reminiscence’’ and the horror that is simply ‘’ Rats in the Walls’’. The combination of inspiration and insanity a vital component to their story and intrinsic to their music,
A soundtrack to a nightmare that lingers after you’ve woken where you can’t remember the details without the disconcert that it brings. Ultar have crafted a genuinely immersive album that rewards on repeated listens if you dare to submit yourself to its offerings.
Tryglav – The Ritual 8.5/10
The Ritual is Trglav’s second offering and it is aggressive , melodic modern epic Black metal lyrically set in the 17th century after the mortal body being carried away by plague doctors, its spirit returns with horrific results .
A creation three years in the making it is the result of one man Croation artist Boris Behara (vocals by Callum Wright), the compositions are strong and enthusiastic , with the’’ The Evocation’’ and’’ The Ritual’’ true highlights, modern epic songs that are dynamic, memorable, at times very technical and has some great guitar parts. Things start to really break into extreme territory with “The Plague” and its incredible blasting and darkened turn. Some of the riffs are straight up metal given a blackened aesthetic whilst the refrains are perfectly matched with some excellent percussion parts.
“The Repentance” has another great stomping riff guaranteed to create a reaction whilst ‘’The Redemption” has again got a classic metal feel bought dragging and screaming into the 21st century Callum’s vocals are suitably extreme yet also clear and perfect match for the excellent up-tempo proceedings. The closing riff to’’ The Vision’’ is more memorable blackened metal with a epic crescendo that resonates in the conscious.
A Black metal flame that burns brightly, The Ritual is an album of strengths that is short sharp and concise in its attack and delivery, its damn heavy, catchy and perfect listening material on a grim evening for those with a darkened heart. Recommended.