Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise (Dark Descent Records)Sunday, 23rd March 2014
The unfathomably dark black metal of Thantifaxath casts ambient shadows and conjures cold auras, explicitly in the band’s first full-length album, Sacred White Noise. As rooted in this record, their raw sorcerous practices can be described as genuinely wicked black metal with a small dose of cosmic psychedelia.
Sacred White Noise is six marvelous spells of metal magic, all of which are exquisitely raw, doleful, and dauntingly horror-stricken with obscured secrecies. The title of the first track, “The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel,” ensures all hope and other optimistic faiths are left behind before proceeding into the darkness. The second track on the record with the mystifying title, “Where I End and the Hemlock Begins,” is enriched with battering instrumentals and deathly vocals. “Gasping in Darkness” begins with an unnerving chant, the voices hiss and crackle, loudening and swelling as if they were multiplying in an air-tight room, and the rest of the song floods black metal waters to the final second fading in reverb.
“Eternally Falling” echoes in a sorrowful decline with a stream of wailing strings and atmospheric glum escalating in density, but in the end, all falls as it cuts off into silence. Entirely, it’s an astoundingly beautiful and woeful instrumental piece. Functioning as an intro, “Eternally Falling” is followed by the extreme “Panic Becomes Despair,” which with its recklessness, rouses more panic than it does despair. “Lost in Static Between Worlds” begins with an interstellar and somber string movement, then sharply detonates in blackened wrath. The vocalist, repetitively screaming “where are you,” evokes a sensation of falling adrift into the darkest abyss that black metal could possibly provide.
The occultist/metalist trinity encrypts their covert sorcery in their music. Even during live shows, they shroud their unidentified bodies in black druid cloaks. The musicians’ identities may remain publically mysterious, but they are certainly not musically secretive. Their presence is purely projected by their wicked black metal charms, and they are potently entrancing. Thantifaxath’s Sacred White Noise is all about isolation, seclusion, and despair. When listening to this record, these notions become most comforting.