Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia (Self-Released)

Sunday, 26th June 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

The spiritual successors to Woods of Ypres’ throne, Thrawsunblat have returned after 3 long years to give us the latest in their line of Canadian melodic black/folk metal. Their second album, Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings, was a strong contender in the field and the clichéd saying that the band has put their best foot forward does hold water here. But it doesn’t quite do it justice either.

One noticeable change from Wanderer is how songs are arranged. Wanderer had songs that were acoustic, folk-y, or more-or-less black metal – segmented if you will. Metachthonia chooses the blender method instead. The songs all lean towards or beyond 10-minutes in length, and this approach helps to divvy up the songs into digestible and interesting pieces. Opening with “Fires that Light the Earth,” a somber cello begins and blends nicely with the melodic riffing, offering a genuine sense of majesty before a scream and blastbeats take the song into more aggressive, but just as engrossing, territory. The track moves into clean vocals, acoustic moments, thunderous drums, and more excellently woven-in cello before it comes to an end. The rest of the tracks follow in this same manner of ‘tossing everything in but the kitchen sink’ but it works. A flow can be found in any of the tracks, and nothing appears bloated, a character trait many other acts fall into with extended time. Equally diverse “In Mist We Walk” is another highlight worth sharing, as is the mid-paced “Rivers of Underthought,” which really brings those melancholic yet soaring guitar lines to the front of the action.

Thrawsunblat continue to step up their game with each successive release, and Metachthonia serves as their biggest success thus far. Fans of woodsy, folksy black metal should already have their name in their back pocket, but for those that may not have been paying attention, remedy that immediately. A perfect pairing with a nice summer-time fire in the backyard or camping expedition.

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