Release DetailsLABEL Goregorecords
RELEASED ON 4/17/2007
posted on 7/2007 By:
Tholus is a technical death metal band out of California, although instead of the relentless blasting style most newer bands use, the band primarily uses a mid-paced Death-like attack that is heavy on the jazzy/proggy influences. Despite being around since the early 90's, Constant is their lone full-length, and it kind of shows. That's not to say that Constant is a bad release, it's just rough around the edges and shows a band yet to find their own unique voice.
Among contemporary bands, Tholus is most easily compared to Gorod with their similarly jazzy take on the genre, though Tholus has a much less melodic approach. There is a heavy reliance on chugging off-time guitar work that brings to mind Theory In Practice and the occasional solo lends itself to the band's admitted love for Death. The majority of the album has a mid-paced kind of feel though occasionally, like in "Involuntary" for example, the band incorporates more speed and it really helps to inject some much needed energy to the album. The guitars are consistently impressive, but drummer Dave Murray is easily the star of the show with his constantly shifting, jazz inspired drum work. He lays down some ridiculously complex patterns and switches things around so much that it sometimes become too much to wrap the noggin around. For the most part, however, his contributions keep the songs active and interesting when the riffing starts to get a little tedious.
In the future, I'd really like to see Tholus to continue on the path they are on and maybe inject a little more speed into their mix. While the vocals aren't particularly horrible, they could use a little work as well both in terms of diversity and placement. The lower-midrange growls can get a little monotonous and sometimes it seems as though vocalist Aaron Ortiz just starts spouting out lines with no concern for the music it accompanies.
As for now, Tholus is a very talented band that unfortunately spent almost a decade pushed to the backburner. Now that it appears the band is active, I look forward to hearing where the future takes them because once they get more time together as a band to feel each other out, they have more than enough raw talent to make big time waves in today's scene.
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