Release DetailsLABEL Mighty Music
RELEASED ON 5/20/2003
Tunes of Despondency
posted on 5/2003 By:
Slovakia's Thalarion are a veteran band, and this album, Tunes of Despondency, is their fourth full-length album. They play doom/death metal with a bit of a gothic twist coming from the occasionally-interjected female vocals of Nela Horvathova as well as the keyboards of Juraj Grezdo, who doubles as the growler. Guitarist Juraj Schlosser has the chops to create interesting hooks, whether they are of a slower acoustic type, doom-inspired, or outright crushing death riffs. The production is superb, at once sounding heavy, yet clear. Even more surprising is how clearly the bass comes through, probably due to its soft, undistorted sound. Cradle of Flith-styled riffage leads off the album in the song 911 - As the War Raged. Now I have no idea why they gave the song this title. I can understand maybe a NYDM band doing it, but from a Slovakian outfit, it seems odd, but I guess the whole world is touched by terrorism. Back to metal... The song itself is short and sweet, with hooks-a-plenty, and Ms. Horvathova makes her appearance backing up a few of the death-vox parts. My Bitter Overstrain switches gears too strongly, starting off with a peaceful little key-section, then building to near-blast speed death metal and back again. Now while I'm all for blasting-death, the lulls just seem too disconnected. Keep an eye out for some old-school Dark Tranquillity melody at 2:15. The title track goes heavy on the doom, with a memorable main riff, which is played first by the keys, then more effectively by Schlosser. My Weakness is the most unique song on the album, due to a saxophone cameo, and the fact that it's purely sung by Neva. On the whole, Thalarion successfully blend the gothic, doom, and mid-paced death influences. While there aren't really any glaring flaws, the songs from Tunes of Despondency never really burrow their way into my mind. It's a good album by skilled musicians that just never grabbed my attention like I wanted it to. I'll still give them a chance on their next album, though, and I'll recommend it to people interested in this sub-sub-genre.
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