posted on 7/2009 By:
At the risk of painting with overly broad strokes, I think an experienced death metal fan has a good idea of what to expect from South American death metal: speed, intensity and a whole lot of blast beats. On their second album for Ibex Moon records, Vorex Deconstruccion, Chile’s Thornafire deliver at least some of the expected fury with some unexpected twists of melody and atmospherics.
The intro to “Hacia La Ruina Del Agartha" (All titles and lyrics are in Spanish.), with its synthesized horns and strings puts me ill at ease, and my worry increases when the synths remain after the start of the song proper. The keyboards remain in varying degrees throughout the album; at their best they lend the songs an air of malevolent majesty, at their worst they make Thornafire sound like Dimmu Borgir. In addition to the keys the band adds some other exotic elements to the proceedings such as the intro to “Otredad” which sounds like a mix of harpsichord and sitar, and the instrumental coda to “De La Destruccion Al Trono” which grooves like some kind of tribal jazz.
When it comes to the meat of the matter, that being death metal, Thornafire plays it fairly straight. The music contains plenty of the requisite high velocity blasting fury, but band is equally apt to develop an ominous groove or a serpentine melody. Unfortunately a somewhat anemic production robs the guitars of some of the low end necessary to make the riffs really bite, and they tend to be overwhelmed during the more synth heavy moments.
In the end, Vorex Deconstruccion is a hit and miss affair. Stripped of the keyboards and other window dressing, we are left with a solid, but unexceptional death metal record. More open-minded fans may find that the symphonic touches enhance the listening experience, but purists will likely find them prohibitively distracting.
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