Under A Frozen Sun

Written by: EW on 31/10/2011 23:08:28

As a homage to a creator's idol I've heard few records reach a similar zenith of worship/plagiarism (delete as appropriate) as Thulcandra's "Fallen Angel's Dominion" from last year. An album I rated 7/10 at the time, not for it's technical failings or lack of interest to an extreme metal fan, but purely for it's lack of originality, it is an album I have loved this since, choosing almost to regard it as another classic Dissection release - after all they only arguably had two in their lifetime. So does "Under A Frozen Sun" also capture the frozen black/death metal heart of Jon Nödtveidt and co? Oh yes it does, albeit with a more traditional Swedish black/death style than the pure Dissection we heard last year.

The title and classic Necrolord style cover already give the game away, but the acoustic guitar intro, which soon gives way to the first of countless good riffs, in opener "In Blood and Fire" rages with the spirit of a musical genre which may never have reached any considerable success but has always appeared to be a perfect summation of musical desires to play music fast, dark and heavy yet with scorching melodies. Totally Scandinavian in sound (despite Thulcandra being German…go figure), the symphonic leanings found in the construction of the riffs themselves are the footprints of heavy, bombastic classical music's influence on metal as a whole: riffs flow effortlessly alongside lead melodies, the bass strikes dramatically and the drums run as a backbone to the power of the strings performing in front of it. More a description of this particular style, it is still however a testament to Thulcandra's performance abilities to merge the lavish quantity of riffs into cohesive wholes. The opening to 9-minuter "Gates of Eden" displays this nicely.

Between these two tracks which bookend the album (excluding the closing cover of Unanimated's "Life Demise") the five other tracks all manage to sound longer than they actually are, such in the level of activity within. "Ritual Of Sight" could be a put off from Necrophobic on the melodic end through to the tracks blistering Taake aesthetic, the punchy "Aeon Of Darkness" harks back to Dawn and the more brooding "Echoing Voices" matches Marduk for it's scathing evil intent. All in all, each one of these tracks are minor masterpieces, and whereas previously Thulcandra were a band showing great promise on "Fallen Angel's Dominion" this is now starting to become proven reality with their greater identity and honing of riffs on the fantastic "Under A Frozen Sun".

Download: Aeon Of Darkness, In Blood and Fire
For The Fans Of: Dissection, Unanimated, Necrophobic
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 30.09.2011
Napalm Records

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