The Pitch: Scandinavian-influenced black metal from Maryland-based duo Unendlich via Horror Pain Gore Death Records. FFO: Watain, Violent Life Violent Death, Young And In The Way.
What I Like: Thanatophobia works well enough as a pretty straightforward black metal outing, but Unendlich has a few tricks up its sleeve. Little whimsical touches like the melodramatic piano on "Already Dead" and the choral synths on "Death Rights" help to differentiate it from any number of other USBM releases. But again, the more traditional BM moments are often more than enough. The bouncy guitar hook and energetic drumming featured on "The Gods We Trust," for instance, are infectious as hell. They bring to mind more modern acts like Young And In The Way. In fact, this is a very guitar-driven album that goes well beyond 2nd wave tremolo, even incorporating a few tasteful solos for that "extra push over the cliff," to quote This Is Spinal Tap.
Critiques: I like that this album takes some risks with the clean vocals, but man are they more miss than hit. There's a part towards the end where the melody goes completely off the rails. I'd be interested to hear another attempt at this, but it's going to take some work. Luckily they are few and far between.
The Verdict: Though there are some slips along the way, Thanatophobia ends up being a pretty enjoyable album. There's a saying that you "win or you lose," but that's not entirely correct. A more accurate take is you win and you learn. There is a real opportunity here for Unendlich to build on both their successes and failures to come back with something stronger than ever next time around. In the meantime, I suggest that you just enjoy the ride.
Flight's Fav's: Oblivion of Time, Death Rights, UC3
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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