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Feral Creation is only Thorium’s third album in close to eleven years. Starting off as a time pass venture for some veterans of the Danish death metal scene from bands like Withering Surface, Iniquity and Taetre, over the years the lineup has remained unsteady and the band was little more than an excuse to drink beer and pay homage to the old school. That status quo changed earlier this year when the band finally confirmed a steady lineup and released Feral Creation.
This is a monster death metal album. I’d say right at the start that this one gives the new Demiurg a run for its money and is overall one of the death metal highlights of the year. Thorium’s sound is basically the old school Swedish death metal of Left Hand Path era Entombed along with early Dismember and Unleashed. This sound is wrapped up in a blistering modern production that leaves the guitars with plenty of bite and crunch with vocals that remind me of the rabid approach of LG Petrov on Wolverine Blues and To Ride….. While the predominant influence is the Swedish old school, like most modern death metal bands, there is a fair bit of the Florida sound to be found as well. Morbid angel and Deicide are once again the chief suspects. What makes Thorium really stand out from the pack though is that they manage to write these big fat grooves that just keep coming.
Highlights of the album include the awesome opener and title song Feral Creation which has some kickass grooves and a vocal performance from Michael H. Andersen that really sets the tone for what’s to come. Gates of Utumno is another killer song with a mid paced groovy beginning before exploding into a Morbid Angel type part that is just killer. Unbound is another song that sounds like a rabid Entombed/ Unleashed combo and features another terrific vocal performance from Anderson. There isn’t really a bad or even average song on this album with most of the material falling into the “very good” category.
Overall, I’d say that Thorium sound like a band with a point or two to prove and they do a damn good job of it on Feral Creation. The songs are aggressive, groovy and heavy as fuck and there really isn’t anything more that I can ask from a death metal band. Feral Creation is one of the definite death metal highlights of the year and an album that deserves to be check out.
Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com
I liked Ocean Of Blasphemy a lot but I never listened to Unleashing the Demons and after 6 long years, Thorium are finally back. The debut was a very good mix of different blends of death metal and this new effort follows more or less the same direction, mixing the classic Swedish brutality to the American influences.
The production is far more powerful than the debut but I must admit that it is too high in the bass volumes, especially for the drums. They are really loud and metallic in their sound. The guitars are massive and really fast, alternating perfectly old school death metal passages to more melodic breaks during the solos. The influences can be found in groups like Morbid Angel and Malevolent Creation but also in “modern” acts like old Darkane and Soilwork.
The up tempo is the main word for this album and the “Epidemic Skeleton” shows the very first blast beats. The vocals are half Swedish, half American with a semi growl tonality, typical of the grooviest kind of death metal. Anyway, they are far more vicious and the music never touches modern sounds, conserving that impact a true death metal band needs.
The songs are generally quite short, so perfect to spit all the violence on our face. There is no melody concession during the fast parts and the classic tremolo picking is the most utilized technique for the guitars riffage. The few solos are heavily influences by the modern Swedish death/thrash metal with a hint of melody inside, but never too much. The fast tempo parts are in fast succession and there isn’t even a second to relax between these detonations.
Some parts in “Unbound” reminded of the sounds we can find in a recent album by Vader for the hammering sounds and the continuous bass drum devastation. The more screamed vocals are very good to break the sound a bit and I’m happy because they don’t have that horrible and annoying metalcore tonality. They are perfect for this sound. The song’s structure is quite direct and simple, pointing on the sheer impact but the riffage is always quite various and inspired.
We cannot find all the influences like in their debut anymore but we can say that finally this band has found its personal style and all the songs in this album seem more bound together by a similar genre that hides a lot of other influences inside. The point is that this time they were able to make a musically stronger effort. Recommended to any death metal fan out there.