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Thulcandra – Under a Frozen Sun (2011) - 60%

Asag_Asakku, June 5th, 2012

What if Jon Nödtveidt, famous leader of the infamous Swedish horde Dissection, had not been imprisoned for murder complicity in 1997? He could have worked on legendary album Storm of the Light's Bane (1995) successor, keeping the same sound and rhythmic approach that allowed the band to become a major pillar of the early 1990s Scandinavian metal scene. This uchrony is the starting point of Thulcandra’s career, a Bavarian band that chose to live in a parallel dimension in which they embody a version of Dissection as it could have been without its unfortunate eight years hiatus. Fallen Angel's Dominion (2010), band’s first album, was a long tribute to Nödtveidt 1990s music, an exercise in style designed to delight fans and rekindle the flame of blackened death metal. But now, these Gerrys are launching a second album, called Under a Frozen Sun (2011). Have they changed the formula?

Well no. This new album is again heavily inspired by Dissection first two records. Similarities are even sometimes disturbing. Anyone who has been listening to Dissection since the 90s (like me) can only note the obvious: Thulcandra is a pastiche – if not a plagiarizer – of its glorious predecessors. From the opener called In Blood and Fire until the record ends, every riff, every sound, every harmony, seem to draw their source from The Somberlain (1993) and Storm of the Light's Bane (1995). By compassion for you, dear readers, I will not enumerate all possible comparisons that can be made, but how is it possible not to inevitably recall Where Dead Angels Lie when listening the title track of this album? We can also perceive some other small influences here and there, especially In Flames (when they were still playing metal) on Aeons of Darkness.

I wonder why talented musicians are confining themselves in a musical straitjacket, sounding like a legendary band. Admiration? Fans attraction? Since everyone has access to the originals, why settle for a substitute? But let's be a good chap, Under a Frozen Sun (2011), despite its total lack of originality (even the cover is almost identical to the first album), still remains fun to listen and allows to experience an alternate history that so many Dissection fans, disappointed by Reinkaos (2006), would have liked to live. But every good things must end sometimes. I hope Thulcandra knows that. 6/10

Originally written for metalobscur.com