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Battling the Thrash in the Gathering Dusk - 77%

bayern, January 3rd, 2018

This band was a conglomerate of members from several Dutch thrash/death formations (Abscess, Consensus, Ejaculate, etc.) who joined forces here in order to find a way how to fight the settling aggro/groovy/post-thrash forces on one front, and the already taking shape atmospheric gothic/doom movement in their homeland on the other. Interestingly enough, in this form they were one of the first to show interest in the pagan heritage of the British legends Sabbat, pretty much at around the same time when their compatriots Bifrost also expressed such predilections.

Yeah, the distance between the two countries isn’t very big, it’s one friggin’ Channel we’re talking about, after all; and this team here rush onward to beat the mentioned Bifrost with the demo reviewed here which features a really captivating galloping opener (“A Question of Control”) and numerous choppy twists the curt, spat out semi-clean vocals frequently assisting the virtuous music soundscapes which cling from near classical expositions with echoes of Helstar’s “Nosferatu” to intimidating deathy dramatism the bass player, who is a beautiful lass named Juliette van Caspel, quite busy ensuring the deep bottom on this dark atmospheric fiesta. “The Name of Action” lures the listener with a cool balladic intro which grows into a macabre doomy etude before some intense semi-technical thrashing ensues pacified by the steady, monolithic mid-paced delivery on “Frozen” the more dramatic developments on it vintage Sabbat and early Skyclad. “Rudimental Death” is sustained in the same vein although it has to overcome a lengthy ambient inauguration before the officiant Sabbat-esque rhythms settle in intercepted by quieter balladic developments.

Yes, the guys may have found the way to dissipate the groovy clouds over Holland although the dreamy tranquil moments may come as too much for the hard-boiled thrashers who may also not be too happy with the provided number of more energetic sections to headbang to. There’s also this melancholic streak running underneath as well which smells dark gothic strangely reminding of the The Gathering debut. There were by all means more configurations to be played around with, but unlike Bifrost again, who made a wholesome career out of those belligerent boisterous motifs, this band’s enchantment with such pagan tactics was very short…

Just a few months down the line the delivery was transformed into an industrial brand of metal with lush electronics, not far from KMFDM, with only the guitar player Silvester Vogelenzang remained from the line-up here. The others found realisation mostly in representatives from the flourishing symphonic/power/progressive metal wave (Within Temptation, Ulysses, Frozen Sun. etc.). Thrash has been exorcised successfully, at least for the time being although one can still hear the badly disguised pagan aggression every time twilight descends.