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Rhadamantys > Labyrinth of Thoughts > Reviews > bayern
Rhadamantys - Labyrinth of Thoughts

Ariadne’s Thread Won’t Help Through This Labyrinth - 91%

bayern, July 1st, 2017

This band is a collaboration between Ard van Bers, the vocalist of the progressive thrash outfit Donor, and two members of the doom/deathsters-turned-technical thrashers Creepmime, the guitar player Jaco Voorzaad and the keyboardist Gerrit Koekebakker. Van Bers only sang on Donor’s debut “Triangle of the Lost” leaving his old comrades after this recording to concentrate on his more personal efforts which also included the progressive/gothic metal formation Carthago (still active). This partnership here is responsible for one of the finest moments from the richly gifted Dutch metal scene as sadly the guys never produced anything else under the Rhadamantys moniker.

On the album reviewed here they had made a successful attempt in combining the seemingly incompatible pensive doomy atmospherics of early Creepmime with the jarring technical pyrotechnics of Donor; and had achieved a fine symbiosis on all counts. “Saxum Tantali” is just an atmospheric balladic intro van Berg adding a few oblivious lines, but “Source of Our Intelligence” means serious business its epic pathos-like character clinging more towards the doom metal side, the more aggressive riffage taking over later still interrupted by quieter, semi-balladic insertions. If this track could be viewed as a somewhat underwhelming inauguration totally missing the progressive swagger of the Donor effort, the lengthy ambient prologue of “Cryptical Evidence” would hardly make too many fans fall in love with this album; creepy intricate guitarisms start sneaking in gradually into the structure until they start whipping and lashing quite hard, forming less decipherable knots not too far from Deathrow’s “Deception Ignored” even, the brutal death metal vocals occupying the entire space leaving Van Berg just a bit of room to breathe.

“Inner Crisis” is a fabulous exhibition of technical mastery, exuberant labyrinthine rifforamas with dazzling rhythms flying from all sides their supply abruptly terminated mid-way the second half completely surrendered to tranquil meditative ambience. “Unknown Worlds in Collision” lets the leads do the enchantment initially before steel impetuous gallops harden the course their stride intercepted by seismic doomy sections, a handsomely achieved blend that later relies on creepy minimalistic riffage which transforms into the closing quiet epitaph. “Pile on the Agony” relies on doom and sombre guitars at first, moving slowly towards a grandiose vortex of both technical and melodic pirouettes which become more brutal with time reaching death metal-ish dramatism with faster and slower dashes taking turns for over 9-min, providing delightful moments for both the headbangers and the serious metal thinkers as both sides would be sitting in a pensive introspective mood exposed to the serene operatic finale.

The deep permeating atmospherics may come as too much and too meditative to some, especially to those expecting more regularly present hard-hitting thrashy moments, but the balance between the two ways of expression has been ably achieved for most of the time as the band’s purpose is not to please every single thrash metal maniac on the planet, but to provide a more expansive, further-reaching opus for a wider gamut of fans and mostly for those who like taking their time with their metal. The 90’s were transformational times with bands experimenting with all kinds of more or less appropriate mixtures between styles, trying to fit into the flippant volatile musical kaleidoscope of the decade. Rhadamantys definitely produced something original and relevant by not betraying the old school canons regardless of how difficult it may have been during this groovy/aggro/post-thrashy period which also swallowed Donor although their “Release” was one of the better adaptation efforts of the 90's. Creepmime turned to technical/progressive thrash the same year on “Chiaroscuro” to great, very positive results although that occurred without the two mentioned musicians. Voorzaad founded Constant Paranoia a few years later, a full-blooded old school death metal formation that is still operational. No traces on this act’s endeavours of those inimitable “atmosphere meets technicality” amalgams presented here; those are strictly reserved for a small number of artists who prefer to create their puzzling musical labyrinths by not leaving any helping threads for their audience.