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A splendid and must-have album - 100%

hailmarduk666, December 20th, 2009

Thalarion is quite obscure. After all there is only one other review on this entire archive for their quite long discography. Be that as it may, hopefully there will be some who are intrigued by my review, or the other, and check this band out.

There are a couple aspects of this band that stands out for me right off. First is the use of non-cheesy keyboards. This is something incredibly lacking in a genre full of Norther and CoB-esque cheesefests where the keyboardist screams up and down the keys, and sometimes overtakes the other musicians like a lion chasing down a wounded gazelle. The keyboards add a very relevant atmosphere and totally amps up the effectiveness of the overall performance. The best example of this is the second track, A Herald Of Sorrow & Wretchedness. The keyboards add such a beautiful aspect, and flow so well with the female vocals that it is just beautiful beyond words. The added elements of gutteral death metal grunts on top of the angelic voices makes this song one of my all-time favorites.

This brings me to the next aspect that puts this band over the top. The female vocals are magnificent, and the male screams and death metal croaks are extremely well placed and expertly performed. There is so much melody just in the vocals, that are reinforced by all other instruments, that make bands like My Dying Bride quiver in their boots. The only other melo-death band that I can even try to compare this to, is Depresy...another fairly unknown Slovak band, that deserves much more recognition than it receives.

Guitars in this band are very effective, and don't play an extremely integral part of the overall sound, but does have some excellent riffs that are sung over very well by the vocalists.

Drums, are once again effective, but do not shine, for the most part. There are good blasts, fills, and double bass. Nothing sounds triggered, and nothing sounds out of place.

The fact that there are no real stand-out musicians outside of the vocalists and keyboards allow the melody to be carried by them. I really like that, because there is a lot of melody in those two aspects themselves. Every once in a while there is a great, albeit short noodle, or solo, but for the most part it is driving heavy-hitting riffs, that bow down to the heavenly chorus.

Overall, this album is not lacking in any way. The songs all have very catchy riffs, some nice interludes and pace changes, and blend doom with melodic death metal seamlessly and effortlessly. Seeing as this band is not overly popular, it says something for the musicianship, and love for the music that these men and women have. They don't play for the money. They don't do it because the record companies say "Yeah, make another album like THAT because it made you popular, and made us a shitload of money!"...This band plays for the love of doom, and the love of making beautiful music. That in itself should make one take a look at what they have to offer.

Standout songs: A Herald Of Sorrow & Wretchedness (!!!!!), and Icon of Hopelessness. They all are great, but these showcase the best of vocals and crunchy riffage.

Check this out and prepare for the aural onslaught of beauty incarnate!!!!