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Thunderkraft - Totentanz - 60%

Orbitball, May 27th, 2012

If you wish to hear some annoying metal, Totentanz is it for you. All of the effects I didn't dig whatsoever. If they kept it to just the guitars with all hoarse vocals, then it would've gotten a better rating from me. Industrial metal I'm just not into really. I don't like anything other than the guitar, intense vocals and solid production sound. This album does have a strong production, but the music or I should say the accompanying music to the guitars, should be erased.

I didn't quite like the multiple vocal outputs. Some were just irritating as hell. The guitar riffs feature palm muted frenzies along with chord progressions. The keyboards and flute really need to go though. They really ruined the guitars. A miserable release to listen to. The only thing that they have good to offer are the guitar riffs. The leads are insane too. Really technical and well played out. The vocals too need to feature just one album member, not multiple ones.

The keyboards really got on my nerves and like I said ruined the release. The intro effects to some songs were distasteful and totally uncalled for. There are clean guitar bits here too that are played out well though and the guitar is solid. The only thing good about this release ARE the guitars. Total talent that deserves praise. The combination of hoarse throat alongside screaming didn't mesh well. If they kept it to deep throat then it would've suited the music better.

I'm not a big fan of industrial metal like I said so of course some bias does exist with me. But really, to talk about the guitar here is the best thing to discuss. The riffs are original sounding and the tempos aren't that fast, more groove laden. The leads are blistering and played with precision. The main guitars are strong and build this release up. Too bad that they included multiple vocalists. The guitar along with hoarse throat would've been the best for the band.

I guess that if you're a fan of industrial metal, then Totentanz hits home for you. Otherwise, I found this release to be putrid because of all of the effects and badly executed effects that go alongside the guitars. The guitars were the highlight here, nothing else. I wouldn't say that this album is wholly original, just the guitar bits. The rest I couldn't really tolerate. I don't plan on getting future releases from this band. I'd like to bury this one in the mud!

My money's on the tank - 70%

autothrall, April 2nd, 2012

Thunderkraft released a fairly excellent debut effort, The Banner of Victory, back in 2005, which provided an interesting spin on the death metal genre involving lots of symphonic elements, a touch of industrial and groove metal and pagan warfare lyrics one generally associates with artists of a more directly heathen/black metal style. It's taken the Ukrainians some time for a followup, but it's arrived in the form of Totentanz, a more accessible and dynamic sophomore. There have been a few changes, namely in the less brutal choice of vocals and a stricter adherence to melodic black metal progressions in the riffing, but in general they paint with the similar broad strokes that such an eclectic hybrid would naturally imply.

A lot of the electronic ingredients tend to accumulate in the intros to pieces like "Mass Defect", "A Crumpled Story" and "Totentanz" itself, frivolous and brief techno sequences that tend to part when the metal riffing arrives, but there are points at which they play a more prominent role, as with "Towards a New Dawn", more or less a martial ambient track into which a beat kicks up and lots of cutting vocals, thumping drums create a pompous atmosphere. Personally I found that tracks like "A Crumpled Story", which balance sampled strings with death/thrash riffs and lots of industrial clanging and more progressive passages provided the most interesting and memorable highlights of the album, but it's a fairly consistent listen throughout provided you don't have an inherent aversion to such major use of synthesizers and lack of a punishing or truly carnal environment in the production and guitars.

Not a lot to compare this to. Perhaps a dash of Germans Die Apokalyptischen Rieter or a more electronically infused alternative to Nokturnal Mortum's folksier exhibitions. Perhaps a metalized, symphonic EBM. A few of the dirtier, groove oriented rhythms felt pretty shabby and 'jump the fuck up' to me, in particular that riff coursing through "The Future World". I also felt that the vocals for the previous album were a lot stronger. But those small gripes aside, the band gets some credit for sticking its necks out and attempting something different. With members of Astrofaes, Munruthel, and other Ukrainian alumni they've drawn upon a wide range of sounds to tread outside their normal proving grounds, and there's quite a lot to engage the ear, even if it won't all stick to the listener.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com