Thorngoth - Leere

Thorngoth have been around for some time, since 2003, and after a few demos quickly got the hang of releasing full length CDs. They quickly acquired a cult following who felt that their black metal was just the right kind: not to fast, but plenty sinister, and wildly entertaining. Their latest offering, 'Leere,' has to be their best offering to date. Not only is it a full length concept album, the music is saturated with internal melody, making every listen a new one because one never really hears this album the same way twice.

The music is fast paced and not for the faint of heart, however. This isn't by any means symphonic. Think of Thorngoth as a mix of Gorgoroth and Enthroned, with the high focus on the guitars with the drums hammering away in the background, but for some reason on tracks like "I" they fade in and out so they don't feel as monotonous. Sometimes the guitars have that epic, buzzing feeling rather than just the rapid tremolo picking during the interludes, and it really adds a lot of depth to the music. The vocals are crisp, clear, and evil, sometimes taking that mid paced snarl but at other times a throaty moan, and sometimes the band really uses it to their advantage such as during the masterpiece "VI," which has a lengthy acoustic interlude and the vocals have almost a chanting feel to them, which is both artistic and a creative milestone for the band. None of the other songs really feature this, which is probably why this track becomes so special after a while.

Most of the album does tend to sometimes sound the same as far as the energy goes; it doesn't start out fast, then suddenly break slow, or have sudden random moments or samplings. Everything is basically straightforward. The only real thing that changes throughout the tracks is the tempo and varying melody, which is subtle and not so overt. The only real standout difference is the short interlude "In Der Leere" which is more of a black ambient track and kind of just hangs over the head before the other half of the album kicks in. While Thorngoth meant it to be a breather, it is more possible that the interlude hurts the album's mood and momentum rather than helps it. The album was already captivating for the first four tracks, and after that breather it feels like the entire thing has to be picked up and adjusted again.

Since the group is from Germany, the lyrics are a bit hard to understand, but the concept is intriguing enough. One can always look up or translate the lyrics to get the real story, but much of it is held in the atmosphere and tone of the music. It is very hard to get bored with this album because it holds a consistent sound without feeling monotonous. The music is mid paced and won't offset anyone, from virgins to veterans, in the black metal genre.

  1. Leere I
  2. Leere II
  3. Leere III
  4. Leere IV
  5. In Der Leere
  6. Leere V
  7. Leere VI
  8. Leere VII
  9. Leere VIII

Folter Records
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jan 7, 2011

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