Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Album Review: "Thus Darkness Spake" by Teloch

Thus Darkness Spake
The easiest way I have found to get a reaction on Metal Twitter isn't to post Metallica Rules! Or even SLAYERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

It's to say this simple phrase: "I do not like Black Metal."

Black Metal has a fan base so rabid that they will chew their friends to shreds for simply not enjoying it too. Now anyone who follows my twitter feeds knows that going out and crapping on other genres of music is no my style.

Everybody has their own tastes. Mine are different than yours because we're all unique, special people!

Punk Rock is kind of the same to me. Punk Rock and Black Metal have their own lore, conventions, and legions of fans. When a band checks the boxes for either genre of music, it does not interest me, but when a Black Metal (Punk Rock) band ignores convention and pushes the boundaries a little bit, it often piques my interest.

Teloch is from Finland, the most brutal country in the world that has less homicide than Iowa.

Finding Black Metal in Finland is like finding Led Zeppelin on KSHE95, pretty damned easy.

When a genre has grown by leaps and bounds, it has convention, cliche, and can grow a bit stale.

Paint By Numbers music is terrible.

In order to escape the cycles of hitting all of the convention, one must work within the medium and create new conventions. Here are the black metal conventions that Teloch has eschewed: monotone vocals, constant other worldly keyboards, brittle production, and a single long song over the course of a record.

Vocally, Teloch conveys the beauty of suffering. We all hurt and it's easy to be drawn to the pain of the others in order to gloat, offer empathy, or to simple feel alive.

The guitars have that straight in sound. Plug in and turn up. There are conventional riffs along with furious, waspy solos. The bass guitars's something a lot of metal bassists don't realize.

A good warm bass tone crushes the fuzz tone every day of the week, if the bassist wants to be heard instead of fading into the background of the guitars. The deftly performed basslines exist just below the guitars and just above the drums.

This is definitely black metal for the rest of us, but not because it's dumbed down, but smartened up. Loving or hating black metal is digital. It is X and it's possible to not enjoy X. So when the bands who can stand above cliche come around, it's important to pay attention to them.

Release: 5/20/16
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Saturnal


  1. I often like the music but cannot listen to the vocals, this is no exception. What exactly about this band makes them "black metal?"

    1. They are a non-traditional black metal group.

      Instead of painting by the numbers, the vocals aren't as monotone, they keyboards are not ever present, etc.

      A big part of what I love about this album is that the vocals are NOT traditional black metal screech/growls.

  2. Nice review. Album title is "Thus Darkness Spake".