My journey into vinyl country, as it were, was years late. In the middle 90's when CDs were still the rage, an attempt was made to hear the difference between CDs and LPs, but all that was heard was a terribly scratchy copy of Alive! by Kiss.
I wasn't much of a Kiss fan then. That was in the beginning of my Kiss reawakening. Up until that point, mostly I was familiar with their latter days output and was still really digging on Revenge.
Well over a decade later, at a Crobot concert, I accidentally purchased their debut EP on clear vinyl. Not much later I was given a turntable of my own, which I'm listening to III: Metachthonia on right now. Then as time wore on, it occurred that it was time to give vinyl a serious try. At the time, it was only to make the music I purchased more important.
Now, I'm full on reborn into the community. Since the switch was made, I've only purchased two CDs and I have no idea how many records. Much like my tardiness into vinyl, the latest Thrawsunblat record tarried as well.
|The gorgeous Midnight Sky colored vinyl.|
And we were lucky enough to get a copy to review.
The original release of the album, on Ignifera Records, clocked in at just over 58 minutes, which necessitated a double LP release on Broken Limbs.
That's not quite enough to fill four sides, so the opening and closing tracks have been included on side four recorded acoustically. It's doubtful that we'll ever find anyone who's got anything negative to say about bonus tracks. The Dazzling Killmen re-release also had some bonus tracks on its side three.
There is no booklet for this album, but all of the lyrics are printed on the inside of the gatefold cover. It's going to take a bit for the gatefold to break in a bit so that it sits properly in the display spot for when I'm playing vinyl. Strong packaging.
The discs themselves however come in two different releases: Midnight Sky (pictured above) and standard black vinyl.
What I found interesting is that on the Midnight Sky edition, each disc is a different color. Also, each disc appears to be a one of a kind, as my discs look different than those pictured. When dealing in swirled colors, that tends to happen.
Both discs are sturdy and appear to lack any warping and there were no skips out of the box, which has happened to me in the past. Strong and sturdy, these records will last a very long time.
It's going to be hard getting into the quality of sound without really digging into the meat of the music, but what cannot be helped will not be helped.
This album sounds truly fantastic. The music leaps out of my speakers and into my brain. Clear, crisp, and warm. More than just the fantastic quality of the delivery, the songs were built from the ground up in a way that should make any other extreme metal acts envious.
Death, Black, whathaveyou metal tends to have demonic vocals thundering no top of the music. This creates very me too, same-y songs. When the vocals tend in on direction the whole way through, and it bleeds over everything, it all becomes monotonous.
Aside from melding in clean vocals, sometimes in harmony with the growls even, the growls are at the right spot in the mix. Just below the melody guitars and strings.
Thrawsunblat has more than the standard guitar, bass, drums, as they include some strings as well. They're billed as Blackened Folk Metal or Folkened Black Metal. There are some definite melodies that sound like they'd have been played on Italian violins before they became civilized.
This is a concept album, and the listener will need to follow along with the lyrics to get the full picture, but even not having done that, I've been taken on a journey full of pain, beauty, and redemption.
Release: 12/5/16 (Vinyl)
Genre: Blackened Folk Metal
Label: Broken Limbs Recordings (vinyl release)
Formats: LP/CD/Digital (Ignifera Records for CD/Digital)
LE: Unknown. Released in colored and black