Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thrall: Aokigahara Jukai (2013)

Rock With It Out

I once had an elementary school teacher who said that Australians are even more American than Americans. By that, I think he meant they were the loudest and most adventurous nationality out there. Foreigners will have to let me know whether that's right.

Thrall is a four-piece of Australian black metal antagonists. Judging by the band's third album, Aokigahara Jukai, they may be more American than Americans. Ignoring a few stalwarts like Lightning Swords of Death, the USBM scene is flooded with intellectualism and faux intellectualism. That's hardly in line with the American, Old West spirit. Perhaps Australia is one of the last places where that spirit still thrives.

Thrall play black metal with rocking rhythms, and they play it heavy. They also use plenty of modern black metal dissonance. That places them somewhere between the aforementioned Lightning Swords and Poland's Graveborne. And there may be a few hints of the French scene heard in the dissonance.

I realize this may get them confused with your more typical black 'n' roll, like Vreid or Satyricon. That's not completely unfair, but this is much more raw, and captures a more reckless spirit.

Those rock rhythms are a whole lot easier to get into than your typical black metal, and it makes the riffs a lot more memorable. The production is also quite good. I wouldn't say there's anything revolutionary here, but maybe it is revolutionary for a black metal band to rock out with their cocks out (Taake aside).

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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