The history of Greek Doom/Death band On Thorns I Lay is very similar to another UK Doom Metal band’s story: ups and downs, many years of silence and returning to their roots. The band’s new album Threnos continues this in some way triumphal comeback.
Formed in 1992 as Death Metal band, in 1995 On Thorns I Lay (this is the band’s third name by the way) record their debut album Doom/Death Sounds Of Beautiful Experience and became quite recognizable in the underground with their fellow countrymen Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh. But in the early 2000s flirting with much less heavier genres and some unsuccessful experiments has led to the band’s hiatus. But in 2015 On Thorns I Lay found the strength to come back to the heavy and dismal sound and that’s what they do until the present day.
Threnos is a slow, heavy and very melodic, as befits Doom/Death album. From the first chords of the opener “The Song OF Siren” it will press you down with all its heaviness and would not release you until the last notes of long, monumental “Odysseia”. Guitar melodies add a lot of mourning, sorrowful mood and easily immerse you into despair and hopelessness, which you will fill for a long time after the music stops. Symphonic elements in some songs add more heaviness and monumentality as well.
At the same time Threnos is very atmospheric and deep, I would say, creation. In some moments heaviness fades, giving the listener some rest and then there can be heard some acoustic guitars, cellos, violins and piano. Female voice parts in “Ouranio Deus” and “Odysseia” made in an interesting way too. Also, for the only time in “Cosmic Silence” vocalist Stefanos Kintzoglou allows himself to tell a couple of lines with clean vocals instead of severe growling. And the most unexpected thing in the album is a synth solo in “Erynies”, feels like straight from 70s; though it sounds very seamlessly and it doesn’t stands out of the whole atmosphere.
The only lack of the album perhaps will be its monotony, but it’s solely at first glance. With every new listening to this album (and you will listen to it several times, trust me) you will find something new, will pay attention to the various details and will discover some new layers in this music. Threnos seemed to me a monotonous and a little bit boring at first sight. But there was something in this music and I listened to it one more time: then all the depth and the beauty of this music started to open up to me.
For the end: Threnos is already third album since On Thorns I Lay came back to the Doom/Death sound. And it’s another piece of evidence that the band’s comeback was a very good and right decision. There were some unsuccessful actions and totally failed records but only those who do nothing make no mistakes, right?
Threnos will be released on February, 21th via LifeForce Records.
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