[Reviewed by Iaha Crax]
This is a Belgian group that, after listening to the track, “Avraham”, made me think of a dark-folk variant of the black metallers Primordial. By all means a clear comparison, as the track brings out sharp, shrieking vocals on a violin-driven composition imbued with deep sentimentalism. They mainly perform a progressive sludge metal touched by post-rock influences. However this technique is enveloped in an authentic folkish atmosphere which brings a genuine distinction and mystery to their compositions. “The Woods I Run From” is built upon the aforementioned structures with a sort of light neofolk vocals bringing together a more tragic Of The Wand And The Moon and tonalities reminiscent of pagan black metal. The more you let yourself in this ambiance, the more you feel entangled in a mysterious realm of ancient myths and poetry. “Circe” is more of a pagan invocation masked by an elegant troubadouresque elegy. The members of the group are part of another singular band, Amenra, and together they perform artistic activities under the collective named Church of Ra. Their music earns theatrical significance and most of the time you have the impression of attending an ancient representation of mythical dramas.
Like in “Animalesque”, where a haunting bass-driven rhythm builds images of panic and obsession making the auditor frustrated and fascinated in the same time, the way Swans did on their old records. “Crawling Low & Eating Dust” stems from forgotten tribal elements, walking under a choral dark ambiance that gains solidity with a poetic declamation perhaps inspired by Yeats. This solemnly touching vocalism bears a resemblance to King Jude, but the vocalist always enriches his register in imperative or condemning upper-tone outcries that infiltrate and move the soul.
Another particularity of TBHR is the way they play instruments with an organic vibe that renders their music vivid and plain to the end. In “Ein Avdat” they sing their outlawed tunes in musical and spiritual volume and with such a lively force that they always seem to perform behind your back. The lyrics are using symbols in a physical sense to express the roaming of the spirit in search for its heirs, or the sense of abandonment in this now undifferentiated world, like in “Gold & Myrrh”. There are moments when voice and power of verses remind me of ORE, Rome or O Paradis, united by a similar Weltanschauung, a common vision of the decaying modern world, but TBHR draw more on folklore and abstract thoughts, based on a pantheistic intercourse with nature. Sadness and revolt born out of a sense of uprootedness and disorientation, of being “Into The Land Of Another”, seems to be the leitmotiv of the record.
Outlining technical factors when it comes to such a special type of music is difficult and sometimes ludicrous, so I let flow with no particular planning images and feelings this music has created in me. Their endeavor fascinates and fills the listener with a sheer, innocent artistic beauty that wipes out the misery we ridiculously moan about;
“For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand”
W. B. Yeats, The Stolen Child (1889)