[Reviewed by stark]
I thought I know this band from the past, but I confused them with Blood Red Throne, so no, they don’t ring a bell. Still, this Finnish band is not a newcomer, they’ve released quite a lot since their debut “Blood Red Fog” in 2006.
My first contact wasn’t very enthusiastic, especially when I saw this photo on the back insert, that is this naked guy with the stilettos in both hands, covered in blood, showing off his cock. I mean I know it’s black metal that is supposed to be extreme, but this was a bit too ridiculous to me.
Luckily, their music plays its own game and I have to admit that these guys main priority definitely is not re-making a classic Darkthrone or Mayhem album for the thousandth time. I wouldn’t call them experimentalists, the bass line is furious yet melodic black metal, but they are not afraid to infuse their music with less obvious ornamentations. The second track for example, “The Master Speaks” begins with Burzum-esque lunacy only to turn into an emotional solo-ism sounding like classic Paradise Lost albums. In general, tempo variacies happen more often on “Thanatotic Supremacy” than on many other black metal albums, and the ability to create good, memorable melodies is one of the main characteristics of this release. “Astral Witch” is almost as catchy as Gehenna’s highlights from the mid 90s. The guitar solos and melodic thrash riffs drive the track from beginning to end and, believe me, it is pretty easy to get bewitched by this song.
Musically it’s hard not to like this album. It grabs you from the very first listening, but at the same time you discover new nuances after another push of the “play” button. I like it so much that even the blood red cock doesn’t bother me anymore.