Review 1723 : Thulcandra – Hail The Abyss – English

Thulcandra does not fear the reaper.

Created in 2003 in Germany by Steffen Kummerer (guitar/vocals, Obscura), then resurrected in 2008, the band now accompanied by Erebor (drums, Ordeal & Plight, Haradwaith, ex-Secrets of the Moon), M. Delastik (guitar, Haradwaith, The Soulscape Project) and Carsten Schorn (bass, Battue, Nailed to Obscurity, ex-Monster) announces the release of their fifth album, Hail the Abyss, for their twentieth birthday.

The album starts without warning with In The Eye Of Heaven and immediately takes us into its dark storm. The dark and sharp melodies offer us a cold and melancholic universe which wonderfully welcomes ghostly screams within its epic charge, but also in the slower parts before letting rage ignite with Hail The Abyss, the eponymous track. Unbridled riffs and throbbing leads follow one another to pace the composition with an inexhaustible energy, skilfully placing a few catchy hints to allow the song to slightly slow down, but fury wins over musicians again before allowing them to offer us a moment of respite with the short At Night. The bewitching melodies will quickly come to an end, letting Velvet Damnation reveal martial sounds completed by cold and heady leads, which perfectly fit the wild accelerations the band cheerfully feeds us with, but also the more moderate parts leading us to the energetic On The Wings Of Cosmic Fire. The jerky rhythmic reveals obvious Black’n’Roll roots without neglecting the contrast between raucous vocals and bewitching melodies, then mystery sets in with the introduction of Acheronian Cult which combines whispers and soft harmonics. Saturation is never far away, igniting little by little the composition to give it these energetic touches framed by worked leads and majestic atmosphere, then As I Walk Through The Gateway lets musicians go wild again by offering us a massive introduction. Speed and sharp sounds merge to give a devastating dimension to the track before letting Old School roots work on Blood Of Slaves, giving it an aggressive approach while harmonics keep melodies dark. Just when you think the track is over with few clear notes, the wave blows us back to the soothing final, followed by the equally calm In Darkness We Descend, a rather rhythmic interlude keeping distant sounds before letting go of us on The Final Closure, a final composition which clearly puts the band’s majestic and impressive dimension sound forward, combined with a haunting slowness contrasting with the more aggressive previous tracks.

Whether in devastating rage or icy quietness, Thulcandra never forgets its heady melodies. With Hail The Abyss, the band once again shows that its heritage lives on more and more intensely thanks to inspired and devilishly efficient riffs.


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