On Thorns I Lay awakens again.
For their tenth album, the Greek band featuring Christos Dragamestianos (guitar), Antonis Venturis (keyboards), Stelios Darakis (drums, Dexter Ward), Peter Miliadis (vocals, Dimlight), Nikolas Perlepe (guitar, Yoth Iria, Dimlight) and Kostas Mexis (bass, Mystfall, Aetherian) sign to Season of Mist, with whom they announce On Thorns I Lay.
The album was recorded with the help of Filippos Koliopanos on guitar, and Giannis Koskinas on bass.
The haunting opening choruses of Fallen from Grace soften the dark tones that carry us towards the wall of oppressive melancholy, topped by massive howls and heady leads. A few more voices haunt the most intense passages, where drums also become more solid while heady harmonics multiply before offering us a more mysterious part, leading us to Newborn Skies, the shortest of the album’s compositions, which reveals softer tones. Visceral vocals soon join in, providing contrast with the majestic keyboards and luminous guitars, while the haunting basis provides small bursts of vivacity before the final solo, which ends to make way for Crestfallen and its haunting riffs. The arrival of vocals still brings a more oppressive touch to the hypnotic mix, but the rhythmic basis seems slightly more jerky, offering regular bursts of energy before an enchanting keyboard break, which eventually lets leads revive, followed by howls and a long final solo. The band remains rooted in darkness and tortured sounds with Among The Wolves, a track where keyboards take on a more prominent role, enveloping the quieter parts, but we notice that leads and screams are more virulent, even giving more impact to the contrast between the different riffs. The track is also cut by two moments of clean sound, the last of which finally lets Raise Empires explode to settle its icy harmonics that frame a totally unleashed vocalist who will give life to an incredibly intense and unifying chorus. The solo also features livelier parts, sometimes influenced by epic Heavy Metal, which perfectly fit the atmosphere, while the final track, Thorns Of Fire, begins with enigmatic elements. They stay with the rhythm, either darkening it or giving it dissonant tones, fuelling duality even in the central clean break, which welcomes oriental sounds before saturation returns, slowly transporting us to silence, preceded by impressive choirs.
On Thorns I Lay keeps its place as a sure bet on the Doom/Death scene, while feeding its visceral duality. The six tracks on On Thorns I Lay share a common basis of sadness and fury, responding to each other while creating their own identity.