Belgian THURISAZ had been a major surprise to me several years back with their excellent "Scent Of A Dream" release, after which it became very quiet around them again. Their atmospheric Death/Black Metal marked a refreshing difference to the countless other bands, which either tried to copy the big names or simply had set their sights on breaking any records of extremity they could possible find. Finally the quintet has inked its more than deserved deal with Belgian Shiver Records and is now offering us their sophomore effort "Circadian Rhythm", which follows in the footsteps of the debut, just even better, if you ask me!
There are several attributes that mark this band's sound: dynamic, intense, atmospheric, melodic, variable. Or to make it even easier: great! The sheer variety of their songs and the remarkably high level of all compositions make it hard for me not to lose myself in either too many words about every song or not doing them enough justice by not pointing out what is making them so memorable and outstanding, so I will try to find a middle way to convey my opinion here...
One of the most remarkable feats that the quintet has managed with "Circadian Rhythm" is to cram many breaks and changes into the songs, giving them a myriad of different hues and colours, while at the same time keeping the songs accessible and easy to follow, creating a flow that rivals the best out there and dynamics that will keep you hooked from the opening sounds of intromental "Symbols" to the fading piano notes of "Past Perfect". Far too often bands might have good intentions when they opt for a wide approach, but in the end stumble in the execution, when it comes down to creating a whole out of all the different pieces. THURISAZ master this challenge.
Let's see, if I can compress things here, "Falling" has very strong melodies and great clear vocals thrown into the mix, accompanied by blast beats, you don't hear that often, "Point Of No Return" convinces with its dynamics, at times getting pretty quiet, even more variable is "Circadian Rhythm", which swells like the tides including a cool acoustic guitar solo! "Fading Dreams" is slow and fully cleanly sung, "Switch To Red" combines the slow power of Death Metal and quiet comfort of the clear voice and acoustic guitar, while "...Betrayal" is very intense and heavy, yet melodic. Now imagine what this could sound like and multiply it several times to grasp what THURISAZ offer us here!
Now if you think that I am exaggerating, listen to the songs on their Myspace site and discover that "Circadian Rhythm" is a grand album that stands head and shoulders above the masses, with demand and accessibility, I love it and you should, too!
(Online July 5, 2007)