Keyboards, slow tempo, synthesizers, melodeclamation. Keyboards, slow tempo, synthesizers, melodeclamation. Keyboards, slow tempo, synthesizers, melodeclamation. Keyboards, slow tempo, synthesizers, melodeclamation…and I could carry on with writing these lines even longer. Oh, you think it would be boring? Perfect! Then you know exactly what I felt the first time after having experienced the music on this record. Luckily, this was only a first, illusory impression I got and I can assure you, that there is many attention-worthy things here (if not the whole track-list), discovering of which took me though a couple of additional sessions with “Kampf”.
But let me start from the beginning. TRONUS ABYSS origins from the capital of Italian region Piedmont – Turin, and this review concerns their third full-length album.
Being praised by the underground scene for their two previous releases containing a blend of medieval sounds mixed with Black Metal, the Italian trio developed their music and pushed it towards more Electronic- and Ambient-oriented territories. I have not, to be honest, had an opportunity to acquaint myself with their first two efforts, but the fact that the Italian ensemble gained in certain circles a sort of cult-band status made me quite eager to listen to their next album.
The group themselves label their music as electro-apocalyptic and there is indeed something ominous and restless hanging in the air while you are absorbed by the sounds flowing from speakers. The dismal atmosphere is most explicit on the fourth track titled “Funeral”, which thanks to the harsh vocals and guitar work bears some reminiscences of TRONUS ABYSS’s more blackish releases.
Italians’ gloomy visions are being delivered us, as already delicately indicated above, mainly by the use of synthesizers, an approach that put me off in the beginning as the electronic passages gave the impression of being monotonous and simply boring. No sooner than after a second or even third try I had given TRONUS ABYSS, had I come to a conclusion, that there is much more to explore in the abyss (sic!) of their music art. The cold and grim sound landscapes make their way to a listener’s mind and by means of some inexplicable hypnotic crafts suggest one more listening and then one more again, like for instance in the addictive instrumental “Radio Europa” or “Mabuse Mk. I (Demo)”, which is the original version of the second track on “Kampf” and which in my view is even more interesting than the final output. Apart from the mysterious, depressive mood one might notice certain synth parts here sounding as if it was some kind of sacral church music. Another remarkable track is “Sth.492” and what makes this work so special is definitely the presence of Folk/Medieval music spirit. Noteworthy is the fact, that the above-mentioned song “Funeral” and this one comes one after another just as if they were meant to reflect and refer to the band’s two previous CDs as well as to mark how they have modified their music.
Later on the track-list you will find a fragment which is absolutely unexpected and seems to be an excerpt from some sort of propaganda film (sounds actually like an anthem or a song created for the purposes of a totalitarian regime). In addition to this I can not forget mentioning the track number nine which have already earlier appeared on a compilation album dedicated to BURZUM. The song in question is called “Moti Ragnarokum” and was originally performed by Varg Vikernes on “Dauði Baldrs” album. Not only did TRONUS ABYSS manage to capture the Nordic spirit of this record but they even took it to a new dimension deciding to read the lyrics, which in the original version are to be find only on the paper.
“Kampf” is definitely a piece of music not easy to acquire already after a first listening, but if you give it more chances you might probably notice, that this album is unquestionably far from being an ordinary record. It seems as if there was always something new to discover here every time you choose to push the play button on the stereo.
(Online April 18, 2008)