THOU ART LORD didn't exactly ring any bells when I read the name, and this is probably due to the absence of the band from the big stage for the last 7 years. The original formation of the band took place in 1992, but due to other responsibilities of the main members the project was put on hold… until now. Anno 2002, the band return stronger than ever, with "DV8" and an impressive line-up: founding members Sakis (ROTTING CHRIST) and The Magus (NECROMANTIA) are joined by SEPTIC FLESH drummer Akis K and vocalist for that same band, Seth.
The musical direction of the band is described in the bio as, and I quote, "a unique mixture of fast modern Death Metal, primitive Black Metal, haunting melodies, twisted harmonies and even slight new-Metal touches". Well, there is a point in that description. The Nu Metal part is indeed present, and is just as bad as I thought before I listened. "Baphomet's Meteor" has a section with clean, Nu Metal like vocals, that sounds… just plain wrong! Having said that last track "Those We Guide" is a bit long-winded and whiny, here I can end the complaining part from my side. Because "DV8" is actually a very good album!
The sound of ROTTING CHRIST and SEPTIC FLESH is definitely woven through the basics of THOU ART LORD, but the latter definitely is a bit more brutal. Good elements from the ROTTING CHRIST formula such as choirs are also in THOU ART LORD, for instance on a (great) track like "Crowning The Winged Skull (Enthroning The Dragon)". "Society Of The Dilettanti" and "Desire, Lust and Incubus" come closest to the brutal sound I imagined when reading the band description, and I count those songs as the better songs of the album.
The following "Eyes Wide Shut And Lips Wide Open (The Dionysian Connection)" is another one of the many highlights on this album, which I actually prefer over the latest albums of SEPTIC FLESH and ROTTING CHRIST (I am not familiar with NECROMANTIA). On the THOU ART LORD album they take the best elements of those two bands, brutalise it just a bit, and give it a slight twist so that this is not all that similar to their regular band activities. The album is filled with fantastic riffs like in "A Chaldean Hex", "Behind The Druid Walls" and all aforementioned tracks, and the experience the band members have gathered over the years gives this album the little bit extra that it needs. The production is very sharp, although the choir-like keyboards at some times are very faint in the mix (the other keyboard effects are at the perfect volume). And then there's the artwork, which in my opinion is the perfect complement to the musical content on "DV8".
THOU ART LORD shows that a project can sometimes be better than a full-time band. I don't think it's the brutal album that the bio promises, but I don't care, because this album is great! Fans of ROTTING CHRIST and SEPTIC FLESH can buy this album blindly, but I think many more will enjoy this record! (Online February 3, 2003)