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Thy Repentance - Through The Twilight Eyes Of Frost (7/10) - Russia - 2003

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Stygian Crypt
Playing time: 54:48
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. Blood For The Soil
  2. Inseparable Story
  3. Moon Roots Of War
  4. Skoljenie V Ledovom Tumane >mp3
  5. When The Sky Is Dark Yet >mp3
  6. Wizard And Witch
  7. Flowers Of Triumphant-I Hate Them Again
  8. Umbra
  9. Ural Twilight Autumnalias
  10. New Scene-My Snow Funeral Curtain
Thy Repentance - Through The Twilight Eyes Of Frost

Some things just should not work, some things should just strike you as dire and that’s it. I thought much the same as I flicked through the tracks on “Through The Twilight…” “Oh no, another crock of shit” I thought, damning myself for buying CDs without listening to them. Thankfully I gave it a full spin and found myself, against all odds, enjoying this mournful dirge of misery.

 

This should not work, but it does. The component parts, when listened to in isolation, do not stand up to scrutiny, but thrown together it becomes a miasmic, marvellous whole. Firstly the production, what little of it there is, sounds woeful, however in this case that is a good thing as we are talking funereal here. As with much in black metal, a little bit of production can go a long way and here it works well.

 

This is essentially ambient Black Metal, originally recorded in 1996. The drum machine is predominantly set to a marching pace but occasionally ups sticks and breaks into a gallop. Keyboards are used in a simplistic but effective fashion. Guitars are distorted and sooty with the bass very much in evidence. Vocals are despondent and desolate, the shrieks of a tortured soul. Often the sombre procession of drums and keys is countered by a racing string section. Musically the album strikes me as a collision of BURZUM and SUMMONING.

 

The CD starts with a deep space throbbing instrumental, which would have been twice as good if it was half as long. We are then invited to slit our wrists to “Inseparable Story” in all its wretched glory. Though it sounds like music to play at a wake, there is a triumphant air to the song, a theme that re-occurs throughout. The tracks tend to follow an unsophisticated formula with the keyboards providing the main distinction. Everything here has an uncomplicated structure and that forms a good deal of the appeal. The forth track “Skoljenie V Ledovom Tumane” is a sinister military stomp accompanied by shrieks from the abyss, the whole track oozing menace.

 

The production is neanderthal, recorded in some cathedral cavern, the bass rumbling like boulders from the roof, amongst the despair; there are a couple more instrumentals that shine like lights at the end of a long and dark tunnel giving respite from the gloom. However this album gushes forth like blood from the freshly slit wrist of someone who has lost everything and everyone dear to them.

 

After my initial reservation I have found I can listen to “Twilight Eyes” and be moved by it. I would recommend experiencing it in a dark room with all sharp objects removed. (Online October 30, 2004)

Niall MacCartney



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