Thorny Woods – Lôbrego Macilento Prelúdio

The second demo by Thorny Woods is exactly the opposite of what you would expect to come out of the Brazilian black metal scene. The production alone sets it apart tremendously, as it’s on par with most Nuclear Blast artists these days. There’s nothing raw or unpolished about the music here; it’s exactly the sort of thing that SHOULDN’T be coming out from the realm of Sarcófago. Is something lost in that dramatic stylistic shift? Maybe, but if there is, I can’t really identify it, because ‘Lôbrego Macilento Prelúdio’ is a quality piece of black metal, despite defying geographical conventions in a couple different ways.

It’s not raw, but it’s not overbearingly melodic music either; I suppose the closest thing I could describe it as is a more accessible, less minimalistic, and more clearly modern Taake. There’s a lot of blasting and tremolo punctuated by slower double bass or thrash beat sections, but the melodies are actually quite Norwegian in nature, almost like something that Dark Funeral would write. The vocals are surprisingly emphasized; in this case, a throaty scream that isn’t quite as severely distorted as most BM artists, as if it was a quarter clean or so. It’s not very atmospheric, despite how carefully keyboards are introduced and how artfully the riffs interconnect; it’s rather sterile at times, actually. A lot of the parts just sort of connect without really giving a greater meaning to the overall composition. That doesn’t mean they don’t connect in a pleasing manner, though. Everything SOUNDS very good. All the instruments are professionally played and all the riffs are at least pretty decent. I actually enjoy the vocals a good deal; it’s nice to hear something different from the typical black metal rasp from time to time.

The drumming is quite nice, if rather binary most of the time, but the occasional bit of double bass play spices things up, as well as some Mayhemesque cymbal work. There’s not a lot of content on this little promo: only two real tracks plus an intro, though the ‘real’ songs do feel much longer than they actually are for some reason (actually not a negative thing in this case). For what it is, though, it’s an enjoyable listen. It’s not especially different from other black metal out today, but it is a rather unique example of black metal from South America, and it would probably appeal to most fans of modern BM out there today. I’ll be looking forward to the band’s upcoming LP; the material on this demo is promising at the very least.

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~ by noktorn on October 16, 2007.

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