Thou Art Lord - _Apollyon_
(Unisound Records, 1996)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Thou Art Lord is a side project led by members of the excellent Greek outfits Necromantia and Rotting Christ, and this, the band's second full-length release, is a very cool piece of work. The backbone of TAL's sound is simple, raw, and blasting black metal, but they distinguish themselves from other practitioners of this overdone style by artfully positioning moments of true raging blackness inside highly engaging songs which draw equally from 80s power metal and thrash. This proves to be a really refreshing approach, since all the "old school" stuff is done with cool and credible style, while the persistent black metal influence keeps things from sounding dated, or "retro" in a trendy sort of way. "Prelude to Apocalypse" gallops powerfully along in total thrash metal style before madly accelerating into a blackened blast, while "Wardance of the Empress" weds fast black metal to pounding old school metal thud. On the other hand, "Societas Satanas" is ripping thrash straight through, and "Excremental Magick" is just plain raw and seriously eerie black metal. Throughout its eight tracks, _Apollyon_ showcases crafty, catchy songwriting that doesn't skimp on impact or speed. A unique and highly recommended release.
(article published 10/11/1996)
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