Thy Primordial - _At the World of Untrodden Wonder_
(Pulverised Records, 1999)
by: Alvin Wee (9 out of 10)
Two years after their quietly stunning debut on Singapore's Pulverised Records, Thy Primordial strike back rather breathtakingly with the same line-up and label, the only difference being the studio upgrade (Tomas Skogsberg's Sunlight Studios). While bands like Satyricon and Emperor are progressing radically, Thy Primordial have stuck to their guns, churning out another ten tracks of furious, manic Swedish mayhem. While there isn't much progression between the two albums, this proverbial rut isn't exactly a bad one to be stuck in, especially not when the intro riff to "Once on Fortune's Throne" digs its hooks into you. As tracks like "Amongst the Chosen Lost" show, these warriors not only kick some serious holocaust metal ass, they possess an astute ear for melody as well, melding Marduk-style incisiveness with supreme melodies a la Dawn. Exit Ihsahn-pitch shrieks and obscure production; enter Isidor's new-found mid-range and Sunlight Studios' acclaimed crunchiness. Fanatics might mourn the marginal loss of atmosphere since the debut, but the trade-off isn't a bad one considering the gut-ripping brutality and aggression on this album. Racing through the album for the twentieth or so time, it hits me that greater things are happening on the latter tracks: the pace slows somewhat, clear singing makes a somewhat coy appearance, and the riffs actually start sounding technical. By this time, any black-hearted soul would have been blown away by the deft rhythm changes and blistering leads on "To Ruin and Decay" and "My Beloved Darkness". And tell me you wouldn't do a double-take on that quirky stop-time shift 2:50 into the latter track! By the end of the album, I'm thoroughly convinced that Thy Primordial are the greatest thing to happen to melodic, guitar-based black metal since Algaion. Put simply, _AtWoUW_ is killer, and to die-hards like me, it simply slaughters!

Contact: Pulverised Records, P.O. Box 109, Yishun Central,

(article published 5/3/2000)

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