Thragedium - _Theatrum XXIII_
(Half Beast, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
"Lusitanian essence" is a designation that this Portuguese band likes to associate their music with, and it is shown mainly through the pronounced folk influences in their sound. Classical Portuguese acoustic guitar is often used throughout Thragedium's doomy metal, which is somewhat reminiscent of mid-era Paradise Lost. And although this self-applied "Lusitanian essence" tag can seem rather pompous and exaggerated, Thragedium do at least merit some praise for the effort to live up to it: the Portuguese acoustic guitar carries its traditionally vibrant sound into Thragedium's music very well, and imbues it with something special and distinctive. Apart from that, Thragedium's music is competent, at times achieving good emotional passages, even if, as I mentioned before, it occasionally seems somewhat derivative. The disc finishes with a poem by Fernando Pessoa, recited by Moonspell's Fernando Ribeiro, accompanied by acoustic guitar and background sounds of ocean waves -- a suitable ending that turned out better than I initially imagined it could. This last track has a rather lengthy atmospheric component, though, and the remainder of the album is not much more than a lengthy EP; nevertheless, the music on offer possesses enough quality, uniqueness and dedication to warrant attention. If they don't rush things, Thragedium may very well be on their way to creating a remarkable follow-up disc.


(article published 12/4/2002)

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