Thralldom - _Black Sun Resistance_
(Total Holocaust Records, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (7 out of 10)
"Only the devil can fight an honest war"

In a cryptogram of sensory impressions, Thralldom's latest release sees the band drawn further into manic ritual and obtaining a unity that starts with some of the most original and transfixing graphic designs to be showcased lately. As a crude aesthetic drape, the cover enhances perception of the lucid rants within. A saccading view of an obscurant landscape segmented by alien constructs piercing one end of the frame to the next like a riot cracked camera lens. Fractured words and parables smear the interior booklet in a cut out style homage to the punk scene that once thrived abroad and at home (what more fitting place for this invective to emanate from than New York?). Rockets flair behind an inverted crucifix, the pallid shape of Christ is impotent in our distress. The polarizing black and white print is a nod to the band's black metal influence. "Grave mistake"; "an ancient conflict", "environmental destruction and perhaps..." Should've, would've, could've. This is the end in progress, if you didn't know. The album's art collage of spell is a window to the future primitive, where a black sun eschars a new horizon.

The sub-basement ambience of Ryan Lipynsky (Unearthly Trance) and Jaldager's latest foray complements the Bathory-esque gnaw of the guitar, leaking with reverb afterthoughts through riffs that illuminate the extensive panorama of style Thralldom exudes. In a way, this is a concept album. Without being ultimately divergent, _Black Sun Resistance_ pivots from the thunderous anchor of "Diminishing Daylight" and "Do Not Speak of It Until the Gun Is Fired" to the seductive instrumental "Sin Is Necessary", carried by a breeze of subdued instruments in the middle of this weltering creed.

The opening phrases of the third track encapsulates the heart of the album, creating a force field of descanting guitars shrieking over bass so thick you could fall into its grooves; the bizarre drum fills that emerge from all this underline the chaos, competing for attention in a morbid clash of musical dimensions. Similarly, the generic thrash leads served in a number of tracks are utterly forgettable by themselves, but are integral to the whole atmosphere; a dark chamber of lust, extinction and abstraction that perfectly suits the face of this work, bringing us full circle.


(article published 18/7/2005)

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