Thursday 16 January 2014

Review: THAW “S / T [MMXIIl]” (May 2013)

Thaw’s eerie, atmospheric album “S/T [MMXIII]” (May 2013) sounds like a shouting match between evil spirits. The album feels like it should be lurking in a graveyard on a cold, dark night. The songs are rhythmic, heavy, and constantly interrupted by moments of soft, chilling, ambience.

Listeners are kept on edge, basking in the creepy, fog of each track, and never knowing what will happen next. The album is riddled with moments of spacey, atmospheric dissonance. The songs take a long time to ring out, or to start, or they sink down in the middle. This feature makes the grimness of each song grimmer. 

Thaw’s rhythmic guitar riffs are full of reverb and distortion; they carry the crushing weight of each song’s dark and sluggish progression over consistently active and heavy drums. A song can slip from order to chaos with a single change in the tempo of the drums or a single chord on the guitars. Bass is not a prevalent facet of Thaw’s overall sound on this record, but at the right volume listeners will feel it in their feet, and behind their teeth. An important distinguishing feature of Thaw is their use of moog noise and studio production and engineering in their sound. This seems to be part of how the dismal aura can swell and contract with such suddenness.

Thaw’s vocals are about as black metal as it gets. They combine screeching with singing, and Always Reverb and Echo. They are raw and at time indistinguishable from the other parts of the songs.

The overall sound on this album is dark and eerie. Check it out for yourself.
s/t [MMXIIl] cover art

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