Thy Darkened Shade [Greece]
Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs
World Terror Committee
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Despite being formed all the way back in 1999, Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade has remained pretty silent all the way, until this year with their debut full length release Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs. With band founder Semjaza having been involved in numerous other Greek black metal bands that I thoroughly enjoyed such as the punk-infused Nadiwrath and also handled live bass for Ravencult, there was definitely an additional draw towards checking out this album.
However, unlike the aforementioned, Thy Darkened Shade on Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs presents a rather raw and atmospheric experience, not through the usage of keys and synths but rather through the songwriting and the riffs that are unleashed by Semjaza, at times with a rather strong Norwegian black metal sound. The A’s gruff vocals at times act as yet another instrument in reinforcing that cold atmosphere, with the bleakness that shines through his vocals. As the album progresses though, his vocals become more and more tortured, with songs like Reconstruction of Soul and Matter sounding almost totally muffled, only to act to the overall feelings of desperation in the music. The atmospheric aspect is further brought about through the inclusion of samples of Gregorian chants on songs like To Suffer the Perpetual Curses. On the other hand, drummer Maelstrom provides the technical edge in the music with the immaculate and precise hits on his kit. The aggressive style of Maelstrom’s drumming even helps to bring in a tinge of the sound that bands like Marduk have created as well. The riffs on To Suffer the Perpetual Curses even sounds like the slower material of later Marduk.
What is also interesting on the album are the wide range of influences that have been incorporated here. Rather than stick to a single style of black metal, there are also moments where some punk influence could be heard, such as the riffing style on The Great Serpent Self, reminding listeners of the later works of bands like Satyricon, thriving in the simplicity of the playing of the music yet bringing their points across to the listener rather effectively, and keeping the listener constantly surprised at the same time. The production on the album as well helps to accentuate the atmosphere on the album, with the guitars having a rather spacey and large sound, and each instrument sufficiently mixed to be audible yet not dominating the sound.
The band’s years of experience of playing black metal is clearly evident as one listens to Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs. All the pitfalls that many bands make with their debut album are avoided, with the album progressing rather smoothly and each song being masterpieces in their own rights, and the way the music on the album is written and executed are evidence of the band’s years of efforts that are put into it.