Saturday, January 11, 2014

Iliac Thorns: It (2013)

Melodeath still exists as a genre.  It's true.  Most of the Gothenburg-style bands have gone by the wayside or altered their sound to an almost unrecognizable bastardization of what the genre used to be (I'm looking at you In Flames), but there are still some bands out there that take what was once good about the genre and release some good stuff.  Most of those bands seem to be coming out of Finland these days.

Iliac Thorns joins the ranks of fellow melodeath countrymen as Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Mors Principium Est, and others.  But there is a bit of a difference in that Iliac Thorns is far more on the death side of things that the melodic part.  This is absolutely death metal, that just so happens to have a fair amount of melodicism in it.  The vocals certainly give it away, but there is also the fact that the riffing is far more severe and brutal.  The other Finnish melodeath bands mentioned seem to try particularly hard to create a sullen atmosphere, Iliac Thorns on the other hand, just want to crush some skulls.

As mentioned, the vocals of singer Ilkka Lonnqvist certainly stand out for this genre of metal.  They are delivered in a very deep and throaty roar with the occasional raspy scream thrown in for good measure.  These are much more typical of the more gore-soaked extreme death metal bands like Suffocation, Broken Hope, and others than the good cop/bad cop vocal style that Gothenburg was known for.  This is much of the reason that Iliac Thorns is far closer to death metal than melodeath.

Musically, Iliac Thorns represents the heavier side of melodeath as well.  The music is fast with razor-sharp riffs with just the right amount of melody to make the individual tracks stand out but to still be heavy and intense.  There is the occasional tremolo riff suggesting some black metal influence as well but Iliac Thorns does not overdo it.  The production could stand a beefier lower end, but seems to fit the music quite well.

This is an impressive debut from a band that should make waves in a vastly underrated scene.

No comments:

Post a Comment