Published Apr 15, 2014Much has been made of black metal's dissolution into a broader pool of post-y daintiness in recent months, with lines in the sand being drawn and blown into oblivion ad nauseum as the trappings of traditionalism wrestle head-on with outside influences and the barriers between genre classifications crumble. Cue a band that manifests all of the elemental intensity of the music's roots while resisting the comforting lure of simple classification, satisfying urbanite and forest-walker alike: Thantifaxath.
Debut LP Sacred White Noise follows a well-received demo that laid the foundation for the depths explored here, but could not have effectively prepared the uninitiated for just how deep the rabbit hole goes. The progressive arrangements that gave that release a certain spiraling, queasy quality have come to the forefront here, pushing into more eclectic realms while retaining an aesthetic and tonal foothold in the works of the classic second-wave Norwegian acts. Comparisons to current trend-buckers Blut Aus Nord or Deathspell Omega seem almost glib in light of how fully realized Thantifaxath's sound is at this point, although wildly off the beaten path is as good a place to start as any.
A roomy, carefully tended mix casts an open-air glare on the band's claustrophobic and seamless songwriting, employing tortuous structures in the pursuit of atmosphere rather than any sort of self-congratulatory indulgence. While many choose to blatantly crib from shoegazers and other shorthairs in pursuit of some sort of transcendental redemption from evil, three faceless persons from Toronto, Ontario have found the middle way. Madness ensues. (Dark Descent)