Thrall Vermin to the Earth

Thrall Vermin to the Earth
This is the sophomore album from Tasmanian black metal band Thrallb; it's an unusual piece of black metal, in that there has clearly been a lot of thought and consideration put into the production. There's a grimy rawness to the sound, of course, but it's a deliberate production choice that suits the aesthetic. The high end has a clear brightness, especially the cymbals. The guitars grind, but also crackle and shine like a fist full of tinfoil. The bass is mixed low, but is kept sturdy enough to lay a solid sonic foundation. The highlights in Vermin to the Earth's mix are the very physical drumming – Thrall use an un-triggered kit that comes across as very natural and vital – and the vicious vocals. The vocal performance is dynamic and flexible, ranging from hot and snarling to raspy and ice-cold. Vermin to the Earth is well executed technically and well orchestrated compositionally. The songs are eerie and intense, scouring and unsettling the listener. "Oblivion" roars and thrashes, hissing fire, while "Ecstasy Not of the Flesh" creeps forward at first, slithering, then crescendos and strikes. This album is both violent and thoughtful, a meditative warrior. (Moribund)