Black Vitriol And Iron Fire (EP)
To the experienced pair of ears that are accustomed to identify traces of grace and beauty underneath the piles of sonic filth and grime, it won’t take more than one listen to Black Vitriol And Iron Fire by Thanatomass to understand that these young Russians go about their business very seriously. This is not to say that this EP is a life-changing experience, and while it surely provides enough substance to justify at least a few focused, thorough listens, it will likely leave you wondering if you have just spent half an hour with a band that’s already great, or merely the one capable of achieving greatness at some point down the line. After many subsequent revisits, it would probably be fair to say that the latter assessment seems more probable.
Even though the similar production values may uphold the inevitable comparisons with Teitanblood to a certain extent, the truth is that style-wise Black Vitriol And Iron Fire has much more in common with the sound that made the early Funeral Mist or Aura Noir albums timeless classics than with anything that’s currently fashionable in the contemporary metal underground. That said, regardless of their influences, Thanatomass do belong here and now, sound fresh, have their own twist, and know how to put a slightly different angle to the otherwise rather straightforward brand of black/thrash that is always in jeopardy of coming across as stale and outdated.
Black Vitriol And Iron Fire is a competently executed effort, with elaborate inner dynamics and a healthy balance between faster and slower sections. Altars Of Nigromancy and Phallvs Lvciferi are probably the prime examples of how the thrash outbursts can elegantly and effortlessly slip into almost doomy heaviness, and it’s during those particular transitions that the band truly excels. Add a great ratio between cavernous howls and falsetto screams to such a dynamic sonic credo, and you’ll get an EP with more than decent repeat value, that keeps luring you back in.
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