After a sidestep into industrialized post-black-metal a couple years ago, Finnish rippers THYRANE return to what they do best on "Travesty of Heavenly Essence" — intense, riff-hungry black metal with plenty of dynamic changes, just the right amount of keyboards, and enough thrashed-out fury to make buildings crumble.These guys should be mentioned in the same breath as NAGLFAR and GEHENNA, fellow miscreants who take the tried-and-true conventions of modern-day black metal and wield them like blunt cudgels, with intent to kill. Just listen to the title track — that riff is a friggin' thrash masterpiece, and it's put to good use in a short, sharp song that hits like a punch to the throat and then gets out. And opener "Parasites of Submission" balances symphonic elements with an unstoppable midtempo attack and even some cool bass lines lurking under the surface! It takes loads of skill to add so many epic, symphonic elements to black metal without getting lost in them, but THYRANE have a firm grip on their main objective — pure lethal aggression and venomous assault. Their music is no less savage for being memorable and hooky — check out "Truth Revealed" for a riff that'll stick in your head for weeks (it's seriously up there with the opening riff of EMPEROR's "I Am the Black Wizards"), which leads into a song that crams a bombastic chorus full of melody, harsh wall-of-noise guitars in the verse, and plenty of callbacks to that infectious guitar hook, all within four tightly-wound minutes. Staggering! Don't let "Travesty of Heavenly Essence" get lost in the glut of new releases this spring — THYRANE deserve to be in the top tier of modern black metal acts. Anyone perplexed by the mainstreaming of some of the genre's biggest bands need look no further to find the next generation of artisans, keeping true to the original intent of the music while taking the musicianship and songwriting to new levels of prowess. A highly recommended album.
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