Spanish death/black metallers, Thyrant, have released their sophomore album titled Katabasis on the 17th of July via Indie Recordings.
The Andalusian band only formed in 2015 releasing their debut album, What We Left Behind, in 2017. What We Left Behind was a fantastic debut album showing a band that defies classification. A genuine mixing pot of all that is dark and heavy. Their debut may not have reached every corner of the earth but those it did, the reviews were only ever hugely positive.
Thyrant are a 5 piece with Rubens Oliver on bass, Miguel Vegas on drums, J. Merida and Miguel Navarro on guitars and new frontman, Ocram on vocals.
Katabasis gives us 8 tracks, or around 50 minutes, of high impact, powerful metal to get stuck in to. We start with the opener, Face the Thyrant. Face the Thyrant is a strong introduction to the band and what they are about. Full bodied darkness encompasses your whole being with a vicious assault of fuzzy metal. The vocals are harsh and far back in the mix behind a wall of crunching drums and pounding riffs. It’s filthy and heavy in all the right ways. A little glimpse of variety appears out of the blue in the chorus as the guitars take on a slightly cleaner tone and the vocals suddenly switch to powerful cleans.
They still sit way behind the music in the overall sound but trust me, after a minute or two of this song, you won’t be expecting clean vocals. It works though and shows Thyrant to be a whole lot more than I expected. Even as Face the Thyrant plays out, we head through punishing rhythm sections, gaze like melodic passages, violent death and a blend of all of it. It keeps you guessing. Dunes of Desolation has a much more straightforward start with quick drums, a rolling riff and harsh vocal assault. Each vocal part ends into a little guitar flourish which is neat. The chorus turns a bit chaotic with all instruments hitting overdrive and vocals jumping in pitch.
More variety comes with different instrumental sections. One with a huge slamming groove and a restrained guitar line and another where the guitar goes notes and whacks us with a huge screeching solo. There is a lot going on in every song and it is all imbedded around a distorted, muddy sound that adds a level of rawness. Chapter I: Shipwreck comes next acting as an interlude/instrumental. It’s a good idea. Being pure instrumental is one thing but it also plays out predominantly clean. A nice melodic guitar plays the rhythm as the lead punches out a hypnotic melody. It cleanses the your palette and prepares you nicely for the next track, Black Oceans.
Black Oceans is a phenomenal song. Right from the off you get swallowed up in a hammering drum beat, a huge riff and subdued guitar melody. A huge roar kicks the song on as we head into a vicious blackened death section that absolutely kills it. The heaviness is strong in this one. The drums have so much power and force behind them, I can feel my organs rattle as they hit. The vocals feel a bit more forward in the mix here too but it is still very much a combination of all instruments together that makes the complex sound work with no single element taking precedence over another. They all get their moments to shine but mostly all attack you as a unit.
Chapter II: Hopeless gives us another clean guitar instrumental made up of wonderful sounding harmonised guitar melody. It lulls you in nicely before Ephemeral Lighthouse. This song makes everything that has come before sound almost ballad like in comparison. The start of this track actually made me jump. Sad but my god does it hit hard. We then get transported into over 8 and a half minutes of genius. Layer upon layer. Section upon section of transformative music. From death metal maniacal heaviness through to groove passages that weigh you down. Moments of melody, many more of passionate fury all transition seamlessly throughout this intense song.
We approach the end with Chapter III: Descent starting us off with more introspective instrumental work. Mixing gentle melody with occasional crashes of drums and lead guitar it build sup nicely to the bug ending track of Katabasis. This song is huge. It is called Katabasis/Chapter IV: Catharsis and is near 11 minutes long. It is grand, in a dark way. Sombre melody builds the song before clean vocals sing an introduction. A lonely lead guitar takes over before it runs into a bone crushing doom laden anthem. The bass and drums lay down a dark and foreboding rhythm while the guitars play a restrained lead in the background.
It switches up again, with powerful growls taking over the vocals as the intensity rises and we head off into a journey of mesmerising tones, disjointed riffs, delicate melody and crushing intensity all rolled into a song that will leave you breathless and make sure you remember who Thyrant are long after the guitar melody fades to nothing. Katabasis is intense, dark, scary, beautiful, moody, uplifting and everything else you can think of. Take all your feelings, roll them up into long songs that seamlessly blend genres and emotions to leave you breathless and eager for more. You may go into this album wondering who Thyrant are. You won’t forget them after it.
Katabasis by Thyrant (Indie Recordings)
The Final Score - 9/10