Alföld is the brand-new opus of the indefinable giant that is Thy Catafalque. It will be released on June 16th, 2023, via Season of Mist.
Always a daunting but exciting listen, Thy Catafalque embody the ‘do what feels right’ mantra of music. You never know what you will you get from them. There are no genre limitations with Thy Catafalque, something that has made them one of music’s most esoteric bands.
Alföld is big, and by that we don’t mean it’s long or features a ton of tracks. No, big as in, big in sound and big in ideas. As unpredictable as ever, as indescribable as always, and as unforgettable as only Thy Catafalque can be.
It begins with a blackened monster of heaviness in the form of A csend hegyei. On surface level, it seems almost simple for this band, but it is dripping with enigmatic layers of heaviness, complex tones, and brazen bleakness. A spectacular introduction to this new album, and the first taste of what wonders it holds.
From that, to an audacious foot-tapper that transforms into a classic black metal track called Testen túl, and the blend of brutally heavy instruments and eccentric melodies/synths that make up a large part of A földdel egyenlő. Both tracks find Thy Catafalque in a temperamental mood, totally game for experimentation and distinctly different to the genre norms they draw from.
Take a deep breath though, it’s all been building to this, the title track. The album’s epic, for want of a better word. Coming in at nearly nine and a half minutes and featuring a stupendous number of fresh fascinations. From the moment it starts, it draws you in with a cacophony of garish heaviness. Yet, as it goes on, atmosphere seeps in, the sound of a French horn cuts through, the vocals blend throaty roars and powerful clean singing, and melody litters the ever-evolving pathway. It is the album’s most impressive offering because it contains so much.
Most bands would struggle to maintain momentum after that, but, you know, this is Thy Catafalque. The introduction of some erratic flute playing and delightful double bass makes Folyondár a wicked continuation. Before Csillagot görgető showcases some of the grandest vocals and introduces the sound of a ney. What’s a ney? According to the internet, it’s an end-blown flute that figures prominently in Persian music, Turkish music, and Arabic music. Another unique element seamlessly worked into heavy music by this band.
A nice head-banger comes next in the form of A felkelő hold országa, the sound of that French horn will send shivers down the spine. Followed by the shortest track on the album (1:29), Szíriusz. Here, Thy Catafalque create starry ambience that is slowly dominated by the guitar. Which then leads to the finale of Néma vermek, and one exceptional example of how avant-garde and traditionally heavy Thy Catafalque can be.
An astounding closer to an outstanding album from a band that never fails to impress. There is nobody quite like Thy Catafalque in metal and we should all be extremely grateful for that.
Thy Catafalque – Alföld Track Listing:
1. A csend hegyei
2. Testen túl
3. A földdel egyenlő
6. Csillagot görgető
7. A felkelő hold országa
9. Néma vermek
Thy Catafalque - Alföld (Season of Mist)
The Final Score - 10/10