Album Review: Thy Row – Unchained (Rockshots Records)
Thy Row was founded in 2017, making their first entry on the Finnish scene with their 2019 independently released self-titled EP. Ready to follow up the success of that EP, Thy Row‘s first full-length offers up a fresh mix of the finest heavy metal with modern hard rock. Ten tracks plus a bonus cover of X Japan’s “Blue Blood” for its Japanese release, Unchained will be released on September 24th, 2021 via Rockshots Records.
The story behind the record is the telling of Thy Row becoming a band and the tale of their collective brotherhood as they grow and learn from one another. As they explain:
Creating this album was a long and a hard process, but it was also a road we wanted to walk to be able to present this music to the people. With a guitar case in hand, not knowing each other originally, we became friends and we made this album with pure innocent passion and love for the music. Every song, every story is connected to our lives and our friendship, and we hold this piece very close to our hearts! Each one of us gave our best and more, developing as musicians and people in the process. None of us wanted to compromise in any area, and that made the creation process extremely long and difficult. However, we feel that our debut album is a victory of not giving up, supporting your team members when the going gets tough, and crossing the finishing line with pride and determination. The story, the sound and the process are the epitome of our lives, thoughts and experiences from those times we were making this album, and we hope that people will enjoy this ride we have to offer!
This is the perfect head-banger album. One that energetically combines metal heaviness and hard rocking groove. The kind of album that can get just about everyone up and moving and it kicks of in style with Road Goes On. The riffs are frantic, the vocals are inspiring and the drums really add a ton of meat to the bones. Watch out for a frenetic guitar solo that adds the cherry on top of this kickass opener.
The Round (featuring Teemu Mäntysaari of Wintersun and Smackbound) has a touch more melody but keeps the energy up. The vocals are so strong here but again, the guitar solo is what takes it up that extra notch. Following that, the title track and Horizons keep things nice and groovy before the duo of Ben Varon (Oceanhoarse, ex-Amoral) and Ilja Jalkanen (Raskasta Joulua, Kiuas) help turn Hidebound into one of the most spirited tracks on the album. An out and out head-banger in the best way possible.
Ben Varon returns for the powerful hard rock ballad Down on My Knees but before that we get the peppy and chorus driven Just Fine. Following that Thy Row showcase some serious depth to their sound with the three parts of The Downfall.
The first is Killing All Reason and sees the band get heavy but without compromising their core catchiness. Beyond Reason comes next and sees Thy Row deliver scathing riffs and a more feral tempo before Fragments of Memory wraps up the album with chunky groove, sinister touches and powerful melodies.
Although if you pick up the Japanese edition you will get hold of their cool cover of X Japan’s Blue Blood too. A cover that is both respectful and different enough to be interesting.
Thy Row – Unchained Full Track Listing:
1. Road Goes On
2. The Round (ft. Teemu Mäntysaari)
5. Hidebound (ft. Ben Varon & Ilja Jalkanen)
6. Just Fine
7. Down On My Knees (ft. Ben Varon)
8. The Downfall, Part 1: Killing All Inside
9. The Downfall, Part 2: Beyond Reason
10. The Downfall, Part 3: Fragments Of Memory
11. Blue Blood (X Japan Cover) (Japanese Release – Bonus Track)
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Thy Row - Unchained - (Rockshots Records)
The Final Score - 8/10