Thy Catafalque - Rengeteg
Season Of Mist
Avantgarde Metal
10 songs (59'54")
Release year: 2011
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex

I am not going to make a secret out of the fact that Thy Catafalque mastermind Tamas Katai and myself have been in touch ever since the first review of Tuno ido tarlat has appeared on this site and Thy Catafalque has been vaulted into the “band extraordinaire” status via multiple fans’ comments. It isn’t that we have been the regular penpals with Tamas, but once or twice a year a contact has been made and luck has been wished in all future endeavors. Thus, I was very happy to learn that not only MetalReviews readers saw Thy Catafalque potential and this Hungarian unit has now been signed to Season of Mist. Rengeteg is Thy Catafalque first release after going “bigger” time. My significant respect for Tamas aside, I will try to put my objective cap on now and provide you with my first impression of the album. The first impression is a very imperative term when it gets to Thy Catafalque and both of Tamas’ earlier offerings, Tuno ido tarlat and Roka hasa radio, have been pretty regular visitors to my rotation, every spin discovering something new about both albums. Up and down the point scale they have been moving, and now, if that even matters, I would have flipped the scoring you see below.

When Fekete mezok starts playing you may for a second think that you popped the wrong CD in. Heavy bass and hugely distorted guitars almost hint death metal. Csillagkoho (Tuno ido tarlat) was also heavy, but this is the heaviest Thy Catafalque has ever been. Slowly and subtly symphonic elements creep in, vocals begin alternating between coming from cavernous depths and clean, the whole track grows Wagnerian and grandiose. Just as Csillagkoho presented a melody eating at your brain like an electric worm, Fekete mezok finds a way to introduce glacial, loopy, fixating melody coming to us from Carpathian Mountains. Meanwhile, the heaviness remains unrelenting and does spill into the next pair of tracks Kel kelete szel and Trilobita. With guitars still pretty cutting, both songs, but especially Trilobita, for me anyway, channel a strong folk element. It is only after the heaviness is expunged out of the system with the first trio of songs Thy Catafalque heads for the forest and nature’s clean voice, violin and piano in Ko koppan, as well as other symphonic elements, reminding of the “track of all tracks” ‘Neath Waters.

Just like on Roka hasa radio, Thy Catafalque presents a number of “single theme” songs on Rengeteg. With these cuts, instead of going for multiple parts’ compositions, there is a clear focus on a melody or some central thread throughout the song, with arrangements and variations creating multiple facets to these cuts. Kel kelete szel has lead guitars and synth revolving around the same main theme, Holdcomp has Tamas revisiting his dark electronica/Space/Ekama inklings and it is fun to hear the samples of Russian Communist radio and TV providing the voices. The spaceship of Holdcomp lands into Carpathian Mountains with Kek ingem lobogo, Gutsul melodies a staple by now with Thy Catafalque. Az eso, az eso, az eso is a dreamy trippy endeavor with its shimmering lights rhythms (hallucinogenic mushrooms, anyone), and Tar gallyak vegul presents that to-die-for crescendo Thy Catafalque is also known for. Only Vashegyek is a really long 14 minute track, spilling over multiple terrains, beginning with a flowy doom, inching closer to the chasm, and then becoming the clash between modern industrialized marches and temporary nature-inspired reprisals.

The end of Rengeteg is just as surprising as its beginning. Nothing past Trilobita gives glimpses of rawness until the closer Minden test fu simply unleashes this harsh blackened thrash saved only by another folk slant.

For those who expected that Thy Catafalque will become The Gathering circa How to Measure a Planet, man, are you fellows going to be in for a surprise, because, if anything, with the move to the bigger stage Thy Catafalque became everything but mellow. The harshness may even be a bit off-putting at first, but then once you lock in on the loops of Fekete mezok, you can’t have them any other way but with the heavy background. The range exhibited by Tamas is just as vast, but one will have to add some death metal experimentation and black metal re-visits to the dark electronica, industrial rhythms, symphonic and folk elements. If you think such mixture is way too eclectic, worry not, as every element in Thy Catafalque still breathes quality, thought-through layering and arrangements.

The engine of Thy Catafalque did not stagnate with Rengeteg. To know how I truly feel about the album, you will have to check with me in another year or so, after I will have a chance to put it away a few times, only to re-examine. Alas, the format of the site demands the score now, so I will have to provide one. This music, however, deserves more than just some numerical value assigned to it. Let your inhibitions go and delve deeper is the best possible advice I can give when listening to Thy Catafalque.

Killing Songs :
Fekete mezok, Trilobita, Ko koppan, Holdcomp, Az eso az eso az eso, Tar gallyak vegul
Alex quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Thy Catafalque that we have reviewed:
Thy Catafalque - Róka Hasa Rádió reviewed by Alex and quoted 91 / 100
Thy Catafalque - Tuno Ido Tarlat reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
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