Thorngoth - Leere
Folter Records
Black Metal
9 songs (44:18)
Release year: 2010
Folter Records
Reviewed by Goat

It’s always great when well-formed Black Metal drops into your lap, and this, the third album from German Black Metallers Thorngoth, is very good indeed. Featuring a former member of Lunar Aurora on (rare) keyboards and vocals, the band play a generally fast-paced but melancholy-draped form of Black Metal that actually reminded me slightly of Cradle Of Filth, but not for the usual reasons – Dani and co would have to really krieg it up to sound like this. The vocals are a snarled growl, riding atop a blast-heavy and subtly melodic series of guitar riffs that avoid outright fuzzery in favour of a more grandiose, almost Pagan sense of glory – Leere I shows this perfectly. Yes, aside from interlude In Der Leere, tracks are given numbers, parts of the title (meaning ‘emptiness’) rather than names, making the album best listened to as a whole, although they don’t follow on from each other exactly.

It’s all very well played and performed (drummer Grond especially aware of when best to blast and best not to) Leere II dipping into traditional Enslaved territory before shooting off into intense riff-driven and shimmering brilliance with gloriously hammy deep clean vocals, and the band keep subtly changing the formula to ensure the listener is gripped throughout. And it works! The cascading prog-touched Watain-esque riffage of Leere III that leads to a sudden, dirgelike bass-driven surge is excellent, as is the headbangable riff motif that Leere IV returns to repeatedly. Although the band are just a little too fond of their typical sound to experiment wildly, quality constantly lurks beneath the surface. The slower Leere V is a torrent of darkness with well-placed operatic flourishes in the background, and finale Leere VIII brings matters to a close nicely with a resurgent gloomy atmosphere and acoustic strum. Thorngoth may not be particularly gothic, but they make up for it with their thorniness, and Leere is a solid album sure to increase their footing in the Black Metal underground.

Killing Songs :
Leere I, Leere III, Leere IV, Leere VIII
Goat quoted 78 / 100
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