15 May 2023 Thulcandra – Hail The Abyss (Album Review)
European Black Metal has always been a force to be reckoned with and it’s great to see it still growing today. Steffen Kummerer, a mainstay of the scene, directs the Melodic Black Metal band Thulcandra. It began in 2003, shortly after Kummerer formed the Tech Death Metal band Obscura. In fact, Thulcandra is preparing to make a comeback with their fifth studio album. greet the abyss Through Napalm Records on May 19, 2023.
Stripped of the deal, Thulcandra is influenced by ’90s Black Metal bands like Dissection, but somehow manages to modernize it brilliantly. This effect carries a unique sound that fans everywhere will definitely love. With that in mind, Hail the Abyss features eight tracks filled with dark melodic riffs.
It all starts with “In the Eye of Heaven”, which is a solid start and includes all the finer points of the trade. Then, as the album really hits your ears, the title track is full of fast melodic riffs and the vocal grunts are executed in the most vigorous manner. That’s before a gentle, short melodic interlude called “At Night”, one of two melodic breaks into the harsh but flowing blackened tunes that surround the album. The second short melodic interlude is called “In Darkness We Descend” and it appears towards the end of the album with another sweet, soft melody. This continues as it began, until the crescendo of the final tune, “The Final Closure”, which closes with a powerful all-round song that shows what this German band is capable of.
Looking forward, “On the Wings of Cosmic Fire” is another wild melodic track that will definitely leave you wanting more. This is when tracks like “Velvet Damnation” and “Blood of Slaves” are a couple more Black Metal gangs.
Vocalist and Guitarist Steffan Kummerer is the epitome of his diverse talents as well as skill level all around Hail the Abyss. Starting to learn the piano at a young age, he has now taken his knowledge of creating melodic masterpieces to the next level. Obscura has that much technical prowess while sticking to the Death Metal genre, and on the other side of the coin, Thulcandra is just as strong with its modernized Melodic Black Metal creed.
In the end, there really isn’t a single weak path greet the abyss. Each one sounds unique, what some of these tunes have in common vocally are the strategically placed non-verbal guttural moments in most of them. Considering all aspects, Thulcandra should be on more people’s radar soon because they definitely deserve it. Steffan Kummerer’s recent dual-mission tours with the Obscura, with Thulcandra opening for them, are definitely a positive effort to gain recognition in the future. Cryptic Rock is Thulcandra’s for all it has to offer. greet the abyss 5 stars out of 5.