Thantifaxath
Sacred White Noise

I can’t tell you a whole lot about Ontario’s Thantifaxath other than that they are Canadian. No members are listed in the CD or on line anywhere, no Facebook page, no official website. But what I can tell you is that Dark Descent’s first real foray into black metal amid of the label’s excellent death metal and occasional black/thrash is brilliant.  Sacred White Noise stands out not only because of its stylistic musical leanings, bit also because it is a simply awesome album.

The album’s 43 minute’s is a deft journey into modern, atonal, experimental and serpentine black metal. It’s brittle but layered, convoluted but mesmerizing, discordant but beautiful and fans of Krallice, Deathspell Omega and Wolves in the Throne Room as well as some of the other more “post” New York black metal acts  need to be listening to this now.

There’s a weirdness and esoteric aura to the songs and structures, but it’s sheathed in a tangible black metal gloss that stops it from being to artsy or ‘post’. There are acoustic  and atmospheric segues and instrumental moments (“Eternally Falling’), but the base of the music is shrill tremolo picked riffs and distant rasps, keeping things most definitely black, even if the shifty structures and dissonant riffs don’t scream De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas or Blaze in the Northern Sky.

The kaleidoscope of riffs, while hardly catchy or hooky, however do suitably reel you in with a hypnotic sway and flow. Not in a long time has discordance been so alluring, case and point the mid section of “Gasping in Darkness” takes a little off beat percussive segue but I simply am on edge waiting to see where the little bridge leads. The album glistens and sneers with uncanny depth and commands a deeper, headphone wearing experience rather than a casual, quick listen. Casual listens won’t absorb the alien majesty and wiry dissonance buried in “When I End and the Hemlock Begins” , possibly the album’s shimmeringly brittle centerpiece.

“Panic Becomes Despair” shows the trio delivering a more blistering, direct, but still atonal salvo that instantly recalls Krallice and even has a memorable hook here and there amid the shattered glass vortex before 11 minute closer ‘Lost in Static Between Worlds”. It starts with a haunting violin and soft static (or waves?) and peaks with a cacophony of strings, brass and wood wind in its chaotic mid section (where headphones really pay off) before taking a atmospheric breath and very clever teeter totter riff around the 8 1/2 minute mark before fading out into static netherworlds.

 Sacred White Noise is a typical Dark Descent release just with black metal not death metal aesthetic. It’s challenging, it’s breathtaking and it’s going to end up on a few year end lists. Not bad for a death metal label….

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 13th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    sick album


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    been spending more and more time w this lately and it is really working its way into my brain like a fungus. Kaleidoscopic is a great description, Erik – the tonal
    shifts here are as inspired as they are unexpected. Unique and ugly sound and but still very listenable. Climbing my year-end chart rapidly…


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