Stream From the Heavens

Thergothon is, for whatever it’s worth, almost universally credited with bringing true extremes into the happy-go-lucky world of doom metal; the slowest tempos, the deepest, most guttural vocals, and the most depressive and depressing atmosphere ever heard. With only one demo and one full-length album to ther credit before disbanding, the two-man project smashed the parameters of what was “doom,” and created a new style (commonly called, funeral doom) that other bands such as Skepticism and Shape Of Despair promulgate to this day. The album has been impossible to find without dealing with swine on eBay, but in 2000 Avantgarde released a limited re-issue, thus affording many the opportunity to finally subject themselves to this. That wording is not accidental. Stream from the Heavens is the most difficult listen I’ve ever come across. There is nothing on this album that is not devoted to blackness, bleakness, and sorrow. Cheer up, guys! Distorted guitar, bass and occasional (synthesized) classical touches sketch out minimalist minor key themes while the rhythm section crashes in slow-beyond-slow-motion. These tempos are not slow; they’re non-existent. The tension created by waiting for the next beat is just another part of the masochistic experience. Standout track is “The Elemental,” on which clean backing vocals just heighten the sense that you’re spying on someone’s funeral. This sounds like elitist, “scene” crap, but Thergothon is truly not for everyone. Their music has nothing to do with rocking out or breaking shit up; it’s got no beat and you can’t dance to it. But in using music as a tool to employ (and evoke) the worst facet of human emotion, Stream from the Heavens has yet to be touched. A classic.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeff Lamb
April 27th, 2000


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