Thormesis
Freier Wille - Freier Geist

I’ve been having a hard time putting words to paper about the fourth album from Germany’s Thormesis. You see, when Freier Wille – Freier Geist, (Free will- Free Spirit) is actually playing, I’m enjoying the hell out of its super melodic, sometimes black n roll , airy, bouncy take on black metal. To the point where I’m thinking “oh hell yah, this is going on my year end list”. But when I’m not listening to it, I’m not craving it, I’m not thinking about it, I’m not needing a fix. And therein lies the dichotomy of my dilemma.

The vaguely Taake, drearier based riffs, folky/pagan sheen, shrieks, somber clean vocals and oodles of hooky,  hair metal melodic lead work often truly shine as heard on the title track which contains everything I just mentioned into one stunning track , that I just enjoy thoroughly whenever I hear it. The same can be said for “Nosce te ipsum” which has a sort of Sister of Mercy roll mired in the shrill tremolo riffs. And that sort of moody undertone surfaces in many of the songs coming across like a slightly sadder Taake, less crazy Shining mixed with some good old rock n roll.

“Weltenschrei” is another standout with a rollicking somber main riff and a killer mid song acoustic break, but also bears some more urgent black metal teeth. “Luctus Nomus” has a a downright catchy, slightly morose opening riff that’s hard to shake, but  its after that that I go from “this is one of the best albums of the year” to ” I wander what happens if I shot a squirrel with a paintball gun?” and I lose some focus and enthusiasm. And it’s not like the album suddenly takes a drastic turn for the worse with the likes of “Trostlos” or “Wenn der Schmerz dich lobt” as they all have the same structures as the albums early killer tracks, but overall the gleam is a bit duller and the hooks seem a bit less impactful.

Still though, with its clean production, somber gloss and often stupid catchy take on black metal, Thormesis are doing something pretty original within the genre while still keeping within earshot of the over arching style. A very interesting, sometimes superb release that might end up on my year end list depending on my mood.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 16th, 2015

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