Thralldom
Beast Eye Opened to the Sky

Let’s start off by saying that this disc came to me for review with no information and nothing that identified which label released it. Neither the booklet nor the disc inself mention a label. Here is what I know. Parasite Records released this album on vinyl limited to 555 copies, it was recorded back in 2002, and the band has since split up. The doom band from NYC, USA, Unearthly Trance, or some members therof, formed Thralldom as a side project in 1997, split up, reformed the side project in 2000, split up again. The band’s website, which no longer exists, was even just an extension of Unearthly Trance’s website.

Killusion was the main force behind Thralldom, wanting to create something that enhanced the ungliness of music. Their first EP was Darkthrone style and their last EP was noise Abruptum style. In between, they released Beast Eye Opened To The Sky. The style reminds me of old Skepticism mixed with the simplicity of Darkthrone. The songs are electronic effects laden but have an organic flow. The songs number seven and the duration of the album is thirty minutes.

“Oath Of Ex-Communication” uses simple drum patterns and simple guitar rhythms over a backdrop of sonic distortion, at a fast pace. “Parasites (The 7th Plague)” has a rumbling bass, whining guitar, heavy cymbal use and a slow pace with lots of distortion. “Slicing Morality Off The Face Of The Sphere” is noise effects with some drumming as accompaniment. “Hypaethral” has a slow pace with a bit more drumming dexterity and the background noise is less intrusive. The album title is taken from the lyrics of this song. “Dead Aeon Of The Slain Gods” is the best song with some memorable riffs, more emphasis on guitars, less on noise effects, and has a mesmerizing quality. “Distorted Air” is fast, whirlwind intensity with heavy distortion of noise effects which winds down to a rather tranquil finish. “De Mysterio Mali” is a speech by Aleister Crowley with background effects, just a noise track.

What the album as a whole lacks is intensity. While I never felt the need to fast forward, neither was I ever glued to my seat. This album certainly will not save black metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
October 31st, 2003

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