Thy Catafalque is – originally – a Hungarian avantgarde band, with huge black metal influences. You could speculate a lot what their sound could be like, only by considering their cover, you just could guess what it shows or you could enjoy its beauty. The only thing that is crystal clear, is that Rengeteg has a lot of potential to stay in your player for a long time. Why? Read on.
Thy Catafalque has released four full-lenght records up to the present day, all written by mastermind Tamás Kátai. Although he took part in a lot of other projects as well, his release policy avoids this flood of records you could know from several (especially one-man) black metal bands, and so there is a high standard of quality. The first four records were released through some independent labels but Tamás managed to acquire the support of Seasons of Mist for his latest record!
Rengeteg surely is something special, due to three simple reasons: First of all there never was a combination of black metal and eastern-european folk like this before (at least I don’t know other examples), secondly there are a lot of electronic influences/elements, which is quite unfamiliar and last but not least there is a melodic theme that runs through the whole record, without becoming boring at all. The record offers a good mixture of frantic, fast passages with a lot of black metal in them and calm ones, with a lot of well done clean vocals.
Those passages are perfectly shuffled on the record and so there is a good arc of suspense, so you will love to listen to the record without loosing interesst. As there is this mixture of fast and calm passages, there is an interplay of gloomy/melancholic and exciting-solemn atmospheres as well. The sound of the songs is wavering between typical black metal tracks and folky ones, that could remind you of bands like Arkona. The sound is defined through warm synthesizer sounds as often as it is defined through cold black metal riffs.
There are, nonetheless, some points which could be criticised. One of them might be the drums, as they only are programmed and therefore lack dynamics and the sounds are really artificial sometimes. In other passages it’s okay, as the really electronic sound harmonize with the synthesizer based lead melodies quite well. As mentioned, there is a main theme which functions as a golden thread throughout the whole record and although I think it’s well done, it could annoy some of you. The last two points could be somewhat strange electronic/pop beats in – actually – grim songs and the long-drawn drone sounds in songs like Holdkomp.
I just got to know Thy Catafolque with this record, and so I really was unreserved while listening to the record – and I was carried away by enthusiasm for this album. This combination of black metal and folk elements with these electro influences and those really well done clear vocals seems to be quite unique. The sound is ambitious and fresh and the final outcome shows, that it was worth the try. Buy it!
Date of release: November, 11th 2011