Monday, 13 August 2012

Thunderkraft - Totentanz


Adding to the massive raft of bands from Eastern Europe, comes self-proclaimed "Industrial Folk Death Metal" band Thunderkraft, from the Ukraine. Totentanz was released in March 2012 by Svarga Music. The first thing that impressed me, was the great artwork on the album cover and while reading up on them, I found out that their lyrics have been written in Ukrainian, Russian and German, none of which I understand. Still I'm looking forward to hearing the 9 tracks on offer here.

Tracklist:-

1. A Time Will Come 
2. Mass Defect
3. Dance Of The Dead
4. Death Won´t Separate Us
5. The Future World
6. A Crumpled Story
7. Where The Dream Flows...
8. Towards A New Dawn
9. The Creator Of Life  

Totentanz starts with a battlecry in the form of opening song A Time Will Come.
Orchestral and brass instruments bash shoulders with heave metal and deathly screams. What's impressive is that only four people play this hellish symphony. First impressions are really good, as Thunderkraft sound very melodic in their approach, which adds to the atmosphere they try to create. This mixed with the brutal black/death metal makes it very approachable.

Mass Defect begins with some cool industrial electronics and the flute solo amongst the death metal, is a really authentic touch and one that strangely doesn't sound out of place. This song is shorter in length than the opener and because of that, sounds punchier and more instant. That two different schools of thought are at play hear, the modern electronic influences alongside the folk music and foreign language lyrics make this record a complete breath of fresh air. The twists and turns and ideas keep you guessing. Just listen to Dance Of The Dead to see what I mean! The solo two thirds of the way through this song is a screaming joy to behold.

Death Won't Separate Us is a beautiful, mid-paced folk-song with spoken word vocals. Even when the guitars and drums do kick in, they are buried slightly behind the other instruments and the effect is brilliant. The tuneful guitar solo just accentuates how good the song writing is in this song and how good Thunderkraft are as creative musicians. Things get back to normal on The Future World, whatever normal is! The guitars are more crunching here and the heavy side of Thunderkraft is allowed to shine through a bit more. It seems that as they get further into Totentanz, they let their experimentation become more prevalent and they rely less on crushing death and more on creating well-written, metal songs with a difference.

A Crumpled Story take you passed the mid-way point of Totentanz with a more off-kilter texture too it. The woodwind is more prevalent here and amongst the industrial electronics, is allowed to breathe. They use some pretty cool guitar effect towards the end and the haunting electronic blips make it even more bewildering. This song features Thunderkraft's most grandiose song title - Where The Dream Flows As Moisture From Eyelashes, but is actually their shortest track and one of the heaviest when they're in full flow. There’s still more varied effects here too, so the sound definitely does not get boring.

Towards A New Dawn is predominantly an instrumental track, but vocals do kick in mid-way through, but they're audible and more spoken-word in delivery, so don't overpower the flow of the song itself. This leads you onto the last song, The Creator Of Life. It's their lengthiest song, at just less than 9 minutes and is actually one of their heaviest songs.

The black/death growls are used to greater effect here, as if to say "we've been giving you an easy ride until now"! The guitar melodies though are a brilliant touch. It is an absolutely epic way to end what has been an album of surprises from start to finish. It completely blew me away!

You can hear closing song, The Creator of Life at Svarga Music's soundcloud side at http://soundcloud.com/svarga-info. You can also find out more and pick up the record from Svarga Music at http://www.svarga.eu/.

You can also visit Thunderkraft on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Thunderkraft.

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