There are those times when things seem as bleak as can be, where hope is fleeting, and it feels like it could be any time now before the sun is sucked back into the universe, leaving everything in darkness. In those times, you don’t always want something to bring you out of that state, but rather you’d like to be pushed even further into the void.
For those who feel that way, back come Thralldom from the ashes, with more dark, penetrative music to soundtrack what are turning into hopeless times. A full decade after their massive last full-length “A Shaman Steering a Vessel of Vastness,” the hellish duo returns with their new effort “Time Will Bend Into Horror,” which picks up where they left off and drags them even further into blackness. This digital-only release falls into the late year nicely, as the chill and days with the daylight choked from them are here in abundance. The grinding, industrial-stained black metal Thralldom are well known for hammer away and leave bruises. But they also inject enough cosmic fog into this to make your brain feel like it’s lost on some other level, running away from forces you can’t quite see but definitely can sense. Over the course of six tracks and nearly 28 minutes, Thralldom unroll the black curtain, raise it to block out the sun, and render you a heap, forced to stare right into your own despair.
Having Thralldom back in our midst is a sight to behold. The band consisting of vocalist/guitarist/bassist Ryan Lipynsky (who is damn busy these days and has another trick up his sleeve coming soon) and drummer/noise technician Jared Turinsky remains as horrific as ever before. Having been a unit for nearly two decades now, they’ve managed three full-lengths, a few EPs, and some smaller releases, and “Time Will Bend Into Horror” is another strongly alchemic step in their mission. While this recording is a bit on the short side (it’s EP length in time, but certainly not in scope), it has maximum impact and feels like a fire-breathing machine from start to finish.
“Cosmic Chains” begins the record in what sounds like a hissing factory, with a weird noise haze, the feel of drilling machines all around you, and a weird cosmic interference that cuts through that and drives you into “Chronovisions.” There, black melodies and Lipynsky’s deep howls emerge, causing your head to swim underneath waves of panic. The vocals absolutely crush the senses, and even when calm swims in for a spell, it eventually breaks out hard as riffs rain down, and Lipynsky howls, “Chronovisions!” over and over, almost like a rallying cry. “Stars and Graves” is disorienting at the start, with guitars dizzying and penetrating growls ripping holes. Chilling guitars mix with ashen whispers before the song roughs you up again and sends you catapulting into the walls. Strong soloing burns a path, while the rest of the elements spill over and rumble toward the finish.
“The Corpse of the Radar Tower” has a strange, proggy start, driving at a calculated pace and eventually heading into mechanical storms. Strange chants arrive, pushing into trance-like terrain and bringing fright, and then the cut explodes and unleashes razor-sharp guitars. The final minutes bend backward with a fury before coming to a tumultuous end. “Dark Grey Mist” is the longest cut at 7:42, and the floor drops out immediately. Doom clouds arrive immediately, situating themselves in the muck and letting laser beam synth pass. The song bludgeons and smears its enemies, as abrasive sounds and a thick bassline team up before heading into a hypnotic crawl. Lipynski roars heavily over the back end, while the music feels like it’s violently sucked into the cosmos. “Transmission” acts as the perfect bookend with “Cosmic Chains,” bringing the record to a close with cold, damp noise and a ghostly apparition warbling behind the chaos and pulling you into a nightmare for good.
With dark times filled with nauseating pain, it seems the perfect time for Thralldom to be back in our midst with new music. “Time Will Bend Into Horror” certainly soothes the pain of a decade-long wait since their last record, and they sound as vicious and channeled as ever before. Shit’s bound to get really bad before it gets good again, and this punishing new collection will go hand in hand with the cities and world burning.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/thralldom
To buy the album, go here: https://ritualproductions.bandcamp.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.ritualproductions.net/