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On disc: Thulcandra

Fallen Angel's Dominion - Mike Thompson - 9 stars
Under A Frozen Sun - Mike Thompson - 8 stars

Under A Frozen Sun

Under A Frozen Sun
(Napalm Records - 2011)

Like the heralds of a bleak winter German melodic black metallers Thulcandra return with Under A Frozen Sun, the second album of Dissection-worshipping black metal complete with reaper cover art.

Once more following the blueprint of melodic Swedish black metal with a smidgen of Immortal and Satyricon thrown in for good measure, Thulcandra prove once again that they are worthy torchbearers for the style. Under A Frozen Sun does sound identical to Fallen Angel's Dominion in many ways which essentially means that if you liked the first Thulcandra offering then you'll like this and vice versa. The album is full of brutal blastbeats, majestic melodic sections and vocals that will flay the skin from your bones!

Whilst this continued sound is undoubtedly a strong point with Thulcandra not disappointing fans at all it also has a downside in that through extended listens the band do tend to sound samey to the point of listener indifference with songs not really overly distinguishable from one another. It is this that Thulcandra really need to work on if they hope to surpass their inspirations. Say what you like about Dissection but every song sounded different, something which Thulcandra will hopefully take on board.

Overall Under A Frozen Sun is another good album from the German trio with just the fact that it is all very similar to really criticize.

8 stars

Mike Thompson


Fallen Angel's Dominion

Fallen Angel's Dominion
(Napalm Records - 2010)

For those who still lament that Dissection's last album was such a huge change in style than their landmark earlier works, your wish for a suitable follow-up to Storm Of The Light's Bane has been granted. This three-piece German band, featuring members of Obscura, Helfahrt and Nebelmythen, seems to have been possessed by the black spirit of Jon Nödtveidt. Make no mistake, this is pure worship of the Swedish band but a more fitting and quality tribute you will not find.
From first glimpsing the lone, skeletal figure in frosty surrounding on the album cover to reading the song titles – Night Eternal, Fallen Angel's Dominion, In Silence We Eternally Sleep – and then hearing the whole sound and atmosphere of the music, you will soon realize that there is not a single part of the Swedish style that Thulcandra do not attempt to emulate. Far from being some worthless band trying to stand on the shoulders of giants, so to speak, this is well written, well played, great sounding melodic blackened death metal. The final song is fittingly a cover of the Dissection classic The Somberlain, played note for note like the original.
There really isn't that much to say about this album. If you are a fan of the melodic blackened death style popularized by bands such as Unanimated and Watain and perfectly executed on Dissection's first two albums you will love this release. It really is the follow-up to Storm Of The Light's Bane that fans wanted. These guys are to Dissection what Ereb Altor are to Bathory; a band dedicated to making sure the unique sound of one of extreme metal's greatest bands is not confined to just a couple of albums. A truly fantastic album that will be getting many, many plays spins from me!

9 stars

Mike Thompson


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