REVIEW: THULCANDRA – “A Dying Wish”
Blackened Death Metal legends Thulcandra are back with their newest offering ‘A Dying Wish’. This is their newest offering in six years. Over the years, the band established a very cold-sounding iteration of blackened death metal. With ‘A Dying Wish’, Thulcandra continues to pay homage to the timeless sounds of Dissection, abet with a few more influences this time around. As always, the music of the band is an enjoyable and meditative wall of sound. Talk about cliches all you want but to execute sonic ideas an audience loves is challenging. Thulcandra does this gracefully in the midst of all the aggression that surrounds their music.
‘A Dying Wish’ starts off with “Funeral Pyre”- a mid-tempo yet profoundly beautiful song that gently eases the listener into the sounds of the album. We then jump into a more engaging song “Scarred Grandeur”. With its blasts, fast riffs, a sharp melodic solo that stays respectful to the genre, “Scarred Grandeur” represents a beautiful moment in the record. Needless to say, with the deeply established sound that Thulcandra comes with, all the music is sonically a reflection of itself. Musically the very obvious is expected in this genre. What makes this album elegant, are moments of deeper meditative sections that are deeply entrenched in the massive and woven wall of sounds. Songs like “In Vain”, “The Silvering Silver” and “A Shining Abyss” are epitomes of this.
Despite being in a genre that arouses deep passions about the sound, Thulcandra have exercised a few innovative approaches to the music as well as the production. The sound is very telling of the idea, that the atmosphere of black metal is deeply engaging, deep, cold, and provocative but could the production make it even more characteristic? The sounds on the album show how much more the sounds of a vibe we all know too well can be pushed even more sonically. I think this is a big step ahead with respect to the culture and legacy that this style of music comes with. “Devouring Darkness” and the title track “A Dying Wish” close this trip of an album. A fragile and tense balance between peace perceived from closure and chaos derived from necessity. All of this while giving the musical joy that these will be some of the finest moments of cultural significance to not only the genre but to the music itself across genres. Thulcandra really looks at the past with newer perspectives in sound while being massively respectful to the greats that continue to influence the genre.
‘A Dying Wish’ by Thulcandra is a very significant album. The band maintains an air of familiarity that audiences are familiar with all while upping the ante of what more the genre of black and death metal could offer. Evidently with the sounds Thulcandra offers, what we ought to take home is the idea that great musicianship is not only representative of instrumentalist virtuosity but also deep, meaningful and engaging perspectives of music that continue to push the standards of already established and soulfully loved sounds. The production is absolutely beautiful on ‘A Dying Wish’. The sounds are very nuanced, rich, and detailed; all while presenting an enormous sound for your listening joy.
Interesting chord progressions, emotive vocals with respect to the genre, pacey and thundering drums, and bass all come together guided by a past that seems to seek the new and high. Thulcandra pulls this off very well. While one may crib about repetition in the album, we can also understand that every repetition represents a deeper study into the methods and influences that carve out an icy, dark, and meditative soundscape.