The Pulse of Mourning by Thurisaz (2015)

Lately, I’ve been doing an incursion into doom death metal that have led me to incredible discoveries. One of the albums that left me atonished is The Pulse of Mourning by the Belgian band Thurisaz, a highly emotional, atomospheric and creative record that presents an interesting melting of doom, death and black metal elements, all in one. The first time I listened to this album, I immediately liked it and thought it was great, something that in my experience happens so rarely, since I need to listen to albums a couple of times or more to form an opinion about them. That made me suspect that I had found something big.

Nowadays is common to think that album artworks are something superfluous that no one notices, since many listeners just see a little thumbnail of album covers on online music platforms, but what first made me feel like listening to this record was the minimalistic and delicate artwork, that I found of good taste. But let’s go to the music. The introductory song, Longing… runs quitely without much fuss, guitars playing in the distance, no drums, no vocals, nothing to prepare us to the piercing growl that opens the second track, …for a Change. And what a change! When the album began, I thought I was going to listen some average and standard job, so that this song caught me off guard and really impressed me. It was quite a time since I listened to something so expressive and dark. The song is one of the most atmospheric in the album, an have some good traces of black metal. An absolute highlight. The next one, Patterns of life, is much less atmospheric and keeps a rageful, apocalyptic mood. It opens with a rythm-led section to then give room to beautiful melodic leads and clean vocals in the chorus section. The bridge part of this song is awesome, but I just don’t like the speech part (sorry, in general I never like speeches in the middle of songs). It’s remarkable the smart use of keyboards and classical accompaniment along all the tune. More melodic and catchy than its precessor is Ray of Light. It includes clean vocals with occasional growling, female back chorus and classical accompaniment is more noticeable.

Tangram is a depressive instrumental track that suites the taste of doom metal, with no new contributions apart from its minimalistic construction. Based on a simple duet of piano and violin, it does the job perfectly. It also reminded me a bit of Saturnus. And after this comes the jewel in the crown, the song that blew my socks off: One Final Step. The begining of this song is somehow similar to Patterns of life, and pretty standard, but around minute four, it slows down until it’s almost silent and a sweet guitar picking grows into an epic storm of sentiment and virtuosity that lasts almost for four minutes, the best four minutes I’ve heard in a lot of time. This tune leaves the bar high, but the album keeps the level. Enslaved Dreams is the second instrumental song, this time featuring acoustic guitars and, instead of sad, it sounds folk and elegant, making a good interlude that melts perfectly with the next track: In All Remembrance. Oh, the eternal lament for a lost love! A doom-metal-inspired album cannot exist without a song dedicated to the one that got away. This is a contrast song that alternates between sweet piano melodies sang by clean voices and nice female vocals backening, evoking the memories about the lost one, and rough parts where pain and rage burst. The final touch is put by Stargaze, another minimalistic and calm duet of piano and violin that talks about hope and in its final part turns into a beautiful and warm melody.

As final conclusion, this is the best album I’ve listened this Christmas. The mixture of genres is interesting, the music brings a comforting, melancholic atmosphere without falling into an excess of depression, as many times happens with pure doom metal, presents surprising and creative constructions and in terms of technique, it’s the work of a professional. The perfect soundtrack for winter.

 

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