Wednesday 14 December 2016

Review: Thyrane – 'Black Harmony'

'Black Harmony'

Re-releasing demos can sometimes be the musical equivalent of putting photos from your awkward teenage years online for all to see. But every so often there is a re-release of a demo that is actually worth it. Finnish satanic black metalers Thyrane have offered up just that, their 1997 demo 'Black Harmony' re-released on Woodcut Records is a genuinely enjoyable and interesting look back at their origins.

Almost fully formed in style, direction and confidence, 'Black Harmony' is a quintessential 90s black metal album complete with demonic vocals, riffs seared by hellfire and symphonic keyboard embellishments. The likes of Satyricon, Old Man's Child, and Emperor can all be heard across the four tracks of satanic cacophony.

Diving straight into the title track the album powers forth with skull-splitting drums, haunting keyboards and ferocious riffs. It's an unrelenting attack that keeps the pace across 'Sacrifices', 'Enthroned By Antichrist', and 'Satanic Ages Overture'. Though it only spans four tracks the demo still racks up an impressive 35 minutes in length, showing that the band could, even at this early stage, aim for more epic track lengths and achieve them with ease.

Production wise this is not bad. Considering this is a mid-90s black metal demo it is incredibly well-formed and executed with great attention to detail. The keyboards may sound a little dated, and it may not be as crisp as more modern releases, but it is nonetheless a really strong effort.

This is probably a release that passed by many pre-broadband internet black metal fans, but this is an instance of a well deserved re-release. 'Black Harmony' may have been a first step from Thyrane, but it was definitely an assertive one that set the bar for their following albums.  

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