Saturday, 4 June 2016

Thorns Of The Carrion "The Scarlet Tapestry" (1997)


My interest in Doom Metal was recently peaked with Candlemass's "Nightfall" and at the whim of youtubes algorithms was suggested this unheard of video with next to no views. It was this forgotten and obscure bands second album and hooked in by the striking record cover I listened to the opening tracks which where certainly interesting. Thorns Of The Carrion are from Ohio, USA and may have been a somewhat of a local scene band in the 90s with a string of demos and two independent released records of which this is the second. Only active for ten years they have little reputation in the Metal world.

Far from terrible but lacking in charm, "The Scarlet Tapestry" suffers the fate of its own doom and gloom themes as the mood and atmosphere created in this sorrowful record often drift into a lull of morbid guitar drones and soft airy key lines dragging through unhurried tempos. Demonic guttural growls grimace with a lack of oomph and interchange with screams similar to Dani Filth. Clean vocals are also delivered in a deep and teary tone which gets a little to much with moans of "Why Am I So Alone" over and over. This record dives into love and heartache with melancholy and a touch of gothic romanticism which doesn't manifest well in lyrical form but the instrumentals do have a cohesion to define a unique blend of depressive, wistful and slightly morbid music fit for a foggy, human form of darkness.

Bar the introduction track the album opens up with a fair stir of energy and tempo as thunderous horns scale up and down reminiscent of Graveland's "Prawo Stali". It transitions into a begrudgingly sluggish dragging of guitars and much of the record follows this theme of slowness with moments of energy and life splashed in unexpectedly. If not in one of these sporadic bursts of life and movement the records next best output comes from the timid and lonely flute melodies, occasional pianos and thick gothic organs. Other than that the record feels lengthy and unfocused with minimal ideas being draw out of proportion and its atmosphere isn't immersive enough to make that sluggish pace meaningful. Enjoyable to hear something different but far to flawed to return to again after a handful of listens.

Rating: 3/10

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