Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Narrow House - Thanathonaut (CD Review)

02.The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life
03.Furious Thoughts Of Tranquility
04.The Midwife To Sorrows
06.A Sad Scream Of Silver
07.Crushing The Old Empire
08.The Last Retreat
09.Doom Over Valiria

Yegor "Bewitched" (Vocals/Guitar)
Atya (Synth)
Artiom (Drums)
Kso (Saxophone/Keyboards)

Narrow House are a Ukrainian metal band which was started in 2009 as an atmospheric funeral doom project. The first album of the band titled “A Key to Panngrieb” was published in 2012 by Solitude Productions. After completing the debut album, band took a new musical direction, combining various doom metal subgenres (traditional, stoner, funeral etc).

'Crossraods' is a clever mix of symphonic melody into traditional doom powerchords, this is overlayed from samples from television programmes and keyboards.

Keeping with traditional funeral doom for 'The First Day' in terms of vocals and music, the only difference here is the addition of saxophone, which although not totally out of place (Think bands like Sigh and The Shining for example) does throw you a bit from the downbeat vibe.

A great Cello/Double Bass intro into some more sax playing that fits better for 'Furious Thoughts', the song has more voice samples and a simple guitar and drum backing.

Distorted vocals and doomy powerchords for the symphonic metal of 'The Midwife To Sorrows', some pretty epic guitarwork on this one as well.

'Thanathonaut' has a military style snare drum pattern and there is even a marching feet sample mixed in, the song soon starts to build with more sax and then keyboards, gives this quite a jazzy feel.
Half way through the song stops and we get a delicate piano solo, then a few vocals and then some full on drumming with a blistering sax crashing over the top.

Moody and atmospheric acoustic guitar and another symphonic backing help to make 'A Sad Scream' an nice little instrumental.

More television news samples about nuclear war lead 'Crushing The Old Empire' into a strange doom laden song with an almost oriental sound attempted on the keyboards.

Evil chorus sounds greet 'The Last Retreat' then one helluva riff kicks in, but instead of exploding into full on metal the sax comes in, reminiscent of Laura Logic's (X Ray Spex) style, more samples then start to appear with another more harmonious choral backing.

Now i was expecting 'Doom Over Valiria' to be well, err..Doom, but this is another delicate piano driven instrumental.

The last track is the longest on the album at 7 minutes, starts with more sax and more samples and just moves along at a happy pace, that is until the music stops and we get a whispered vocal in their native language over some piano playing, this then builds slowly with each instrument joining the mix note by note, adding more agression with the drums then some inspired guitar playing, then it stops and changes pace for some sax lead (almost) black metal to end.

Okay this is a weird album, more in keeping with slightly avant-garde/symphonic black metal that Doom, but thats a good thing, this is what i like to hear, original ideas and intresting music.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Sigh, The Shining, Merzbow, Boris, Ulver, Therion, Nik Turners Sphynx

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