Album: Void Masquerading as Matter
Label: Dark Descent Records
Released: November 24, 2017
Dark Descent Records continues to impress with a continuous line of release since their very inception. 2017 has been another phenomenal year for the label, releasing monstrous albums from Spectral Voice, Lantern, Craven Idol, Ascended Dead, Gorephillia, Undergang and Phrenelith, to name just a few. Thantifaxath’s EP “Void Masquerading as Matter” is one of Dark Descent Records’ last releases in 2017, ending the year with a solid landing.
After a three-year silence since their debut album “Sacred White Noise,” the Toronto-based band return with a highly-anticipated four-song EP that clocks in at just over 35 minutes. On “Void Masquerading as Matter,” Thantifaxath have upped the average length of their songs, with the shortest coming in at seven and a half minutes and the remaining three sprawling over nine minutes each; this gives the songs time to expand as they breathe, allowing them to evolve their sound. The guitars continuing their spiraling evocation of a perpetual, precipitous descent. They are the sound of a mind fracturing, the façade of reality breaking down into ever-lengthening shards of harrowing psychosis. It opens with the last place I’d go for a dip, “Ocean of Screaming Spheres.” The dissonant, not-quite-right riffs are jarring; things are intentionally awry, and the notes hit just shy of where you’d expect them to. A creepy piano interlude slows things down without diminishing the atmosphere before re-escalating to a climactic end.
“Self-Devouring Womb” and “Cursed Number” continue along these lines, with the latter ending in a dizzying, almost jazzy passage. The final, title track is seven and a half minutes of what sounds like an angelic choir, almost like Graveland’s Valkyries decided to make a guest appearance. It gradually devolves into a more ghostly wailing, and while it’s quite eerie, its unnecessary length seems like a move to pad the running time. But, if you don’t get your hopes up for the final track to be another storm of claustrophobic black metal, it’s actually a good ambient piece.
All in all, “Void Masquerading as Matter” is a good addition to Thantifaxath’s catalogue and natural progression to their sound. This will certainly please preexisting fans of theirs, and newcomers to the band will get a good sense of what Thantifaxath are all about.
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