Aug 112011

This morning I got two e-mails that reminded me about bands — Thy Catafalque (originally Hungary) and Mitochondrion (Canada) — that I’ve been meaning to say something about for a long time. So rather than procrastinate further, or worry about how many other bands I’ve been unjustly ignoring, I thought, wtf, might as well just do it now.

The first band is Thy Catafalque, who (as of last month) are now signed to the excellent Season of Mist label. I’ve seen this band’s name in various places, but most often at The Number of the Blog, where groverXIII is a big admirer of them (see this, for example). Although I’d forgotten about it, I finally remembered listening at one point long ago to a clip of one of their songs that he featured at TNOTB from their latest album, Róka Hasa Rádió, which was released in 2009. I didn’t fall in love with the song immediately, and therefore moved on to something else important, like picking lint out of my navel.

And then this morning, I got an e-mail from Tamás Kátai, who is the principle alter ego of Thy Catafalque (along with János Juhász) and now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. He had seen my review of the excellent new album by another Hungarian band, Slytract, which included my confession of ignorance and curiosity about Hungarian metal. So he gave me links to two of Thy Catafalque’s albums — not only Róka Hasa Rádió, which is the fourth album, but also the third one, Tűnő Idő Tárlat (2004), which Tamás thought I might want because, unlike Róka Hasa Rádió, it contains no clean male vocals at all. I wonder why he thought that would matter to me?

Turns out that one of those download files also contained a video for a song called “Paths Untrodden”, which isn’t on either of the two most recent albums. Instead, it’s on the second release, Microcosmos (2001). Because I like moving pictures, and because I do most things ass-backwards, I watched that video before listening to anything else. It may very well not be representative of the band’s current musical direction, since it’s roughly 10 years old, but damn, it’s a fine, scathing black-metal song that has become firmly stuck in my head, and the video is beautiful — definitely worth sharing.  (more after the jump . . .)

Here’s the video:

Now after getting hooked on that song, I decided to jump forward in time and listen to something from Róka Hasa Rádió. Being short on time this morning, I decided to pick the shortest song on the album, “Esőlámpás”. The opening riffs and keyboards hooked me immediately, and I even enjoyed the melodic clean vocals. It’s a great melding of charging aggression and atmospheric melody, and it WILL get your head banging hard. Do check it out:

[audio:|titles=Thy Catafalque-Esolampas]

So, yes, I’m sold on Thy Catafalque and will be listening to the rest of these albums. Check them out on facebook HERE. We expect a new Thy Catafalque album from Season of Mist in the near future.


I’m pretty sure I first heard about this Vancouver band via a review I read early this year at The Living Doorway. The review included these words: “I’d say this motherfucker sounds like Ulcerate being total soul-raped by Portal, with Impetuous Ritual (or pretty much any Profound Lore alumni) watching.” Well, that pushed all sorts of my buttons, and I went and got the band’s late-2010 release, Parasignosis, and then later I picked up their 2008 album, Archaeaeon. “Soul-raping” just about says it all. This band’s music is about as life-destroying as anything I’ve heard.

I really did mean to write something about them myself, but I didn’t. I’m sure something diverted my mental plans, in just about the same way as a cat’s attention will be diverted by a passing insect.

Fast forward to this morning, when I got an e-mail from one of our Finnish readers (Toni) inquiring about one of our free FUCKING GOOD PANCAKE t-shirts, and as a “P.S.” he reminded me about Mitochondrion with a YouTube link to two combined tracks from Parasignosis — “Lex Ego Exitium” and “Tetravirulence”. Well, I’d heard those songs before, but I punched that YouTube clip and heard them again.

Listening to the songs back-to-back is to immerse yourself in a horrifying, abysmally crushing, energy-sucking miasma of torrential filth. It’s a blackened death metal vortex that recognizes no mercy and no hope and honors only coldly calculated destruction. In other words, it’s superb music.

If you dig the shit out of that ultra-badass metal as much as I do, then you can get more info about these miscreants on facebook at this location.

Oh fuckitall, here’s the whole damned album to stream (minus the outro track). This is not for the weak of heart or those with suicidal tendencies.

[soundcloud url=”″ height=”200″]

So there. I’ve now written about two of the 3,000 bands I’ve been meaning to say something about. Only 2,998 to go.


  1. That Mitochondrion album is one of my favorite from this year (the album was released in here in spring). It’s so dark and powerful that I just bathe in its glory. Definitely top 10 material along side Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ulcerate, Blut Aus Nord and Fair to Midland. As for the Thy Catafalque, which is somehow new to me, it sounds very promising. Color me interested.

    • Interesting to see Fair to Midland alongside Mitochondrion, FA, Ulcerate, and Blut Aus Nord. I’ve only heard one of their tracks, which I did like, but definitely in a different realm from the other bands.

  2. The Thy Catafalque song ain’t workin’ for me, says file not found.

  3. I am exceptionally jealous that Katai emailed you. Dude is a fucking genius. I do not think you will regret your decision to check out his albums. And yeah, the older Thy Catafalque stuff is a lot more black metal.

    I also recommend that you check out Gire, more of a death metal band that Katai did keyboards for. It’s very much got his stamp on it, but it’s a little heavier and less experimental. They released one album and a fuckton of demos.

    • Thanks for the Gire tip, and for being the person who first introduced me to the music. There’s a lesson learned there — I need to slow down and really pay attention and not be so fast in making judgments, as I did when I first heard a track from Róka Hasa Rádió on your site. I’ve now listened to the whole album, and it’s just excellent, and fascinating in its variety. It’s not something you can figure out by just listening to a few minutes of one song.

      • Yeah, all of the Thy Catafalque albums are deep and not especially accessible. The last two albums both have tracks that are over 18 minutes long as the second track, which doesn’t really help things.

        • That first, short track I heard from the most recent album is quite accessible, I suppose because it’s short, so by chance it was a good place for me to start, because it drew me into the rest of the album. The long songs are definitely more demanding listens, but as you say, there is so much depth to the music that there’s a big payoff to the time you spend with it. The more I listen to the songs, the more I get out of them, and the more they grow on me. I know from your own writing that you had that same experience.

      • Oh, and Tamas also has a solo album that’s a lot more mellow, but still excellent.

  4. I think Mitochondrian might be going over my head… I like it but the music seems too cluttered.

  5. I have a request: post nothing but crap I hate for about the next five months or so, k?

    Mitochondrion sounds pretty good, but I’m digging the Thy Catafalque song even more. You’re right about the video not being representative of how the band sounds now. While it’s hard to make an educated decision about the band with two songs eight years and three albums apart, but “Esőlámpás” sounds like it’s coming from a band that’s paid more attention to how the music sounds during playback. “Paths Untrodden” seemed more like an exercise in making a muddy sounding metal album. I detect parts that might sound decent if given enough volume in the right places and a better mix. It does get a bit better when it slows down; fast is not always better.

    • Now that I’ve heard the most recent album in full, you’re definitely right. There’s been quite a lot of musical evolution, and as much as I enjoy unclean singing, the newer album is much better. This band have proven that they don’t stand still — which makes me even more stoked to hear the next release.

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