The PR material for Thysia‘s debut album Islands in Cosmic Darkness punch lots of buttons. It informs us that the band-members’ collective experience includes participation in Haemophagus, Messa, Undead Creep, Assumption, and Nox Interitus. It makes stylistic comparisons to Craft, Varathron, Mayhem, Celtic Frost, Tangorodrim, and early Rotting Christ. It further suggests that the album will appeal to fans of Negative Plane, Malokarpatan, Cultes des Ghoules, and Funereal Presence. And thereby it creates very high expectations.
The band’s name is an ancient Greek term that refers to “ritual sacrifice,” and lyrical references in the new album are also rooted in Greek mythology. That also creates expectations — as does the album title — of ancient, supernatural, and bloody connections.
But the true proof, of course, is in the music that this Italian collective have created, and as of today we have two audio signs of the new album in advance of its April 7 release by Chaos Records — the first single “Psallo“ and the song we’re presenting today, “Communicating Halls of the Netherworld“.
photo by Marco Zanin
We’ll take a moment to repeat what we previously wrote about “Psallo“ when it first hit our radar screen, before knowing that we would be hosting a second track premiere. It quickly shows that Thysia have a very nimble bassist, and a drummer who can fly like the wind. The demon-possessed vocalist helps give the music a frightening aura, but probably the most exhilarating aspect of the song are the writhing riffs, whose ingenious harmonies are both ecstatically twisted and as cold and grim as a shallow grave.
The song swarms and spins the mind in myriad ways (most of them infernal), and it doesn’t take long for it to infiltrate some kind of potentially dangerous addictive substance, because it’s extremely easy to go back to it for renewed electrification.
And now we come to “Communicating Halls of the Netherworld“. Once again the drumwork quickly proves to be exhilarating, even as the riffing rises and falls in a kind of haughty yet demented grandeur. Trilling and twisting guitars emerge as the song moves into a heaving, menacing stomp and the vocals scream with fangs bared.
It does sound like an excursion into a netherworld where dangers loom, and then predation ensues as the drums become maniacal and the guitars swarm in screaming tones. But the instrumental variations continue happening in rapid succession. Fleet-fingered fretwork convulsions and turn-on-a-dime rhythmic changes whirl the mind, creating conjoined moods of fear and exultation, of agonizing gloom and deranged triumph, and the vocals become so unhinged in their intensity as to pop eyes wide open.
In a nutshell, Thysia spin us on through a hell of a thrilling and chilling trip in less than four minutes, again marking themselves as purveyors of an especially adventurous and exotic form of unearthly black metal, equally elaborate and feral in its viciousness.
Islands in Cosmic Darkness features artwork by Nihil. It was recorded at Mal De Testa studios (Padova, Italy) by Daniel Grego and at the home studio of Nefasto, who also mixed and mastered the record.
On April 7th Chaos Records will release the album on CD and digital formats, and you can place your orders now:
photo by Marco Zanin