Jan 232020
 

 

(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth returns to NCS with this review of the new album by one of our favorite bands, Thy Catafalque, which will be released by Season of Mist on January 24th.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. I am here today because we have been blessed once again with a new Thy Catafalque album, a wonderfully common occurrence in the last few years (with new albums being released every year-and-a-half to two years). For those unfamiliar with my love affair with the work of Tamás Kátai, I first discovered Thy Catafalque in the olden days of The Number Of The Blog thanks to an old contributor, Tr00 Nate (if you’re out there somewhere, yes, I’m still giving you the credit you deserve). The album Róka Hasa Rádió was an eye-opener for me, providing a portal through which I could immerse myself in something utterly distinctive and unlike anything I had ever heard.

Since then, Thy Catafalque’s catalog has reached nine full-length albums (plus the Cor Cordium demo), and each album is a masterwork in varied songcraft. I lack any real grasp of music theory, and so I’d imagine that there is someone out there more learned than I who could probably explain it, but there is something about Kátai’s music that makes it immediately recognizable as his work, regardless of the song’s composition. Given how much variety there is in your average Thy Catafalque song, much less an entire album, this musical identity is simply staggering to me. Continue reading »

Nov 242019
 

 

Two things: First, for those of you who make it a point to come here on Sundays for a SHADES OF BLACK feature, I do plan to have one ready a bit later, though I’ve had a devil of a time trying to cut it down to a manageable size. I still have quite a lot to write too, and I’m planning to get together with some cronies to watch the Seahawks football game this morning, so things could go sideways.

Second, I waded through an extravagant number of recently released songs yesterday, planning on a SEEN AND HEARD round-up. And that’s really what this is, but the different post title I picked hints at the reason why I decided to combine the music of these five bands — because all the music, in different ways, struck me as exotic. And I do have to emphasize that they struck me that way because I’m listening with Western, and in particular, homegrown American, ears.

THY CATAFALQUE

The first selection is a cover of a song by Kaláka, an old Hungarian folk band who turned 50 this year. The mastermind of Thy Catafalque, Tamás Kátai, explained that this band “have been one of my main inspirations since my childhood and this song is particularly close to me.” The song, “Embersólyom“, is presented through a beautiful video filmed in the Bükk Mountains of northern Hungary. Continue reading »

Feb 172018
 

 

Still playing catch-up after a week devoted mainly to premieres, I picked the following five tracks to conclude this two-part Saturday round-up. I’m definitely not caught up yet, but this will have to do for now. More catching up will happen tomorrow, with the usual Sunday focus on black metal.

THY CATAFALQUE

Tamás Kátai has recorded a new Thy Catafalque album, and I could hardly be more excited to hear it. If perchance you haven’t discovered Thy Catafalque, carve out some time this weekend and go explore the Bandcamp page, which I’ve linked below. I think you’ll find the music distinctive and enthralling.

The new album (the eighth one) is Geometria, and Season of Mist plans to release it on May 4Tamás explains that this one includes violins, electronica, occasional saxophone, trumpet, and fretless bass, plus the voices of Martina Veronika Horváth (Nulah, Niburta) and Gyula Vasvári (Perihelion), in addition to his own. Viktoria Varga also provides narration. Continue reading »

Aug 262016
 

Thy Catafalque-Meta

 

As I explained yesterday, what you’re reading now was supposed to be Part 2 of a two-part post that we began with a selection of new songs compiled by DGR. Before I could finish this thing, some new tracks by Meshuggah and Asphyx appeared, and I decided to throw those at you right away. (Speaking of big names, a new In Flames song also appeared (here), but it mainly depresses me.)

Before something else happens to cause further delay, let’s get into the following new music and videos from eight bands — five of whom  are old favorites, plus three new discoveries. (Yes, this is what happens when a round-up is delayed — it grows like a bramble of thorns.)

THY CATAFALQUE

In mid-July we premiered the first advance track from Meta, the new album by Thy Catafalque. It was a heavy beast, maybe even a surprisingly heavy beast for those who may have formed their expectations for this album based on last year’s Sgùrr. The surprises don’t end there. For example, I can now share with you another song that premiered elsewhere yesterday: “10^(-20) Ångström“. Continue reading »

Jul 192016
 

Thy Catafalque-Meta

 

How does Thy Catafalque follow up an album as remarkable as 2015’s Sgùrr, especially only one year later? That’s the first question that popped into my head when I learned the surprising news just yesterday that Season of Mist would be releasing a new Thy Catafalque album later this year; the name of the album is Meta, and it’s now set for release on September 16, 2016.

I don’t yet have a complete answer to the question I asked myself, but I do have a partial one because I’ve now heard the first advance track from Meta — and you can too. Today we bring you the premiere of “Mezolit“.

The existence of Meta really did come as a shock. There’s been very little in the way of hints about its existence, or at least none that reached my greedy ears. But when I wondered how Thy Catafalque’s brilliant alter ego Tamás Kátai would choose to follow the music on Sgùrr, it wasn’t because I thought he had reached a pinnacle on the album that he could not surpass, or necessarily a reflection of doubt that he could produce an album of great quality so soon after the release of the last one. It was more a question born of sheer curiosity about what direction he would choose to follow. Continue reading »

Jan 062016
 

Thy Catafalque-Sgurr

 

This is the Hungarian installment of our Most Infectious Song list (to see the songs that have preceded these three, go here). If you’re unfamiliar with the albums from which they come, you’ll discover that two of them include mainly clean singing and are thus Exceptions to our Rule. But the vocals are a significant element in the songs’ appeal. Not only is the singing very good, the singing is in Hungarian.

I suppose there are other ways in which some of us hear music in a way that differs from what others hear, but linguistic differences certainly seem to be an inarguable example. And in my case, as a native English speaker, there is something about the texture of the Hungarian language when used in a song that really resonates with me. But even apart from that aspect of the music, all three of these songs are highly infectious.

THY CATAFALQUE

I lavished attention on Sgùrr, the latest album by Thy Catafalque, with a premiere, a review, an interview, and other features leading up to its release. I did this because I love the album (I’m not the only one around here who feels that way — Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, who first introduced me to the band, put it at No. 3 on his year-end list earlier today). Continue reading »

Oct 072015
 

Vreid-Solverv

 

Yesterday I compiled a massive round-up featuring new songs and/or videos by seven bands. But that still didn’t exhaust what I had found in the preceding days. And, metal being such an explosively metastasizing tumor, I’ve found still more things to get excited about since I wrote yesterday’s compilation. So, what the hell, I’ve decided to throw caution to the winds and prepare another even more jam-packed post, with good things from eight bands. Once again, I’m choking back my tendency to shower many words over the music… I’ll just scatter a few droplets instead.

VREID

I’m going to start by telling you about a full-album stream that came rushing up like a freight train at night with the lights off. Which is a way of saying that although we here at NCS are enormous fans of Vreid, we received no advance copy of their new album Sólverv, and just learned that all the songs have now been officially uploaded to YouTube for streaming. Continue reading »

Oct 012015
 

Tamás Kátai-1

 

Sgùrr is the name of the new album by Thy Catafalque, the remarkable solo project of Hungarian musician Tamás Kátai. As an ardent fan of the band, it was one of my most eagerly anticipated albums of this year, and now that I’ve heard it, it is one of my favorites of the year as well.

I was fortunate to hear the album well in advance of its October 16 release by Season of Mist, and even more fortunate to receive a copy of the beautiful digibook version of the album to look at as I listened. And to add still more good fortune, we were given the opportunity to premiere a song from the album named “Jura” — which you can explore here, along with my perhaps over-long review of the album and my photos of the digibook.

After I had spent significant time with the music on Sgùrr, I was left with many questions about it. I prevailed upon Tamás Kátai to satisfy my curiosity in the following interview conducted over the internet. Of course, the music speaks for itself (eloquently and powerfully), but the following discussion provides insights about Sgùrr from Tamás that I think will enhance listeners’ appreciation of this newest of his creations (and I’ve included two songs from the album at the end for those who haven’t yet discovered them). Continue reading »

Sep 222015
 

Thy Catafalque-Sgurr

 

We are very fortunate to help premiere a song named “Jura” from Sgùrr, the new album by the remarkable Thy Catafalque. The album has been one of my most-anticipated releases of 2015 — and my expectations were very, very high, given the quality of Thy Catafalque’s most recent albums, 2011’s Rengeteg and 2009’s Róka Hasa Rádió. Yet as lofty as those expectations were, Sgùrr has exceeded them.

I won’t blame you if you now jump to the end of this post and start listening to “Jura”, but there may still be reasons to read the review that precedes the song stream, because no one song on this album tells you what you need to know about the rest of it.

I hasten to add that I’m not sure I can tell you what you need to know either. When you encounter an album as varied and unusual as Sgùrr, the typical genre references and descriptive adjectives go out the window, and that leaves me feeling even more helpless than usual in trying to find the right words. Of course, as mentally hobbled as I am by these limitations, I’m soldiering on anyway. Continue reading »

Aug 202015
 

Thy Catafalque- Sgùrr

I haven’t had time to compile a round-up of new music since Monday. I enjoy posting premieres and accompanying reviews when I like the music, and we’ve had a lot of those this week (more are coming later today), but they do tend to cut into the time available to search out other new songs worth recommending. When three or four days pass without a round-up, it’s not possible to cover everything I’d like to cover — too much good music comes out every day. So this is just an initial group of things I’d like to recommend for now; with luck I hope to prepare another round-up for tomorrow.

THY CATAFALQUE

There are few bands whose music I admire as much as Thy Catafalque. Thanks to praise about the band I first read at The Number of the Blog back in early 2011, I discovered the wonders of Thy Catafalque’s discography and began writing about the music, which in turn led me to make the acquaintance of the band’s remarkable mastermind Tamás Kátai. And then later that same year I was simply blown away by the band’s newest album, Rengeteg. I’m terrible at making narrowed lists of things I like, but if I were to attempt to make a list of my 10 favorite metal albums of all time, I know it would be a strong contender. Continue reading »