Thy Catafalque - Meta review

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Band: Thy Catafalque
Album: Meta
Release date: September 2016

01. Uránia
02. Sirály
03. 10^(-20) Ångström
04. Ixión Düün
05. Ősszel Otthon
06. Malmok Járnak
07. Vonatút Az Éjszakában
08. Mezolit
09. Fehérvasárnap

Thy Catafalque is a band that I discovered through Metal Storm and for this I shall be eternally grateful. In a musical landscape where terms such as "avant-garde," "originality" and "innovation" are widely used, often without any reasonable justification, Thy Catafalque manage to give these words true meaning. So, following 2015's very warmly received Sgùrr, Tamás Kátai's one-man-band decided to release a new full-length album only one year later. Is it possible to deliver the goods again in such a short time? Let's see.

Meta proves once more that Mr. Kátai is not only an extremely talented musician, but also a great composer. The album grabs the listener from the first notes of "Uránia" with its doom ambience and its skull-crushing riff and this is one of the things that define Thy Catafalque; the band never stops experimenting and keeps adding new elements to the music, but at the same time it maintains its extreme nature intact, by cherishing the black and doom soundscapes that made it "popular".

Generally, the first half of Meta is nothing short of mind-blowing. From the mellow and divine "Sirály", you are led to the frenetic sexual intercourse of riffs and leads on a bed of electronica and drum 'n' bass, found in "10^(-20) Ångström", then on to the overwhelming complexity and progressive perfection of "Ixión Düün", until you finally reach the instrumental respite of "Ősszel Otthon". By that time you are halfway through the album and are standing in awe of Thy Catafalque's ability to create such astonishing music by mixing so many different sounds.

"Malmok Járnak", which follows, is a 21-minute monster and a very ambitious effort, taking up roughly 1/3 of the album. The subject of size and how much it matters has been eloquently covered in the introduction of Windrider's review. You have to produce something extraordinary to keep the listener interested when a song lasts this long and in this case, even though there are a few very good ideas in it, the track as a whole does not justify its length. Its dragging character and lack of coherence kind of cuts the listening experience in half and undermines an otherwise magnificent album. Luckily, the remaining songs manage to grasp you again and they lead back to the familiarly strange and beautiful music realm you entered when you hit "play". "Mezolit" in particular, with its heavy Black Sabbath riff, stands out as one of the best tracks of the record.

By the time Meta finishes, hitting "replay" should come as a reflex. Kátai has blended once again dissimilar styles of music in a way that many try, but very few succeed at. For those familiar with Thy Catafalque, this is very likely to become a strong favourite among the band's discography. For the unsuspecting, it will be a shocking revelation. In any case, this is probably the most versatile album of the band in the sense that it contains something for almost everyone and if you have heard nothing from Thy Catafalque before, this is a good place to start from. I am not implying that it is easy listening or accessible by any means, but for the music enthusiast who will approach this without prejudice, reward is more than certain.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 7

Written by nikarg | 15.05.2017


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 29 users
15.05.2017 - 21:58
Sentenced Odiin
It is great to see this guy gets more and more attention outside Hungary.
Life has given me much, maybe taken more...
10.06.2017 - 08:12
Written by Sentenced Odiin on 15.05.2017 at 21:58

It is great to see this guy gets more and more attention outside Hungary.

He makes great music, so yep.

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