Written by: Blackie Skulless
In 2018, the Italian act Thulsa Doom caught my attention with the EP Realms Of Hatred, but for the longest time, I got no follow up. Last year, it slipped past my radar, because the debut full-length entitled A Fate Worse Than Death delivered exactly what I look for in the death metal genre. While this is a bit of a continuation of what was offered up before, the execution here is splendid. Nothing really reinvents the wheel, but comprehension and strong riffage take the throne.
For the most part, this is reflective of the old school Florida sound, using chunky but concise playing patterns, held up with an extra boost from the bass. It’s hard to not notice the refined nature in the production, letting go of the raw insides that the previous effort gave, but I see this as an improvement, and nothing is too over the top. The constant weaving of blasting drum avalanches between harder kicks and bright solos create a steady contrast. Matter of fact, the drum and bass combos play a noticeable enough role here to share the spotlight with everything else.
Moreover, the balance between slower, precise numbers with speed-hungry tunes make A Fate Worse Than Death feel a bit varied. “Into The Vaults Of Angmar” mixes this the best, using some of the most dense bridge-guitars in the entire album, which follow a ferocious vocal track. “Lost Portal Of Xul” takes a page right from the Death playbook, containing some of the sharpest leads on the disc. Our centerpiece title track acts as an intermission, breathing out light but haunting passages. Swinging right back into the groove presents no problems, as the jarring hit that comes with the main blow on “Order Of The Black” can be felt in the chest.
While single songs that stand out may be sparse, I have to appreciate how refreshing it is to hear death metal that flows so nicely. Thulsa Doom doesn't present much in the realm of uniqueness, however with how impressive this execution was, I feel like we can expect some growth towards something immaculate. They know how to stay within a decent runtime for what they’ve got, and anyone who digs the Florida sound should also dig this.
Thulsa Doom - A Fate Worse Than Death was released September 30, 2022 via Invictus Productions
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.