Thrall - Away From The Haunts Of Men

I like the punk sound and sentiments of “Spit In The Eye,” the opening track from down-tempo, D-beating Tasmanian black metal duo Thrall’s debut Away From The Haunts Of Men. Ditto Tom Void’s throat-shredding yowls about perfect annihilation, his disgust for humanity, etc. It gives the music a muscular, less airy or eerie BM feel. Across the album, Thrall (Void with Em Støy on drums/vocalist assists) carry a noir vibe — Earth’s dark Western atmospherics colliding with blackened Aussie thrash crew Atomizer or to stick with that continent, Darkthrone meets the Birthday Party. It’s untypical. And not what you’d expect if the only other Tasmanian black metal you know is Striborg. There are coyote howls (“Frozen Tears And Blood”), that crust swing (“Enormous Night,” “Black Hearts Burn!”), an acoustic Loren Connors/Roy Montgomery lullaby (“To Velvet Blackness”), thunderstorms (“Torrent Of Death”), the doomy Earth excavations (“Rank Webs”), the epic closer that ties all the ingredients together (“Robe Of Flesh”), and sludgy, slow-release dynamics throughout, along with plenty of excellent riffs. Take a listen to the aforementioned opener:

Here’s a video for “Torrent Of Death,” which gives a sense of the band’s thrashing “groove.”

Their ideology:

Homosapiens are a plague mindlessly consuming the last of the Earth’s resources; mass extinction/ecological cataclysm is upon us. Thrall’s music howls a pro-void mantra advocating the post-human era. Thrall is an embodiment of the contradiction of being inherently human yet anti-human.

Away From The Haunts Of Men is out in 11/9 in the States via Moribund. Total Holocaust released it earlier this year in Europe. Hear more at MySpace.

Thrall Promo Photo 2010

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Comments (11)
  1. Sounds good, the doomy bits are righteous. The nihilistic thing’s a bit too run of the mill for my taste, but that can be overlooked.

  2. Agreed re: the ideology. My problem with these sorts of “run of the mill” anti-human sentiments is that they lack the nuance of a true anti-human philosophy. That, and it’s hard (impossible) to believe the majority of BM band(s) (like 99.9%) actually stand behind them. It’s too often the least thought-out part of a band’s shtick. Still, I do like when groups push a “philosophy” of some sort … even if imperfect.

  3. the ideology is the one thing that is pretty similar to Striborg…who is awesome…sometimes you need a good dose of nihilism, even if its not well thought out.

    • I’m a Striborg fan as well. Re: the nihilism thing… Did you know he was a teenage breakdancing champion in Tasmania? Not kidding. I have friends who’ve seen him go for it (fairly recently).

  4. no…way. that is so hilarious…

  5. i want to see the drummer play. He’d be entertaining.

  6. It’s true, I am – but that album’s got “the OLD drummer” on it – I’m not on that album. That album was recorded in 07 when I was still only on live bass.

    But hey, we’re not necessarily nihilists. I think of the “pro-void” thing as being more of a social commentary…

  7. Does your drumming shift it at all?

    I hear you on the “pro-void” thing. The problem… a lot of this stuff gets framed unimaginatively (due to supposed genre conventions?) when it’s actually more interesting/individual. Once it’s stuffed into a standard black metal narrative, it almost doesn’t exist.

  8. Oh yeah, sorry to be so slow to answer your question.

    My drumming’s well different. I’m not a drum machine, and yeah, I lurch a bit compared to Drummer from Hell. I push different kinds of ideas as well with the band, and I think you can hear a bit of creative push and pull in the newer material. Next album is being mixed at the moment, and you’ll get to make your own mind up about that one. We’re keeping the next album shorter and punchier. Thanks for the review Brandon, take it easy. – Em

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