Theosophy – Eastland Tales – Part II

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: No Colours Records
Distributor/label URL: http://no-colours-records.de/
Released: December 2016
Buy Album [URL]: http://shop.no-colours-records.de/
Band Website: https://m.facebook.com/theosophygroup

theosaphy1Band Line-up:

Phantom – Vocals, Bass
Egiborg – Guitars
Svaarth – Guitars
Eeks Eye – Keyboards
Skinner – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Slaves of Destiny
2. Forces of Death
3. At the End of Life
4. My Hatred in My Hands
5. I Saw a Star
6. Buried in My Grave
7. Up to the Mountains
8. Riders of the Hellstorm
9. Route to Light (321)
10. The End of Tales

Review:

From what I have been able to gather, this is the fourth full length release from Siberian Black Metal stalwarts Theosophy, along with a demo, and a split CD with fellow Metal act Bizarrekult. Formed in 2004, but not really getting off the ground for various reasons until 2007, one could say that they pretty much haven’t mucked around since, far more prolific in their release schedule than a lot of bigger acts out there, not a bad thing as far as their fans are probably concerned!

Eastland Tales Part II, (following on from previous release Eastland Tales Part I) opens up on a pretty bright note with the almost thrashy “Slaves of Destiny”, a fast moving number designed no doubt to work the cricks out of necks after a cold Siberian winter. The vocals are clear enough to be distinguished and the riff work is warm and crunchy, the song has an almost old school quality to it, leaving the listener very much aware that these guys know their stuff. Song two becomes more of what we could call traditional Black Metal, blast beats and ringing chords, melodic soloing and barking vocals, again moving along at a fair pace, it doesn’t quite possess the charm of the opening track but still doesn’t disappoint.

“At the End of Life” slows things down just a touch, but not enough to lose momentum, introducing some spoken passages that only add to the sense of biting cold misery Theosophy are projecting, Skinner on drums is displaying his ability to pound the tar out of the double bass to great effect. “My Hatred in My Hands” has a brutal groove to it, full of spite and venom and mid paced fury, the bass guitar almost hangs out of the bottom of this one like some giant Demon Toad slowly bouncing it’s way back to Hell – a definite highlight.

Halfway through “I Saw a Star” sees a return to more traditional Black boundaries again, riffs alternating between muted and open, a very dark and atmospheric number. Vocalist Phantom doesn’t break any stereotypes here, but he does what he does VERY well, as do all his fellow band members. “Buried in My Grave” begins as an absolute hate fuelled blast-fest, shrill guitars flailing away in the background. Skinners drumming pretty much doesn’t let up at all in this one, the man reminding me of some sort of possessed metronome, keyboards also adding extra layers to the wall of sound, eerie mournful melody at the back of the fury.

“Up To The Mountains” begins in an epic fashion. Epic crunchy riffs and rolling double bass, a worthy tune for a journey into the hills, another very infectious number. Theosophy seem to have grasped the concept that heavy music can also be catchy quite well, and it won’t take a week for these songs to make sense unlike some fancier black acts out there. “Riders of the Hellstorm” slips seamlessly back into blast-off-your-face-and-peel-off-your-skin mode, slowing down for a bit of melody here and there before commencing the flaying, alternating between both until the very end.

Thus we enter the final stages of these Eastland Tales with “Route to Light (321)”. Phantom doesn’t pull any punches with this number, his shrill voice sounding creepier than a Wraith in a long overcoat offering free hugs. Probably the scariest track on the album, delivered with dire purpose and malevolent intent, turn out the lights kiddies and close your eyes to this one.

“The End of Tales” is, well, the end, and a very fitting end. An almost beautiful end at that, Theosophy showing their acoustic side, a lovely mournful piece of music, I only wish it had gone longer.

Overall an outstanding album, one I think that may not just appeal to the Black Metal hordes. Anyone out there looking for something a little different (but not too so) that’ll stay on your playlist for more than a week or two should give this one a shot. As for me, I now want to hear Part I….

Review by The Great Mackintosh

 

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