Thief – Map Of Lost Keys

Ratings: 4/5
Distributor/label: Prophecy Productions
Released: 2019
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Band line-up:

Dylan Neal


1. Vespers
2. Frost Breath
3. Pyromancy
4. Desert Djinn
5. Holy Regicide
6. With Love, From Nihil
7. Unsafe
8. Gouging Out A Cave In Empty Sky
9. Without A Master
10. Spirit Box
11. Spirit Archery


From my research, Thief is described as an electronic project based in Los Angeles, USA; electronic music became extremely popular in Los Angeles in the late 2010s. This project is also fronted by the ex-dulcimer of Botanist (experimental black metal), Dylan Neal. According to Bandcamp, Neal began experimenting with new sounds during his time with Botanist. Their first album “Thieves Hymn In D Minor” was released in 2016 and involved a variety of explorations. I have not yet familiarised myself with electronic music, so I prepared myself for the magic that was about to unfold.

The band’s theme tends to include Eastern Orthodoxy and mysticism as classic hymns and Gregorian chants are blended into the tracks with an alternative-rock singing style. When I sat down and listening to the album from the beginning, I was especially intrigued not only by the magical feminine chant but also by the second half of that same track named “Pyromancy”, which included a rhapsodic, ecstatic and heavy bass drop. The vocal style produced on “Desert Djinn” had an enchanting and alluring alternative rock approach filled with mystical chants in the backdrop. Personally, I enjoyed how the tracks composed involved a great amount of committment and exploration to tie together modern and age-old musical forms.

This technique of blending distint genres together in such a creative format gives the ‘Map of Lost Keys’ a well-deserved description of “night music for haunted ballrooms and electric churches”. This album illustrates a buoyant and sometimes steady texture, which is what makes this release unique from many other electronic records. This is why I will recommend this to any electronic fans looking to expand their boundaries.

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