Pepijn ‘Pino’ De Raeymaecker – Drums, Percussion
Peter Theuwen – Guitar, Grunts, Clean Vocals
Kobe Canniere – Keyboards, Clean Vocals
Hannes Leroy – Bass, Occasional Screams
Mattias ‘Spiere’ Theuwen – Guitar, Screams
02. The Veil
06. Isle Of No-Man
07. Eternity Expires…
With a career that spans over two decades, Belgium’s, Thurisaz have been reflecting on the journey they have made to this point. They acknowledge there have been many “bumps along the road” as they describe the work that went in to writing, recording and releasing their newest collection of songs, Re-Incentive.
“The story behind ‘Re-Incentive’ started a couple of years ago… A dear friend of ours was coping with severe depression. Working a dead-end job for several years, he went from being burned out to fully depressed. It’s a nasty, poisonous thing, depression. During that time, one of the band, as well as another good friend of ours, had to deal with a painful break-up. So, when the band sat down and discussed the theme of the new songs, we decided to go with a concept-like album covering the darkness one feels when dealing with the feelings of depression and heartbreak.”
It’s a gloomy proposition, but undoubtedly a very necessary catharsis for those who lived through it. By their own accounts, Thurisaz were keen to do justice to their vision and took a meticulous approach:
“Working around these concepts while living through such a turbulent period of time wasn’t easy for us and the songs took some time to be completed. We had to write them, sometimes ditch them all together and rewrite them before finally being satisfied with the end result.”
The band’s considered approach is evident as the album opens with the strident momentum of, In-Balance; A compelling track that balances galloping rhythms and blackened vocals with washes of ethereal synth. There is an immediate sense of craft here. As though everything has been carefully thought out. The result is a song (indeed, an album) that evolves and shifts in its own time. There are no edges here, just a swirling mist of aggression, melancholy, positivity and hope that engulfs the listener and invites you to spend time with it.
Balance is a good theme to pin everything on. For every snarled vocal and distorted riff, there is a moment of calm and melody. The entire record could be viewed as black metal ying to a progressive and peaceful yang. The Gothic hammering of The Veil will carry you to the beautifully rendered folk singing on Monologue, and you will have no idea how you got there, such is the seamless nature of the music.
Exemption breaks through the vapor with a moment of fixed form, mainly down to its repeating refrain of, “tonight I saw the dark become the light and all I felt was sudden relief.” The song should also be singled out for the inspired way it turns itself into an aural rendition of that lyric. The “light” coming from an uplifting turn on the keyboards that is undeniably the very definition of the word,”epic.”
By comparison, Isle Of No-Man marks a return to contemplative melancholy, before it gradually builds to a crashing crescendo, introducing double bass drums and tremelo picking underneath the layered melodies eventually bringing us into the final track, Eternity Expires…
This last song is a triumphant progression that ends this collection on an uplifting and positive tone. Across the album there is a lot to take in, and the beauty of this final track is how it prepares you to go back to the start and listen again.
Overall, I thought this was a great record, but I honestly think a few more plays would elevate it even higher.
This is an impressive piece of work.