[3rd December 2012]
01. Pillars of Creation
02. Toxic Legacy
04. Magnetic Monster
05. Pray for your Remorse
06. Hosting the Sadness
07. For You
09. Simmetry of Chaos
10. Rising Tide
11. Alien Syndrome
12. The Black Door
Barging in right through the door: rationally, there’s nothing wrong with this, and it has everything one would expect when hearing the word ‘metalcore’. Supporting this is the fact that the mere first tunes of this album convinced yours truly to get the record on CD. Then, after listening to a few more songs, boredom struck. After countless attempts, I still haven’t been able to get through more than half of Teksuo’s Thrênos album at once. What the hell happened here?
Well, nothing happened; that’s why this record does nothing for me. Imagine some early Howard Jones-era Killswitch Engage in terms of music, and a slightly different vocal style and mix – more cleans – to complement it. Just to be clear about this, there’s nothing wrong with that – however, now add to that absolutely nothing and chuck it into a blender for the sole purpose of creating a more homogenous mass. What you get is Thrênos. Honestly, stopping this review here and now would pretty much tell you all you need to know: had this album been released ten years ago, it would have kicked arse, now it’s just the millionth attempt at an old recipe.
Breaking the whole thing down, what stands out is solid recording and mastering quality. Though there could have been a bit more layered depth, Thrênos is definitely a nicely rounded production, with a rich sound. Worth a mention the bass, which stands out strongly in the mix – something so many bands are forgetting about. In terms of musical and vocal proficiency, each of the band’s members pulls their own weight, delivering flawless playing and vocals.
Excepting a small handful of relatively rougher moments, where rhythm guitars and bass pull together and create a heavy concentration of aggression, catchiness seems to have been a key goal for the band to go after. They’ve definitely been successful at that, though the overload of smooth choruses results in something that’s exactly the opposite of what the band must have been after; it’s monotone and flat. Ironically, it’s exactly those moments where the band has not tried to be catchy that catch positive attention, and this is precisely where we do find the issue: there aren’t enough such moments, and as a result Thrênos lacks sticking power.
This is a real pity and not befitting of Teksuo’s label, Coroner Records. Ettore Rigotti, the label’s owner and producer, is a real veteran and a dude with an exceptional eye for detail and quality. His dealings with Soilwork’s Björn ‘Speed’ Strid in Disarmonia Mundi - and more recently in The Nightflight Orchestra - all proved to yield exceptionally worthwhile records; one of the reasons why The Baboon was so quick to place his order for Thrênos.
Unfortunately, Thrênos is meat nor fish. It’s like McDonalds when you’re looking for a Michelin-star meal. Everyone likes it, no one loves it. It’s average. That about sums it up.