Album Review: Thy Catafalque – Naiv

Album Review: Thy Catafalque - Naiv
Reviewed by Jon Wigg

Avant Garde Metal . That strange sub-genre that has in the past been used to describe such metal titans as Celtic Frost, Voivod, Mayhem, Devin Townsend, Godflesh and Pentagram. It's a genre that spans the heaviest and blackest of metal all the way through to the lighter end and is used when other categories don't fit, usually due to acts attempting to create something new. Others might says it's just weird metal.

Thy Catafalque is the brainchild of Hungarian Tamás Kátai and was started as a black metal band in the late 1990s. These influences can be heard throughout Naiv, the bands ninth full length album. This also incorporates elements of gothic rock, electronic, folk, jazz and funk amongst others.

Opening track 'A bolyongás ideje' displays the blackened heart of the project, with sinister driving rhythm sections and haunting female chantings between the blast beast sections. The instrumental 'Tsitsushka' starts as a gothic metal track before the electronica kicks in followed by a funk section involving horns and sax. I found myself really drawn to this track and its a fantastically layered listening experience.

'Embersólyom' starts with more synth work before building up the folk metal elements including flutes and more excellent vocal work. 'Számtalan színek' includes some great cello sections and 'A valóság kazamatái' has a definite Rammstein feel to the driving rhythms sections which sandwich a calm interior. Flutes are are order of the day for the electronic themed 'Kék madár (Négy kép)' before 'Napút' re-introduces the heavier end of Thy Catafalques range. 'Veto' is an 8 minute monster in which the metal is turned up at the beginning and end bookending a foot-tapping synth middle. Naiv finishes off with the most traditional metal song here in 'Szélvész'.

Thy Catafalque don't provide an easy listening experience, certainly on the first time through, but this album as a whole reminded me of their roots in Black Metal and is dripping in atmosphere, albeit of a different kind. The song structures are often complex and confusing but with each listen, my enjoyment grew. Highlights here for me are 'Veto', 'Kék madár (Négy kép)' and the superb 'Tsitsushka' which will definitely be on my playlist for a good while.

Thy Catafalque release ‘Naiv’ via Season of Mist on January 24th

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