On Thorns I Lay – Threnos

Band: On Thorns I Lay
Title: Threnos
Label: Lifeforce Records
Release date: 21 February 2020
Country: Greece
Format reviewed: Digital Promo

So this week I was somewhat pointed in the direction of ON THORNS I LAY

. Someone who knows my interest in metal said this wasn’t so much his style, but it could perhaps be more up my alley. And boy was he correct! 45 minutes and 11 seconds of musical delight filled my kitchen as I gave their album “Threnos” a go, and with only a couple of reviews behind me this year, this one is a spectacular addition to what I have heard of 2020 so far.

ON THORNS I LAY are no newcomers to the scene. In fact, this record is the ninth in line of full length albums this group has released, and so therefore they should know what they are doing.

The vocals and guitars are what define sound of the opening track “The Song of Sirens”. The melody is grand to say the least, and along with the growling vocals and rumbling bass it gives it that extra heavy tone which still remains beautiful. It is in good connection I would say to the follow up track “Ouranio Deos”, which brings orchestrations to the table on top of the melody. In some extreme metalists minds this might be soft sounding, however the vocals yet again add a rough and needed tone to it all. The buildup is felt during “Cosmic Silence”, as the start out of the album has been quite slow but here we have a tiny little bit more speed. The way this group performs melodies and chord changes is extraordinary, and is very fitting with the saddening overall feeling. I wasn’t expecting the palm muted guitar section in the middle, and the use of double bass is also introduced. Along comes the church organ on top of it all, and I wondered how further up the ladder this group would be able to climb with their brilliance, as I still had four more tracks to go.

Powerful, dark and gloomy. All of it is embraced on the album, as should be with doom metal. “Erynies” contains harmonized guitars that lead the way with rhythm guitars that fill out the bottom end with the bass and all tracks so far have put forth some sort of a surprise that has kept me as a listener. “Misos” finally brings some head bangy feeling and it manages to keep the groove even during the slowest of parts, which is quite impressive and labels it with a mark of quality. Opeth´s “Black Water Park” era possibly inspired the album title track “Threnos”. It’s a lengthy track so it’s important to keep up the interest of the listener through it all, and the riffs do their job quite well along with some faster double bass, but of course still in slower tempos.

Closing the album at almost 10 minutes, “Odysseia” is perhaps the grand opus. The foundation of airy melodic parts together with the more tight and heavy riff parts make the track complete.

If you are looking for blazing speed and blast beats you are at the wrong place, however fans of melodic doom will not be disappointed with this album. I’m not quite sure if the string instrument I hear on here is a cello or a violin, but add some piano to it and the circle is complete. While having only two original members still in the group dating back from 1995 I am impressed by how fast they have managed to become so extraordinary close musical wise and learn into each other’s way of playing the instruments, these guys work together like six strong cogs that make up a well-oiled machine. 9/10 Julia

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9/10: Epic Storm!
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