|Review: Thelema - Fearful Symmetry|
Label: Soulflesh Collector Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: January 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Baldr
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (5 Votes)
Have you ever wondered how Spiral Architect would sound as a Death Metal band? Well, if you actually did, look no further. Thelema from Belarus play an extremely technical and complex breed of Progressive Death Metal. In fact it's so progressive that it'll be unlistenable to 99% of the general population. Every song consists of a bunch of erratic and almost spastic riffs that are put together seemingly without any plan whatsoever. Of course there actually is a plan: to bring exactly the riff next that fits in the least. Of course between each and every one of those riffs is a short break so we can appreciate what we just heard. I know there are people out there who dig this kind of logic, but they are far and few between. Just take a look at the song titles and you'll know what you're up for. "The Human Abstract"? It's clear right away that we're in for some lessons in math, philosophy and music theory. There are very nice passages on there that get into a nice groove. Don't count on getting a full song of those though, the next break is always right around the corner.
The problem with this kind of music is that you have a stellar display of technical abilities but no enjoyable songs. Instead you're left puzzling over what the hell just came out of your speakers. It's hard to remember longer song passages since the song structures are just too weird. The Death Metal elements mostly consist of some growling vocals, the guitars could have really been on any Progressive Metal album. There are a few short bursts with blastbeats that hint at the Death Metal nature of the band, but they are rather rare. I'm pretty sure this album will appeal more to Dream Theater fans who can tolerate growls than to the average Nile fan who is looking for some more progressive stuff. (Note however that this is still a few levels of technicality above Dream Theater. Don't say I didn't warn you.)
It's very hard to rate this kind of music. There are people out there who will be salivating over this, but anyone else won't be even getting a shred of enjoyment out of it. If you like extreme Prog feel free to add 2.5 points to the rating. The listed one is for everybody else.
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