Thy Catafalque
Rengeteg


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
December 10th, 2011 | 68 replies | 17,188 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For this writer at least, it's the metal album of the year.

Sometimes an album can give you what you want so perfectly that it makes you feel like the band have access to your brain. I mean, are Thy Catafalque regular readers of my Twitter feed? Obviously I'm joking, but the coincidence is a little creepy; Rengeteg could not possibly be a better response to my thoughts on the masterful Róka Hasa Rádió if it tried. I can even use direct quotes that I've posted online in the past to show it.

Criticisms like 'unsurprisingly, the band are at their weakest when they stray too far from metal' are dealt with by simply not straying away from metal. The album doesn't really get weird in any sense until it's almost half an hour into its running time; up until then, it's just straight-up metal, albiet Thy Catafalque's own particular brand of it. If you loved the heavier sections of Róka Hasa Rádió, you'll love this too, because they've kept all the things that made them so good (like 'folky tunes so completely bathed in Nordic passion that I couldn't even imagine singing along to them without having at least 4 tankards of mead first', or 'never neglect[ing] melody, texture, or rhythm in pursuit of atmosphere or rawness'). The influences they're drawing in from other metal bands is perfectly chosen too; the 14 minute "Vashegyek" echoes Agalloch's Ashes Against the Grain in its heavier sections, and that's never a bad thing to be compared to.

It does get weird eventually, though. And yet, when it does, it feels a lot more tasteful that the more unusual touches on their last outing. There's no more saxophone, for one thing; instead there's a ballad in "Kő koppan" that mixes the sounds of the post-metal Ulver albums with folky strings (hardly 'weird' in a broader sense, admittedly, but a change at least), and the instrumental "Holdkomp" is a minimal, glitchy slice of IDM that eventually introduces a skittering electronic beat, live drums, and some keyboards that sound like Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. "Az eső, az eső, az eső", one of the album's highlights, is built on dark layers of reverb-heavy synth pads and a clipped, echoing guitar part that sounds like early U2. The heaviness is never too far away though, as the breakneck closer "Minden test fű" proves - it's the heaviest song I've heard by them yet.

Literally everything I asked for and more, Rengeteg is a properly jaw-droppingly brilliant album; metal just doesn't get better than this in 2011, just like it didn't get better than Róka Hasa Rádió in 2009. They will have to fuck up spectacularly on their next couple of albums if I'm not going to permanently consider them one of my favourite ever metal bands.



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user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
December 10th 2011



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't pretend I'm completely happy with this review, but I had to post it because this record needs one. Can't believe a metal album this good only has 12 ratings on Sputnik, and only one of them a 5 at that.

Acanthus
December 10th 2011



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sounds good, have to check it out in a bit.

Edit: Will admit review reads strange sometimes, but the passion comes across well.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Releler
December 10th 2011



4 Comments


Great album. Having come to metal by way of sludge metal by way of drone metal by way of pure drone by way of harsh noise, I'm not a metal purist by a long shot and quite like when metal albums get a little experimental. If anyone else has recommendations in this vein, I'm open to them.

Gmork89
December 10th 2011



5485 Comments


What are some tracks you recommend most?

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

Knott-
Emeritus
December 10th 2011



10194 Comments


in the first line you say "what you what" haha

taylormemer
December 11th 2011



4913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nick you're a champion

feanaro
December 11th 2011



809 Comments


Haven't listened to this band before, but Ashes in the recs means I'll definitely check this out. cool review.

RangerTaffles
December 11th 2011



252 Comments


"Fekete mezok" sounds fucking incredible! Thanks for reviewing this Nick! Will absolutely check this out.

taylormemer
December 11th 2011



4913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is both cheesy and evil. I don't know how to interpret it.

Iai
Emeritus
December 11th 2011



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in the first line you say "what you what" haha

D'oh.

What are some tracks you recommend most?

"Az eső, az eső, az eső" and "Vashegyek", probably.

Heard it when it was released, it's very catchy but bad imo. I'll honestly never understand your taste.

Hmm. Of all the good qualities it has, not sure I'd say it was catchy to be honest. It's less catchy than Roka Hasa Radio if anything.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 11th 2011



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cant get that into these guys

Imperial
December 11th 2011



1722 Comments


metal just doesn't get better than this in 2011,

Except for like 20 other albums.

Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers

Thanntos
December 11th 2011



315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you're referring to your dig then lulz

Digging: Griefloss - Ruiner

fuckthatnoise
December 11th 2011



1479 Comments


i think imma trust baseline's opinion on this and pass.

sorry iai.

seedofnothing
December 11th 2011



3425 Comments


haha funny I literally just listened to this about half an hour ago. It's alright but not good enough
for me to wanna dl it.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2011



6085 Comments


whoa

steventon
December 12th 2011



152 Comments


yes, this is good metal. not best of the year, but it still kicks ass.

Imperial
December 12th 2011



1722 Comments



If you're referring to your dig then lulz


No I wasn't but it is about as good as the album in this review. I'm talking about albums like Ulcerate's Destroyers of All, Ash Borer's S/T, Disma's Towards The Megalith.

Kubrick
December 12th 2011



746 Comments


Just a suggestion on your summary- when you say "For this writer at least," it's like you're anticipating that a lot of people are going to disagree with you, and then letting that preface what you say. It kind of weakens your statement that this is metal album of the year. From the perspective of the reader, seeing a summary that boldly claims "Metal album of the year," makes me want to read on more intently and see why you feel that way. But when you preface it the way that you did, it takes away from the statement and makes it seem like you are less sure of yourself. Just a thought :D

I think maybe I should check this out.

Hordewolf
December 12th 2011



353 Comments


So much clirr voklz.



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