Thulcandra
Fallen Angel's Dominion


3.5
great

Review

by Ben Kuettel USER (44 Reviews)
May 13th, 2015 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Thulcandra present a focused and massively enjoyable, albeit at times unoriginal sounding, debut with few to no weak moments.

Originality within the genre of black metal is an interesting concept, especially after the explosion of gamechanging groups throughout Europe in the early 1990s. Most recent deviations from the tried-and-true formula of their style is frequently met with resistance and disdain. Stick too close to the established formula however, and you're called unoriginal, or even accused of plagiarizing the classics. Thulcandra were formed in 2003 by guitarists Steffan Kummerer and Jürgen Zintz in Munich, Germany. Their musical style combined melodeath riffing with a melodic black metal sound similar to groups like Dissection and Darkthrone's earlier material. They soon had a full lineup with drummer Jürgen Zintz and recorded a demo in 2004, titled Perishness Around Us. It would not see a release date, as the guitarists decided they were unsatisfied with its quality. Zintz tragically committed suicide only a few months after the recording of Perishness Around Us, effectively rendering the band on hiatus for a number of years.

Fast forward to 2008, where guitarist Kummerer is in a new city and is still listening to Thulcandra's unreleased demo. Newly inspired, he decided to reform the band with a new lineup and dropped Fallen Angel's Dominion two years later. While a tightly focused and impressive extreme metal debut, it reeks of its influences in nearly every song. The album cover, lyrical themes, and song structures are all impressive and some of the best written in this facet of the genre in recent years, but is all a bit too familiar. It does not however mar the truth that the album knows exactly what it is doing. Everything including the intriguing and supernatural album cover, the varied and technical guitar riffing, and mysterious atmosphere in each song makes for a massively enjoyable, albeit at times unoriginal sounding, debut with few to no weak moments.

A intro and outro track of about one-and-a-half minutes each surround six massive black metal songs filled with punishing, brutal black metal and melodic guitar harmonies throughout. The title track in particular features an effective combination of thrash metal riffing in the verses with blasting drumming and melodic tremolo picking in the choruses from the guitars. "Frozen Kingdom" has impressive drumwork over an incredible descending guitar lead, which then transitions to an acoustic guitar break before culminating into a slowed down riffing section of dueling guitars. As the beginning repeats, more melodic leads return and layer to create a stunning crescendo of atmosphere and harmonious leads. Not only are these two tracks the centerpiece of the whole album, they are the best achievement of the band thus far. They most importantly display Thulcandra's potential for stepping outside of their comfort zone. Fallen Angel's Dominion is a massively enjoyable album that pays tribute to its very obvious influences, while a truly impressive identity of its own lurks beneath the frozen wasteland of a surface it exhibits, hopefully willing to burst forth in future endeavors.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
May 13th 2015


13239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I've had this CD for years and thought it deserved a review. I'm planning on covering their next two releases as well. Constructive criticism welcome as always.

Gameofmetal
May 13th 2015


7211 Comments


"Originality within the genre of black metal is an interesting concept, especially after the explosion of gamechanging groups throughout Europe in the early 1990s. Most recent deviations from the tried-and-true formula of their style is frequently met with resistance and disdain. Stick too close to the established formula however, and you're called unoriginal, or even accused of plagiarizing the classics."

I know this is accurate and works with the review, but I really wanna say I've seen this exact set of sentences in another review. I don't mean to insinuate that you plagiarized or anything, but this feeling is nagging at me.

Otherwise the review is perfectly fine, pos'd.

TalonsOfFire
May 13th 2015


13239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thanks for the pos, and that's strange. I wrote this in under 40 minutes while listening to the album and made everything up from the top of my head, aside from the facts, which I had to find online.

Gameofmetal
May 13th 2015


7211 Comments


Yeah it's really bothering me but I can't remember where I might have seen something that close to it. Idk, whatever

TalonsOfFire
May 13th 2015


13239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If I see that review then I'll change my intro.



I've always loved this album cover, and it certainly fits the music

TheSpirit
May 13th 2015


18688 Comments


"Their musical style combined melodeath riffing with a melodic black metal sound similar to groups like Dissection and Darkthrone. "

I get saying Dissection, but Darkthrone? What? They don't have either of those elements.

Digging: Arizmenda - Within the Vacuum of Infinity...

Gameofmetal
May 13th 2015


7211 Comments


I second that qualm. Darkthrone isn't really a good example of melodic black metal imo. I've heard people cite Emperor in that regard tho.

TalonsOfFire
May 13th 2015


13239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Darkthrone played a lot of styles of metal throughout their career so I should've illustrated which era of theirs I was referring to, fixed.



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