Review Summary: Thy Lights debut is a beautiful album, full of dark, haunting, beautiful and sorrowful atmosphere that strikes a true emotional response from the listener
Thy Light, a name that is synonymous with depressive suicidal black metal, their demo Suici.De.pression
from 2007 was a genre changing event, bringing something special to depressive black metal by adding technical proficiency and a real and believable ambience to its sound. 5 years later Thy Light have returned with their first full length, No Morrow Shall Dawn
and once again they have shown true skill and imagination in their work.
Album opener Suici.De.spair
is an instrumental dominated by a piano and synthesisers for the most part, its very soft upon its opening, very atmospheric and melancholic, its very well put together and is a true reflection of the mood and ambience that the album strives to achieve. As a track it is a good opener, if slightly too long, the skill with the piano is demonstrated, with trills, runs and chordal progressions all used. A good album opener. 4.3/5
Next, my favourite track on the album, Wanderer of Solitude
is a true masterpiece of depressive black metal, opening with acoustic guitar and some orchestral sounds in the background, the acoustic guitar is skillfully employed, with almost Spanish influence on some of its patterns (probably due to being from Brazil), it is very melancholic in its sound, coupled with the background sound to make it very dark. When the electric starts the mood is already well set, slow and simple riffs, which evolve into a faster one later. The vocals are high, cold and distant, very powerful and splitting, they dominate the part, but without drawing attention from the rest of the music, the clean vocals at the end are sorrowful and dark. A couple of solos in the song are simple, but very well put together, the simple aspect is what makes them so good, a fancy solo would have ruined the atmosphere, but the simplicity allows the dark and depressive atmosphere to remain. The track also evolves, going from acoustic opening, to slow and heavy in the middle, to acoustic again, then to a faster section, all the while keeping you interested. A brilliant first song. 5/5
Following this is the title track, No Morrow Shall Dawn
another haunting track, it features a guest vocalist who provides some cleans later in the song, it starts of with strings playing a sad melody and some arpeggios played on guitars in the background, the strings develop into a simple dark melody, then this is joined by a piano. When the song starts its faster than the last one, and the riff is less dark than the opener on Wanderer
but the vocals remain dark and haunting, and the song retains the sorrowful atmosphere. The use of synths alongside the guitars in this song is perfectly done to create a strong sense of darkness, which with the vocals over the top has a powerful affect on the listener. Thy Light are very good when constructing songs in moulding two opposing riffs together so that they work, and the tempo changes are perfectly executed, such as on this song, where in the middle it changes from the uptempo guitar riff into an ambient section filled with noises. When the guitars start again with a tremolo riff its a powerful section, even more emotionally provoking than the last, and the guest clean vocals over the top strike a perfect chord. The song continues in this vein afterwards, with the regular vocalist joining in afterward. A very good song, not as good as Wanderer
This is succeeded by Corrodor Seco
which is a short instrumental, opening with acoustic chords and the sound of dripping water, this is a good start, the chords are well chosen to create a sad atmosphere, atmosphere been key to part of what makes Thy Light so good as a band, they make you believe their message, by creating dark, haunting and sorrowful atmospheres. The acoustic develops into another Spanish influenced melody, and continues in this vein till its end. Nothing special, but a good track nonetheless. 3.7/5
The final song on the album now, entitled The Bridge
opening with keyboards and the sound of a storm brewing, very atmospheric, this is joined by a synth melody, very simple, but beautifully done, a buzzing guitar arpeggio rises up, crescendoing as it does, this is finally joined by the drums and a scream. This continues, very dark and melancholic, full of sadness injected into the vocals. A guitar solo strikes up, slightly more complex than ones previously heard, but nothing too fancy, and well constructed to fit with the sounds been created. Another one follows after the next verse, the same as the first, the mirroring allowing for the sounds and atmosphere to develop, once it finishes the song suddenly speeds up dramatically, with a tremolo riff taking the place of the arpeggios, the vocals become more fierce as if desperate to reach the end of the album, though why you'd ever want it to finish is beyond me. This new sound is just as beautiful as the first, haunting to the extreme and a guitar melody you can sink into and lose yourself in. Despite this entire album been black metal it is something you could relax too easily. This fast pace continues till the last minute of the song, where it suddenly breaks of into a lone buzzing guitar, the storm returns and it fuzzes till the end, gradually fading out leaving just the rain behind. Truly magnificent, and a brilliant end to the album. 5/5
What Thy Light have done, is created an album that is haunting, majestic, beautiful, scary and melancholic all at the same time, it is a true masterpiece, not just of depressive suicidal black metal, but of any genre, that is truly capable of striking an emotional chord with the listener. In my mind, this is an improvement even on their first release, which was a beautifully crafted album. An album that brings together everything that other DSBM attempt to cover, all the ideas of depression, isolation, harm and pain. Lyrically it is nothing special, not the usual depressive stuff from other DSBM albums, slightly more relatable, but it doesn't draw from the album. This is still a masterpiece of music that should be listened to by everyone.