Thy Catafalque
Naiv


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (315 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2020 | 53 replies


Release Date: 01/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Thy Catafalque prove again to be the masters of whimsical experimental nuance disguised as metal.

There are few acts that morph through genre nuance as well as Thy Catafalque. For the past twenty-one years band mastermind, Tamás Kátai has been churning through the boundaries that define avant garde. The group’s previous effort, Geometria and the 2016 effort, Meta Thy Catafalque proved they could combine normally disagreeable soundscapes under a single banner and maintain the musical integrity that pertains to an enjoyable music. Despite the twists and turns of the group’s now nine studio full-lengths, Kátai and co. have moved to new musical realms by holding loosely to the foundation left before it. In this regard, Naiv is a slightly more rounded affair, combining the same eclectic musical range with Hungarian folk, industrial, heavy electronica, light doom and thick black metal nuance.

The album opens in typical progressive black metal tropes, “A bolyongás ideje” but the Thy Catafalque flair is unmistakable. Clean female vocal leads sit juxtaposed to black metal snarls and thick, lush keyboards - but nothing here is as stock standard as these mere words suggest. Instead of caving to the left-field appeal avant garde has to offer the sound is kept to straight-forward inclusion, keeping one hand firmly wrapped around the steering wheel to which Thy Catafalque drives their music. It’s the next track that shows the band’s dexterity, living in the sheer experimentation of gothic rock, awe-inducing progressive electronica and lush saxophone sections… but that’s only half of what “Tsitsushka” offers so eagerly. The track itself also offers artful displays of trumpets, funky popping bass and adaptive synth building on the already full palette of the listener in the best possible, typically Thy Catafalque soundscape.

Despite the avant garde focus of Thy Catafalque’s music the ‘metal’ parts feel equally over and underused in sections, but as listeners we pen that down to the band’s natural gravitation towards the experimental. “Embersólyom” for example; blends invigorating synth work with entrancing Hungarian folk sections, while leaning heavily into straight-forward, yet driven metal riffs that tie into Tamás Kátai’s penchant for making experimental seem simplistic. On the other hand the black metal inflection that drives “A valóság kazamatái” could do with some scaling back, allowing some more of that folk-y preamble to shine. When all things are considered, Naiv is stronger in its second half. “Kék madár (Négy kép)” flute driven introduction (and verse flurry) is painstakingly put together, lulling the listener into the lunging, almost head-bang-able midsection without drenching the listener in a wall of sound scenario. While “Veto” displays an almost thrash groove that is defined by the band’s use of typically metal orientated music it’s quickly replaced by minimal keys and electronic nuance. “Veto” gives the listener both room to breathe and the music to quash this heartfelt musicianship into the realms of trance-led storytelling. In this regard, Thy Catafalque meet the dark with the light and enchanting vocal phrasing.

What’s missing here is the twenty minute opus that has dazzled on Thy Catafaque’s other records. But this also means the album is now the shortest full-length Kátai and co. have released in their twenty(plus) year run-time (under the Thy Catafalque moniker). Although the album is more succinct and straightforward because of the absence of such a track, there’s a feeling that the band has also dialed back some of it’s more progressive experimentation, befitting that of a successful avant garde band in full flight. As a whole, Naiv ticks many boxes on its way to metal avant garde supremacy with very few flaws to speak of being both a greater display of Hungarian whimsical folk and extreme orientated black metal that remains familiar to both new and older fans but experimentalise enough to breach new ground. Naiv is a record built from a foundation of positive moods, occasionally allowing hypnotic jovial moods to outweigh the abrasive screams, growls and blast beats as it moves perpetually towards its end.



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user ratings (144)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
ChaoticVortex (4.5)
Dancing on the edge of eternity....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

listen here: https://thycatafalque.bandcamp.com/album/naiv

MO
February 2nd 2020


22827 Comments


checked out the first track. pretty cool stuff here will jam

Muppelope
February 2nd 2020


1815 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First track was the only one I was super into tbh.

Digging: Loathe (UK) - I Let It In And It Took Everything

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Second half is a bop.

ChaoticVortex
February 2nd 2020


901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review man.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The album has 88 votes, ChaoticVortex has 888 comments. Coincidence? I think not.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11832 Comments


Great write up, Rob. Only Thy Catafalque I've checked in full is Meta and it was awesome. Dunno why I haven't jammed any other albums haha.

Digging: Biff Byford - School Of Hard Knocks

Pikazilla
February 2nd 2020


7826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, noctebro. Big fanboy of Thy Catafalque here.



Manosg, check out Roka Hasa Radio and Rengeteg if you have the time.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Only Thy Catafalque I've checked in full is Meta and it was awesome"



I do rec this and Geo.. for a swell entry back into the Thy Catafalque brand and of course Pika's drops are a worthy venture after that.

Thalassic
February 2nd 2020


3956 Comments


Roka Hasa Radio and Rengeteg are my faves
This album sounds great as well

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh shit, thanks mod bots.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11832 Comments


Cheers guys, will give them a shot.

MementoMori
February 2nd 2020


204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review Nocte. Absolutely love this act. I think this might be their best effort to date.

TheNotrap
February 2nd 2020


13194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Those Bolt Thrower-esque riffs on 'Vető' are quite tasteful

Digging: Marrasmieli - Between Land And Sky

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


4962 Comments


I checked this album out because the artwork and the band's name are cool. Really eclectic stuff, but interesting. I have to listen to it again to sink in a bit.

Digging: Yuri Gagarin - The Outskirts of Reality

MementoMori
February 2nd 2020


204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@insomniac please to listen to it again (I'm sure it will stick), also check out the rest of their discography if you're so inclined. The band's eclecticism is a long-standing characteristic.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


4962 Comments


Will do. There were several parts that sounded cool.

alamo
February 2nd 2020


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is really cool even if it feels a bit disjointed at times



opener and last 3 tracks were my favorites

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2020


11521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Veto is a jam but

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2020


18060 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great rev Noct, when that blast beat kicks in on the first track... aaaaaahhhh yeeeshhh

Digging: The Haxan Cloak - The Haxan Cloak



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