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Divine Element - Thaurachs Of Borsu album review

Melodic black-hearts emerge from hibernation into glory

Patiently waiting for a new Divine Element album may be a minority pastime, but connoisseurs of the windswept and wicked know that the Greek/Hungarian band’s 2010 debut was an overlooked gem. Seven years on, Thaurachs Of Borsu is exactly the kind of grand leap forward the band’s potential alluded to, with everything from their trademark folk-tinged melodies and moments of blackened fury to the album’s raw but eerie atmosphere indicating that DE have grown in stature. The key to their allure lies in their ability to avoid being pinned down to one handy subgenere. There are obvious debts to the epic, blackened melodeath fantasias ofInsomnium and Catamenia and to the pristine bombast of Rotting Christ, but no one song slots neatly into any specific pigeonhole, and there are enough subtle detours to hold the attention from start to finish. Even on the glacial waltz of Beyond This Sea, which channels Bathory’s Nordland albums with unashamed glee, this mysterious crew exude enough of their own personality to make Thaurachs… an enthralling return.