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Thy Catafalque album review – Meta

Hungary’s sonic visionary Thy Catafalque reaches a higher state with new album

Thy Catafalque album cover

With a title as knowing as Meta, it’s clear that Tamás Kátai, Thy Catafalque’s multi-instrumentalist mastermind, knows exactly what he’s doing, referencing with this sprawling, avant-garde affair his band’s evolution from black metal origins to their evermore eclectic present.

Uránia unleashes blackened hell, only for longtime collaborator Ágnes Tóth to heal inflicted wounds with her haunting vocal melodies on Sirály, before the imperious cinematics of Ixión Düün vanquish the calm.

The record’s closing torrents of belting stoner riffs and torrid doom further consolidate Kátai’s ear for a riff, one brutal hook after another providing root within the maelstrom, but to get that far you must first endure the epic 20 minutes of Malmokjárnak – an ambitious journey through the history of avant-metal experimentation, encompassing choral flourishes, pealing solos, Arcturus-like melodrama, eerie crypto-cosmic instrumentals and to top it all off, dark, pulsating electronics straight from a John Carpenter soundtrack. The overtly ‘metal’ parts of the record are the most difficult to get through, struggling toward the moments of transcendence that this accomplished must-listen album so frequently gifts you with.