Thy Catafalque: Sgùrr

Charting a route from Hungary to black metal’s outer rim

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Hungary’s Thy Catafalque don’t do anything by halves and its master, Tamás Kátai, pulls together a dizzying array of elements in order to create a work that is as delightful as it is completely out of this world.

Sgùrr begins life on uptempo, shimmering beats that move quickly and draw breath from traditional instrumentation and Hungarian folk music, with Alföldi Kozmosz spinning out into the infinite before being drawn back into Oldódó Formák A Halál Titokzatos Birodalmában’s thrilling electrical vibrations. Kátai performs much of Sgùrr himself and the record is a bombastic ride through his mind.

Élő Lény is a tripped-out, cosmic journey into the unknown and makes the lead into the intense black metal sounds of Jura that much more jarring and intriguing. The track is huge and the contrast is extreme but it’s utterly convincing.

Sgùrr treads a blacker path in its latter stages and Thy Catafalque are all the more exhilarating because of it. Modern black metal can often be rote, but this one-man project is leading the way forward.