The history of Thantifaxath is cloaked in a veil of mystery, with the band sporadically presenting itself whenever it is time to release some new work or go into a live tour, as they recently did with death metal masters Cruciamentum. Little is known regarding the band itself, other than they are based in Toronto and that they have of course released a self-titled EP back in 2011 and their debut full-length, Sacred White Noise in 2014. Their newest work, the Void Masquerading as Matter EP, once again through Dark Descent Records, arrives to further explore the dark machinations taking place in the band’s twisted reality.
Thantifaxath’s sound is raw and uncompromising, and that carries on to the new EP. From the first second into this work the band shows its dissonant edge in the form of harsh riffs in “Ocean of Screaming Spheres.” Coupled with the overall lo-fi aesthetic, this approach yields an infernal result as the guitar parts begin to take a hellish characteristic, as in the ending of “Cursed Numbers.” The band masterfully leads the way through this dark scenery with its progressive touch, as the structures expand their complexity and the technical playing adds variation to the repetitive black metal form.
Label: Dark Descent Records
It is a quality that Thantifaxath are always able to project, no matter if they are moving in a furious blaze, blastbeats echoing through this destructive endeavor, or if they drop the tempo and unleash a heavier manifestation of their sound. The dissonance is always adapting to the scenery, even when the black metal approach gives way to ambient passages. Halfway in the opening track the band leaves behind their rockinstrumentation, injecting noise in the desolate soundscapes while keeping intact the twisted mentality that has been guiding their ferocity. Similarly in “Cursed Numbers” they reach a dark ambient level, moulded through the strong atmospheric passages while the distorted vocals scream away, disrupting the dark serenity.
However, what lies beyond the initial impression of Thantifaxath’s relentless black metal sound is not so much the allure towards aggression and the ferocious perspective they are using, but rather the underlying unearthly take on dark music. The eerie lead work that the bad implements is a traditional element found in the genre, but there is something particularly venomous about these parts and their tonality. The most impressive twist however, is the neo-classical/acoustic takes that the band visits in the album, eager to bring them into the fold as is the case with “Self Devouring Womb,” as Thantifaxeth stir the heavy structure into a bare neo-classical halt. The title track, closing the record, sees them completely allowing themselves to indulge in that sound and bid the listeners farewell in a quite disturbing manner.
It is an interesting take that Thantifaxath present with their newest work, continuing to expand on their brew of black metal darkness, enhancing the presence of the ambient touches and including more prominent acoustic passages, without forgetting the blazing characteristics of the genre.