Vera : In 2015 Thurisaz is in the spotlights again with delightful releases. Few months ago we could enjoy the live registration of an acoustic concert on the DVD ’Thurisaz: Live & Acoustic’, now it is time for proper new work in the quality of the fourth studio album ‘The Pulse Of Mourning’, a title with an important hint to what we can expect. The sound of Thurisaz brims with compelling melancholy, but there are lots of moments when rigorous raucousness prevails. The idiosyncratic features, recognizable out of thousands, such as screams (Mattias) and grunts (Peter) contra the smoothening, thoughtful vocals of keyboardist Kobe or the semi blastbeats in opposite to piano interludes are omnipresent in the nine new songs. After the release of ’The Cimmerian Years’ in 2011, Thurisaz played many gigs in Belgium and abroad, even in the US, India (!) and Turkey, but at home they constantly worked out new ideas until everybody was satisfied and ready to record.
If we detected a slightly increase of doom influences on ‘The Cimmerian Years’, one could recommend ‘The Pulse Of Mourning’ as an album with huge diversity. It shows the band at top notch level in every discipline they stand for: harsh and merciless, fragile and introvert, classical influences (violins). Doom, death, black… it is a ravishing blend always captivating due to their talent for writing strong melodies. On top of that a couple of songs are graced with (quite long) ultra emotive guitar solos (think of Pink Floyd and/or Saturnus) and that never got a chance so much before. Actually ‘Longing…’ and ‘…For A Change’ (with the first screams and soaring keyboards) are a kind of introduction to the first single ‘Patterns Of Life’. After a menacing beginning it opens in a fetching manner with juicy growls and fluent guitar lines. Beautiful is the switch to melancholic clean vocals, while we soon find ourselves in the midst of a hectic speech. The contrast between heavy riffs and keyboard ornaments builds up tension in a masterful manner. It is the same catchiness, mixed with heaviness and gloominess that makes a compelling track of ‘Rays Of Light’ as well. The instrumental ‘Tangram’ moves you in an introspective way with classical piano and strings, but most of all infectious melodies. It brings us to the highlight of the album: the eight minutes long ‘One Final Step’, including fervent riffs with rough vocals passing into magnificent Pink Floydish guitar solos. It gave me goose-bumps! A fluent momentum leads to a climax with harmony vocals as grand finale. The music of Thurisaz often has an epic, empyrean timbre. That goes also for the synthesizers at the start of ‘In All Remembrance’, followed by an alternation of snappy and calm passages. Above all a huge sadness reigns in these compositions and the summit of that can be found in the fragile last track ‘Stargaze’ with thoughtful vocals, violin and piano. This is the most complete piece of art Thurisaz has ever made. In a production of guitarist Peter Theuwen with Kris Belaen and Nick Mettez at the CCR studio and a mastering at Swedish Tailor Maid studio, everything sounds crystal clear and impressive. What a stunner; top notch class!