So it seems that the new year will begin much like it ended; reviewing albums crafted by a one man band. Thy Catafalque are an avant-garde metal band that hail from Hungary. The year 2011AD brought the release of their fifth full length album Rengeteg on Season of Mist records. Let’s see what mastermind and sole member, Tamas Katai has in store this time.
Rengeteg opens with a gargantuan 9 minute epic by the name of “Fekete Mezok”. In addition to the groove factor it is extremely heavy and goads the listener to dive further into this musical portal. Delving further, you will encounter “Holdkomp” which begins with an atmospheric intro and transitions into what could be dubbed as a metal trance like song. Songs like “Kel Keleti Szel” just plain rip as they get into the groove and lock in tight.
The avant-garde tag may do this album a disservice due to the fact that most songs are straightforward with some synthesizers and atmosphere thrown into the mix. Avant-garde seems to conjure up negative connotations and while some elements are present, it should not detract a potential listener from a unique listening experience. If what you’ve read so far doesn’t grab you, songs also take on a progressive/jam element as evidenced on “Az Eso, Az Eso, Az Eso”.
Rengeteg’s closer “Minden Test Fu” starts out as a blasting, snarling beast that morphs into a stellar prog-esque climax. All lyrics are sung in Hungarian and themes deal with time and space. The only low point of the album is the rather monotone delivery and lack of depth of the vocals, which still does not detract from the the album itself as the music is never overshadowed by the vocals.
Rengeteg was definitely a surprise find. It’s safe to say that most if not all metal fans should have no problem rallying around this hidden gem. All the bases are covered from progressive to heavy to atmospheric, Rengeteg is massive in its scope and execution. If you swore off metal for the new year, do yourself a favor and rediscover everything that it can be.