Review by Vladimir on July 3, 2023.
Within the gloomy caves where an alien world of absolute despair is nested, a presence of unspeakable horror is felt lurking around every corner. The topic of this review is a US one-man death/doom metal band Thorn from the US, and the third full-length album Evergloom which is due to be released on September 15th via Transcending Obscurity Records.
Thorn's songs on this album are quite dissonant and diabolic in terms of their riffing, frequent melodies and solos, deep guttural vocals with harsh backing vocals, and dynamic drum work that often does double-bass drumming, blast beats and very slow-paced mid-tempo. The riffing in particular has a very dirty and savage style with the tight guitar playing of either tremolo picking or down-picking, blending with the drums to create some eerie and morbid atmosphere which feels like your impending doom awaits. On top of that, the guitar melodies and solos add another dose of creepiness to that omnipresent dread and horror which has been with us from the very beginning. The guttural vocals are very thick and strong in terms of their execution, fitting wonderfully with all that instrumental work, but they also provide a very unusual feeling to that already impending doom as if you're being stalked by a hideous eldritch beast that will devour your body to the bone. I think that by now we can all agree that the strong side of this album is definitely its horrific atmosphere, which I've previously described the way I experienced everything. There are definitely a lot of psychological factors on this album which are the result of what the music does to you on a whole different level. The music presentation fits with the cover art, which gets an extra plus from me for resembling Dan Seagrave's oldschool death metal artwork from the late 80's and early 90's. Although this album does its job well so far, there are only a couple of issues that I'd like to point out. My first issue that I have with this album is the absence of memorable tracks that stand out or at least a certain exemplary riff, which is due to the fact that each track is very similar in style and execution. This isn't really a huge issue to be honest, because even though these tracks are very straightforward and one-dimensional in terms of their overall execution, all can be forgiven thanks to the music as a whole and how it sinks you deep down. I wouldn't go that far to say that this album is a "all filler no killer", because a filler track in my book would be very anti-climactic and feel like a complete excess in this package. My second issue would be the inclusion of shorter tracks on this album ('Spectral Realms of Ethereal Light', 'Wastelands Dimly Lit', 'Sapien Death Spiral' and 'Thanatos Basileos'), which are only over 2 minutes long or maybe less. My main issue with these tracks is not the songwriting, but the fact that their overall length does lead to a very quick jump to conclusion just when you start getting into the vibe of each individual track. Maybe I am nit-picking too much here, but I still like it better when a track is just long enough to keep the attention flowing and the imagination going, because in these situations it's often the case of "Wait, that was it?" and then you just have to move on. Overall, these issues are very small and do not break the black magic of this album. The album sounds very heavily distorted in terms of its sound production, but the best part is that you can still hear everything clearly from the riffs, melodies, vocals, drums etc.
I would say that the album Evergloom has some strong and complex ideas that altogether make a very interesting listening experience from start to finish. Thorn definitely does a very good job here and it's obvious that there is a strong sense of creative direction, which is not so common these days. I think that this album is suitable for fans of modern death metal and modern death/doom metal, especially for people who are looking for an enjoyable release that is quite simplistic and isn't trying too hard to achieve something just to fail completely in the end.
Rating: 8 out of 10164