Meister Leonhardt - Official Website


Thanatopoeia

Russia Country of Origin: Russia

1. Bliss Of Impermanence
2. Defossion Transcendence
3. Malevolence Supreme
4. Quiescence In Throes
5. Fulcurm
6. Tomb Ore
7. The Imago Paradigm
8. Taphotaxis


Review by Felix on March 1, 2024.

The debut EP of Meister Leonhardt was a good release, negative music with adequately sinister vibes. Already this output indicated a certain potential. Thus, I expected a strong successor and now that I have listened to the new album four times, I can happily say that Thanatopoeia does not disappoint me. It is a bullet that hits the bull's eye well. It is a continuation of the EP, but not only this. Meister Leonhardt also show new facets of their artistic skills.

Granted, the album starts with a strange decision. The band did not separate the intro from the first track. Given this, the opener falls into two totally different parts. Anyway, as soon as the non-metallic intro ends (by the way, further ambient sequences do not occur), we feel the album's real mood which equals the one of the debut. This is, surprise, surprise, no party music. Meister Leonhardt still greets from a zone of absolute desperation. But this does not mean that they fall into a paralyzing inertia. Instead, they offer unexpectedly catchy, lively and simultaneously insidious pieces like 'Malevolence Supreme'. The title is a program and the song’s rapid parts reveal two things. Firstly, the drum production is not perfect, sometimes the snare sounds like a flag fluttering in the wind. But secondly, this little deficiency does not matter at all. This is still a very strong, merciless and simply awesome song with an impressively natural flow.

Speaking of the flow, it is cool to experience that the band does not integrate many breaks or surprising twist and turns. Now you may ask why that should be cool. Well, simply because of the fact that the songs have so much inner strength that their fundamental sounds have a captivating aura even without giving them different aromas. They score with depth. Even the rather broken keyboard melody in 'Fulcrum', an element that didn't exist on the debut, creates a sick atmosphere. Meister Leonhardt do not shy away from occasional experiments (the opening guitar tones of 'Malevolence Surpreme' have a nearly oriental touch) and this line is one of them. Normally their melodies are rather well hidden, but they do not lack fascination. Especially those of the aforementioned song present themselves in top form (by contrast, the track ends with very sharp guitar leads). This is not the most extreme or darkest black metal ever, but twilight can create very spooky moods as well.

I have already mentioned the sound of the snare; honestly speaking, the entire drums do not stand in the center of the mix. But they are not completely sidelined as well. The guitars prevail and they form an almost opaque thicket. Of course, the masculine-aggressive screams of the lead singer are added and support the misanthropic character of the music very well. This guy does not put the focus on variety. He relies on his natural hatred, which he was obviously born with. Guess this is the best thing Russians (and other people) can do when managing their hate: using it for the creation of great black metal instead of devastating a neighboring country. However, let's concentrate on the music, not on the goddamned war. Thanatopoeia has a more direct character than the EP and it says goodbye to the listener with a final masterpiece of abyssal dark emotions. 'Taphotaxis' is the last unsettling outburst of almost irresistible abnormality. So yes, maybe two or three songs are “only” good, but over the entire distance of 40 minutes, we get a pretty excellent offering. Highly recommended, no more, no less.

Rating: 8.4 out of 10

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