|Thurisaz - Scent Of A Dream
3 May 2004
01. A Timeless Flame
02. Scent Of A Dream
03. Years Of Silence
04. When Images Are Fading
05. Anno Viroviacum
07. Years Of Silence [Acoustic live version] [Reissue bonus]
I know there are three or four Thurisaz around. To avoid any confusion, the Thurisaz we are interested in at the moment is the Belgian one. For years, Belgium, this flat country stuck between France and the Netherlands (that's for the non-European ones), has had a very lively extreme metal scene, with its most famous representative being the very brutal Aborted. As a French froggy, I've always found that Belgium and extreme metal were a bit antinomic, mainly because our poor neighbours have forever been the target of our brainless and bad taste jokes. I won't be stupid enough to tell some here, even if I know a lot of them. Anyway. Thurisaz show that the growing reputation of the Belgian scene is not erroneous, with this amazing album called 'Scent Of A Dream'.
This album is excellent because without being utterly original, without being a revolution for the genre, it shows a real personality and some very good ideas. To give you an idea, Scent Of A Dream can remind of bands such as Opera IX without the folk elements. Their pagan black is surrounded by some interesting keyboard parts that give it a nice atmospheric and symphonic side. But these keyboards are used very intelligently, and only when it's necessary, in order to add some extra atmospheres. The music alternates between mid-tempos and black metal accelerations, with some more melodic breaks. The mixed vocals (screams, growls and clean vocals) are also excellent. The clean vocals are really special and give a darker feeling to this already quite unhappy music. These are undoubtedly my favourite passages
'A Timeless Flame' has this epic touch that makes me think of battlefields covered by Norsemen corpses. It's a very symphonic song with astoundingly melodic clean passages. Maybe the catchiest song of Scent Of A Dream. 'Scent Of A Dream' (the song) after that has a black metal flame, in the sense that it is more punchy and in-your-face. The end of this song displays an amazing sense of killer riffing and great epic vocals. 'Years Of Silence' and the closer 'Endless…' are both pagan ballads, more or less acoustic, with some furious passages for the first one. 'Endless…' is above all a very romantic song that will make even the most bearded barbarians shed a tear. 'When Images Are Fading' is a more direct song, with fast tempos and omnipresent screams. Take away the keyboards and the clean vocals on the chorus, and you have a pure black metal song. 'Anno Viroviacum' doesn't really sound like the rest. It has a typically Finnish heavy/black structure, and it reminds me a lot of Chaotic Beauty-era Eternal Tears Of Sorrow.
In a nutshell, this album is varied, melodic, aggressive and catchy. The two beautiful ballads offer us some rest but are still of great interest, without being too mellow. Scent Of A Dream is one excellent pagan metal album, the kind of interlude I needed while desperately waiting for the new Himinbjorg (which should have been released two months ago already…). Seriously, if you're a fan of pagan black metal, Thurisaz is definitely worth your time and money.
Highlights: A Timeless Flame, Scent Of A Dream, Endless…