“Void Masquerading As Matter”

By Dr. Abner Mality

It’s been so long since I’ve heard from Thantifaxath that I thought these Canadian weirdoes bought the farm. After three years in the pale white void, they resurrect themselves with this four song EP. They dub it an EP, but there is over 35 minutes of music here, so the term is relative. Many bands release full lengths with less material on them.

This band remains one of the most interesting avant-garde black metal acts around today. They are often uncomfortable to listen to, but there is a striking originality and unpredictability to their off-kilter BM that makes them stand out. Many avant-garde black metal bands are shameless ripoffs of Deathspell Omega or so dissonant that they are unlistenable. Thantifaxath make ample use of dissonance and warped, unusual chording but not to the point where the songs are complete insanity. They like to do long songs, filled with fast, blurry and extremely odd riffing, which “Ocean of Screaming Spheres” demonstrates in abundance. You’re never sure what’s coming at you here. “Self Devouring Womb” features sparse, atonal piano that creates a different kind of unease. “Cursed Numbers” ventures even further into strange realms and is challenging music. The record ends with the title track, which uncharacteristically is a drawn out instrumental based on creepy, ghost-like singing rising and falling. A bit overdone, I thought.

Not easy listening by any stretch, even by black metal standards, but these hooded adepts are twisting and remolding the form into a strange new image.