Released: 2005, Ruptured Silence
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Some of you may remember my review for Philosopher´s 4-track demo titled WHAT DWELLS BEYOND that I did last summer, and how I didn´t save any superlatives toward that particular release? Well, never mind if you don´t remember. Since those days, a lot of dark and murky water has been flowing under the bridge of Death Metal and things tend to change. But luckily, not Philosopher!!
The band´s long-awaited debut album, simply being titled THOUGHTS, was just recently released through an underground German independent label, Ruptured Silence – and my sincere guess is, Philosopher´s THOUGHTS may well become one of their most well-selling releases on their roster. And what makes me claim so- you may ask? Well, let me give you some sort of a picture about their music first.
Philosopher´s “Lovecraftian Death Metal”, as they have decided to call their music based on H.P.Lovecraft´s strong influence in the band´s lyrical approach, brings most obviously such Death Metal names to your mind such as Death, Morbid Angel and Morgoth. I mean, you don´t have to be an expert in order to hear bits and pieces from those three abovementioned bands in Philosopher´s own brand of Death Metal. Saying Philosopher rips off the sounds of their most obvious influences, could be wrong too because they surely know themselves and what bands have been their main inspirations and influences over the years. On the other hand, Philosopher doesn´t strickly sound like a straight copycat from their most obvious influences on THOUGHTS, but they have succeeded in adding some of their own ingredients into the songs. Yes, most of the time they still do sound like a heavy, timeless, very ear-capturing and old-school Death Metal band just like they did on the WHAT DWELLS BEYOND demo and I firmly believe that is the thing that will appeal many listeners about them. But what has changed definitely for the better is the band´s brave drive for adopting more progressive parts into the songs on this album. Take a listen to such songs as “Beyond Darkness” and “Wounds”, and you know exactly what I mean.
Also 2 songs from the band´s excellent 2004 demo have made their way on THOUGHTS. “Nephren Kah” has been renamed to “47¤9´S126¤43´W” and “Dweller in Ruins” has become “Elysia”. Both of these songs have also been changed structurally a bit, but not so much you aren’t able to recognize and compare them to their 2004 demo versions. It would have been great if they had also included “Within Aeons”, the first song on their WHAT DWELLS BEYOND demo.
THOUGHTS has also been blessed by a very clear and harmonious production courtesy of Mario Dahmen in where every instrument supports each other somewhat perfectly in the best possible way, so what more you could possibly need from an intelligently churned out and well-crafted Death Metal album? Seems like these 4 intelligent German deathsters knew exactly how they wanted this album to sound like right from the very start up to its final touches. Thoroughly a brilliant release from this German H-P.Lovecraft –inspired Death Metal band Philosopher.