Released: 2009, Ibex Moon Records
Reviewer: Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
Chilean death metal act Thornafire has been putting out records for a few years, though VORTEX DECONSTRUCCION is my first exposure to them. Thornafire claims to “worship at the altar of the ancient ones and takes its cues from the likes of MORBID ANGEL, KRISIUN, (early) SEPULTURA, and PENTAGRAM (Chile), while putting its own unique spin on the genre” – this is mostly true, except for the “unique” part.
Thornafire is a fairly standard death metal act. You’ll hear blast beats and intricate drum patterns side by side, bouncy tremolo riffs, some scathing vocals of unknown lyrical content (exacerbated by the lyrics being in Spanish), and some occasional keyboard pads to flesh out certain sections. A couple of South American-tinged acoustic intros add some much-needed zing, but they don’t successfully incorporate into the overall musical body of VORTEX to elevate it.
There’s nothing technically wrong with VORTEX; the riffs are there, the performances are strong, and there are more than a few great headbanging moments. But if I want to listen to Thornafire’s influences, then I’d rather just do that. Listening to VORTEX was like eating from a mediocre local Italian eatery in New York; it’s filling and satisfying, but you take absolutely nothing from the experience beyond the temporary cessation of hunger. Thornafire gave me a few nice metal nuggets to chew on, but not one single morsel reached out and really grabbed me.
Thornafire is a good band. They might even be a great band one day. But with such a neutral presentation, their music is a little too one-dimensional for my palate. Rabid fans of their influences will likely find a lot to savor, but I was left craving something beyond the uniform humdrum offered by VORTEX.