Released: 2005, Black Lotus Records
The side project of Sakis (Rotting Christ) and The Magus (Necromantia), Thou Art Lord, has a rather chequered recording past. Forming the group in the early 90’s they were able to release two full-lengths, an ep, demo, and split release from 1993-1996 before everything went quiet. Then after 6 years Sakis and The Magus returned in 2002 with DV8 and, at least at the time, heard nothing of the band or their return. So with 3 years since DV8 the band has regrouped and released ORGIA DEAMONICUM on what, I’m sure for most, may be an unsuspecting public.
I can’t really comment on the band’s progression throughout the years or whether their newly recorded material is up to par with past glories because, quite frankly, this is my first experience with Thou Art Lord. What I can say though is that the band’s earlier efforts were relayed to me as black metal while this album is kind of a mix of old school black and death/thrash. According to the band’s website they wanted to move towards a sound inspired by bands like Venom, Possessed, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Bathory and Sodom and in some ways that can be seen with the album’s pretty stripped down riffs and song structures. Though the album doesn’t sound entirely old school, in many places I can pick up some rather modern influences, while I can’t pinpoint them to specific bands there are some pretty low mid-paced chugging guitars that don’t exactly remind one of the old school bands the band say they are attempting to recreate on the album. Mix the heavy thrashing, chugging guitars with the odd beautiful, epic melody here and there, then throw on both higher pitched black screeches and lower pitched death metal growls and one actually has a rather interesting and somewhat unique listen.
Opening track “Possessed/The Legion” starts off with a pretty thrashing groove to it that is only helped by the slight gaps between repetitions. When the vocals do come in though, the song jumps back and forth between sinister, melodic tremolo picking and that opening thrash groove while jumping to a pretty rocking Venom section for its bridge and faux chorus. In “Hecate Unveiled” one finds the band on a decidedly more extreme note than on “Possessed/The Legion”. Picking up the pace with liberal use of blast beats and a nice stop/start riff that accents the beat perfectly, not to mention there is a second guitar working its way in the background to create a melodic flow to the song and it only gets louder until the song’s climax (an extremely nice touch if you ask me). The band does mix it up with some more mid-paced thrashing but the song’s climax and final section is really its best part with what was originally a somewhat buried melody taking the fore front, drums switching to pummelling double bass, and the rhythm guitar turning into a subdued, muddled fury. “He, The Great Worm” starts off with yet another quality mid-paced riff though the song only jumps back to it for its chorus, the song is actually driven by a stomping march of a rhythm during its chorus where the rhythm guitars and drums follow the same rhythm, syncing up for each note, while the lead guitar accents the slight melody played out in the rhythm. At 2:17 the melody takes over and much of the stomp is gone with various lead guitars and background accenting a somewhat sombre note that comes to a head with a spoken word piece.
“The Gnostic Code” takes the band’s thrash influence to its fullest, using an up tempo thrashing crunch to get things done. Despite the songs thrash leanings, the band does a fine job of throwing in a couple little twists to keep the couple thrash riffs from becoming boring… anyone else love the single guitar/bass riff near the beginning? Title track, “Orgia Daemonicum” has its far share of thrash influences as well for its main riff while tremolo picking and blast beats dominate the chorus but when the more drawn out riff comes in after the second chorus, that’s definitely a headbanger especially with it’s almost chanting vocals… “OR GI A DAE MON I CUM!”. The album ends with a rather cover of Onslaught’s “Power from Hell” which stays pretty faithful to the original and is a song that does a decent job of summing up what Thou Art Lord’s style, of course the band isn’t as straight up thrash as Onslaught are, but the song has its mix of straight and extreme sides, which is what Thou Art Lord accent throughout the album.
Thou Art Lord is not a band that’s overly technical and definitely not overly extreme, the extreme is mixed with the straight up sections in a way that it doesn’t feel like one is just being pummelled over the head again and again. There’s still a certain subtleness and charm to the band’s material that make ORGIA DAEMONICUM a winner.