Released: 2011, Violent Journey Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Thromdarr, a Finnish black metal band that was formed in 1989 already, somehow vanished from the radar after releasing their debut album titled NORTHSTORM ARRIVES through a small underground metal label Solistitium Records back in 2000. In fact, they ceased to exist for many years until they re-grouped again and recorded a 4-track demo in 2008 that was mainly done for record labels for the promotional purpose.
Some years passed by again, until a domestic Finnish underground metal label Violent Journey Records saw the potentiality of their latest effort, and snapped them up. As the very first fruit out of this cooperation between Thromdarr and the label, comes the band´s 2nd studio album, carrying the title ELECTRIC HELLFIRE, consisting of 10 tracks, which also features all the four tracks taken from their 2008 promotional demo.
With a completely renewed lineup (as a side note, some of these guys also still play, or played in the Finnish funeral doom metal band Skepticism), Thromdarr have gone a long way since the times of their debut record – switched their past black metal expression of NORTHSTORM ARRIVES over to a richer musical expression that still contains a fair load of elements from black metal but also from other metal genres such as 80s heavy metal, thrash metal and death metal. A combination of these different styles work smartly within the songs on ELECTRIC HELLFIRE, creating one hell of a pleasant musical experience to be shared among the extreme metal community. The music on here is – for the most part of it anyway, catchy and intriguing, revealing the true anatomy of quite a beast of the album – and in the end, just proving Thromdarr´s follow-up was worth the wait.
There are actually some interesting and cool tunes on this record that caught my attention right after the first listen already, gluing their tiny pieces shamelessly to each other like an easily put together jigsaw puzzle. In between the fast paced and aggressive parts Thromdarr have also managed to build up some beautiful and peaceful passages that are mostly dominated by acoustic guitars and keyboards, kind of taming the album´s overall dark and mean sounding nature. Both raspy and growling vocals and clean Viking type of screams have also effectively yet wisely been used within the songs, making the whole album sound like all the malicious beasts are soon about to be unlocked, and getting thrown on your pale neck. There are not any dull moments really on ELECTRIC HELLFIRE. Every single track seems to stand out on its own, sort of inviting you to return back to this record more regularly than your beloved mother-in-law´s house for a Sunday dinner.
For the type of album of mixed metal genres that Thromdarr have recorded here, there´s only one kind of thinkable production that fits to melt convincingly enough a true metalhead´s wristbands and bullet belts around his/her body parts: Heavy, crisp and just teeny-weeny unpolished old-school production. That´s exactly what both you and me get as well – and everyone should be happy about this.
All in all, a strong and very enjoyable ´comeback´ album from this Finnish sextet, so let´s hope the fire stays hot and burning in their re-tuned engine at least for a few more years to come.