Released: 2012, Svarga Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
THUNDERKRAFT was founded in 2001 in Kharkov (Ukraine) by Alafern (guitar) who was eager to play more diverse music than the Black Metal of that time. The band’s style – Death Folk Metal – became cemented in the course of the first rehearsals. This meshed nicely with Alafern’s long-time love of Death Metal and Ukrainian folklore. From the very beginning, the band maintained an active presence on the Ukrainian live music scene.
The lyrics are written in Ukrainian, Russian and German. Problems of the human
relation to the past, the ideas of greatness and boundless possibilities of the human spirit, strength of will and character are under consideration. Cosmology problems also find their representation in the band’s songs, but being slightly flavoured with social aspects. In spite of the fact that the second album was recorded some time ago, the band plans not to let up. They will begin recording sessions for the third album in winter 2011, having already collected enough material during years of rehearsals
Thunderkraft… ….Totentanz…. …so for those of you not up on your German Totentanz translates roughly to Death Dance. I’m not entirely sure what the literal translation of Thunderkraft is but I’m not sure why they didn’t just go all out and call the band Thundercunt… …sounds like a pretty awesome band name to me..?
Anyways, back to the review! The album is quite possibly one of the most bizarre I’ve heard in a long while… …the band themselves call their style Industrial Folk Death Metal… …yes apparently there is such a thing? So presumably you’d have to incorporate futuristic pagan robot hobbit goblins singing lyrics into a Death Metal band? Strange enough as it sounds though, the music is that bizarre that it doesn’t sound far off!
The production of the album in places reminds me of the production on some of the later Akercocke releases, however that’s about as far as the similarities to them as it goes, it’s more the sound of the backing guitars, bass and drums line-up more than anything else. The album does contain a large mixture of at times pretty cool and at other times pretty embarrassing sounding synth sounds and lines and even also a flute solo just to top it off. I think done in the right kind of way you can incorporate lighter instruments like this into Heavy Metal and it sounds good. I’m glad to say that Thunderkraft have done this and on songs such as the slow ballad Death Wont Separate Us the flute works really nicely.
Strangely though, as a slow love ballad the song is screamed (and I mean literally screamed out whilst singing) out in what I can only imagine is either Russian or Ukrainian. You’ll have to forgive me for not brushing up on my fluency of either language… ;-) and so what I think should be quite nice slow ballad ends up sounding in places like something you’d hear over a large scale city wide PA system during oooo I don’t know, the era of 1939 to 1945…
The technical playing on the instruments on the album is all very good though and the production has everything all at the right levels. All the elements are there and they sound nice, it’s just for me having such hilarious synth leads at times and screaming out the lyrics in all manner of different languages makes it difficult to take that seriously at times. A harsh criticism I know, but I know a lot of Metal folks who only really listen to Heavy Metal in the language of English would be far less forgiving than I am. And the synth lines are pretty funny in places too… …just listen to the intro to The Future World… it sounds like someone recorded a trumpeting squeaky fart into a fazer effect, brilliant!
Despite me taking the piss slightly (is it slightly…?) and having a little dig. This is a good album and the guitar riffs are nicely written. I can’t really comment on the lyrics as I have literally no idea what is being said. Apparently it deals with in their words ‘Cosmology Problems’ so I’m hoping there’s at least something like the Ukrainian version of “MY LOVE HAS BEEN ECLIPSED FOREVER BY URANUS!!” in one of the songs at some point. I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t…
Anyways, I’m going to stop now before I get into more trouble and simply say, the album is good, if you really want to check it out then do. But I hope to god this band doesn’t take themselves too seriously…. ….because lord knows after hearing them myself I certainly don’t :-P
Review by Joffie Lovett