Atmospheric black metal is one of my favourite sub-genres. When it’s done well and you’re in the mood for it, there’s nothing quite like it.
I mention this at the start of this review as Thaw is exactly the type of album that embodies this, and I’ve found it easy to fall for it deeply. With long, well-developed songs and bucketloads of atmosphere, Thaw is the kind of album you can spend days sitting with to learn its secrets. Not that it gives them up willingly.
The songs build atmosphere with ease and skill, weaving dark moods and captivating auras at every turn. Mixing blackened doom, ambient, folk, and melodic influences into their music, Arkheron Thodol offer a lot of depth, variety, and interest across the recording.
Ultimately this is still black metal, of course, which means that Arkheron Thodol do have a harsher side. Not afraid to accentuate their atmospheric delivery with fiery blast beats of harsh aggression, there’s a good balance between the softer and harder elements of the album across the playing time, and the band never stay for too long in any one domain.
Thaw is hugely impressive and extremely captivating. This is music to experience while in the middle of a forest, or gazing up at the night sky. Arkheron Thodol have produced almost an hour of transcendental atmospheric black metal, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
If you’re a fan of the style then this is an essential listen.