THALAMUS – Subterfuge (2011)
Hard Rockers THALAMUS from Borlänge, Sweden, released about four years ago their debut full-length ‘Beneath A Dying Sun’. This slab of 1970’s influenced classic hard was a prime example to the fact that music does not need to be on the cutting edge of style in order to be quality.
For their brand new album “Subterfuge”, they kick the listener all the way back – even deeper – to the glory days of classic rock, reinforced for the use of Hammond B3 cascades.
In doing this, the metal edge would be left by the wayside although this does not mean that THALAMUS has lost its potent, ballsy sound.
There can be no better example of this than “Still Dancing On My Grave” or “She Sells Desolation”. These two songs are packed with mind-blowing riffs and loaded with fantastic hooklines. Not forgetting the vocals of guitarist Kjell Bergendahl; his clear, powerful voice serves as the perfect counterpoint to the thundering twin-guitar work while the backbone of the band comes in the form of a tight groovin’ rhythm section.
However, the album do not opens with a bang, but slowly build up the tension with a wavering Led Zeppelin IV-like intro, into the great repetitive powerful riff of “Bring Down Mary”.
After this, “When Goblins Cheer” brings it all into a heavy doom territory ala Black Sabbath, but with a very melodic chorus, which I also didn’t expect. This hypnotizing track contains excellent contributions of the guitar and some crooked after beat hooks.
The guys are getting more up speed with “Blind”, reminding somewhat of good old Deep Purple complete with great keyboards and a catchy rhythm that adds further to the variety of Subterfuge. As you can see, this album is no one-dimensional affair, even when there is still a main focus on the riff.
“Shot To Hell” is an ultra-groovy and almost heavy funk piece which makes you impossible to sit still, while “Love Is Shining On The Dead Man” has a lovely retro, slightly psychedelic feel.
The album ends with “Through The Fields”, the longest track on the disc, offering one of the best performances by vocalist / guitar player Kjell Bergendahl, cool solos and very nice atmosphere
The Classic Hard Rock vibe is strong on “Subterfuge”. You can tell this is the work of some passionate rockers with a clear appreciation for vintage sounds in the vein of Deep Purple, Rainbow or Lucifer’s Friend.
But THALAMUS prove that they are more than the sum of their influences.
This band play with such obvious gusto that it’s hard not to get swept right along with them. Moreover, they know to turn great riffs into great songs.
Even the more laid back tracks can keep full attention of the listener and the sound of this CD is superb; a great authentic atmosphere of the early seventies combined with the advantages of modern studio techniques.
This is an absolute must for everyone into high-quality hard, ballsy seventies inspired rock .
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrock
01. Blues Mary Intro
02. Bring Down Mary
03. When Goblins Cheer
05. Still Dancing On My Grave
06. I Hope You Understand (remix D.Bergstrand)
07. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
08. Shot To Hell
09. She Sells Desolation
10. Love Is Shining On The Dead Man
11. Through The Fields
Kjell Bergendahl – Vocals, Guitar
Mats Gesar – Guitar
Joakhim Aslund – Keyboards, Hammond B3
Peter Johansson – Bass
Sebastian Olsson – Drums
BUY IT !