Various Artists

Thorshammer

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Although their exploits are not very well-known in the overall world of music, Thorshammer and the cult of musicians they've developed around themselves are slowly changing the rules for heavy metal. Blending elements of synth pop and jazz into their heady stew, they make a brand of mood metal that is virtually untouched by any of their contemporaries at the time of this release. The three bands featured on this disc are all on the Thorshammer label and mostly are made up of the same bandmembers just performing different kinds of music. Inspektor K. is the fusion/weirdo aspect of the group, and they are very confident at this aspect of the genre despite crafting nothing too mind-blowing outside of a few stoner-rock jams. But the three contributions from Thorshammer are amazing slabs of sonic power that invoke the jazz-metal experiments of John Zorn with an emphasis on developing an atmosphere, something that Zorn was rarely concerned with in his attempts. To see such a solid, creative force pay their dues in the underground is truly inspiring. Finally, Abendlied is the smooth, almost Joe Satriani-esque approach to the same sort of moody thrash that Thorshammer is so good at. It is successful in many respects, but the songs don't pack the wallop that they have the potential to. To see a compilation of such solid metal is exciting. Someone looking to hear the newer spins being put on the genre should check this out: It is exciting and bright stuff.

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