Thaw – “Earth Ground” (Witching Hour Productions)
Thaw definitely live up to their name as an icy cold metallic band from Poland who mix black metal with sonic experiments using noise, electronics and free impro! Consisting of members from acclaimed bands such as Sun For Miles, Searching For Calm and Furia, Thaw were formed in 2010 releasing their debut, whereupon they have been touring since, playing festivals (Assymetry Festival, Metalfest) and recently supporting Behemoth. With dark, metallic clanging melodies and distant rasping vocals mixed with off the wall drumming, a liberal use of feedback and drone noise songs like ‘After Kingdom’, ‘Winter’s Bone’ and ‘Last Day’, Thaw definitely go beyond the realms of the black into surreality during their experimental passages especially when shamanic chanting can be heard subtly in the background! There’s certainly plenty of momentum in the material provided by the sliding riff guitars and strummed bass lines but equally the slow and even quiet passages both shock in their contrast and create an eerie atmospheric effect. Thaw have allowed their composing capability and in particular their cerebral song arrangements to really come out on this sophomore. But whatever the mood or style, the 8 tracks on this intentionally different album remain extreme throughout as a constant.