Band: Thy Dying Light
Album: Thy Dying Light
Label: Purity Through Fire
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: April 11th, 2020 FFO: early Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Judas Iscariot
Formed in 2016, U.K. black metal outfit Thy Dying Light have been extremely prolific in their output, having already released 4 EPs, 4 compilations and 3 demos. Formed as a solo project and eventually evolving into a two person band, the band’s sound pays homage to early second wave black metal acts without feeling derivative. Thy Dying Light’s output thus far has solidified them as an extremely promising band and has them on the quick path to becoming an underground favorite. Thy Dying Light seems to be a band to keep an eye on and underground buzz has this debut, self-titled album as one of my most anticipated albums coming out this year.
First things first, this album is fantastic and may be my favorite album of the year so far. Right from the opening song the album grabs your attention and does not let go. From start to finish the album is aggressive, angry, and hateful, while simultaneously being fun, catchy and almost accessible (as much as it can, it is black metal after all). The song structures on display throughout the album showcase a band who has very much matured in their short time on the scene. The songs are memorable and never overstay their welcome, which is often a problem with a lot of other newer black metal albums. Thy Dying Light also succeeds in one other area where much of the modern black metal scene fails, which is the riffs. Holy fucking shit does this album have riffs and they stick with you. The songs have a punky and aggressive sense that feels like a giant middle finger to the “trendy” black metal that puts total focus on atmosphere and forgets that metal needs a good riff every now again.
One of the most refreshing things on display is the bands fearless ability to drop the blast beat and trem picking, and open a song up to a passage that would be right at home on Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost or Panzerfaust by Darkthrone. In fact, this album feels very inspired by early Darkthrone, which is fitting as Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have also never been afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. Fortunately, for all of us, Thy Dying Light is able to remain original and inspired sounding, despite leaning so heavily on their influence. While there is nothing truly new in what the band is doing, their ability to write a song that is effective, and draws you in, time and time again.
All that being said, this album is not quite perfect, though it is close. One fault lies in the lyrics. I get it, they are Satanists, so are a bunch of other bands. While not always the case, the lyrics are pretty cheesy at times. While I think the band was trying to convey lyrics that could be recited at a satanic ritual, the songs often sound more like something out of a bad horror movie, which is honestly fine by me but I don’t think that this was the intended effect. If I had to dig for another issue with the album, it is that many of the stand out tracks, such as the opener “Under the Horns”, are often too short and it would be nice to let the songs linger and really get their hooks in you.
Despite the minor flaws, Thy Dying Light have crafted a truly great debut album that is sure to take a spot high up on my favorite albums at the end of this year. It feels like a thousand black metal albums come out a month and a new band pops up every day, just to be forgotten as fast as they were given any acclaim they received. I do not think that this will be the case with Thy Dying Light and would not be the least surprised if this debut will go down as a moment of greatness in modern black metal history. Thy Dying Light have created a project that cements them as a band that demands your attention.
- Under the Horns
- Cold in Death
- Black Death
- The Rise of Evil
- Ritual Altar
- Fist of Satan
- Temple of Flesh
- Thy Dying Light
- Death Knell
- In the Shadows (Nefarious Dusk cover)
Total Playing Time: 43:46