Thantifaxath - Sacred White Noise | Review

For an album that purports to exalt aural oblivion, Sacred White Noise is startlingly articulate. Thantifaxath ply a riveting and addictive black metal, inhabiting a world where weird arpeggiations accelerate and decelerate in tremolated madness. I’m excited by very little in the way of black metal these days, but Thantifaxath bring a compelling and inventive animus to the table.

More discrete and comprehensible than Mitochondrion, and less oblique than Deathspell Omega, Thantifaxath imbue their progeny with a poignant originality. Sacred White Noise broadcasts chromatic madness in satisfying stereo. The dual guitars often flay obtuse polyrhythms, but they also unfurl ponderous chord progressions and crushing dynamics. An excellent rhythm section is accentuated by bass lines that broil nicely under the guitars' treble. The speed can be blinding, oft approaching Krallice-like acrobatics. Hyperspeed symphony, however, is not the goal; these magnificent riffs and rhythms live in service of an ominous and alien ambience.

The satisfyingly scathing vocals teeter on the edge of madness and comprehensibility. Without lyrics, we're left to ponder the half-understood ravings in darkness. Stanley Kubrick-style atmospherics manifest in chants and obtuse orchestrations, giving the album a sense of space, if not outer space. A twisted and glorious string composition towards the end of the album seals the deal on the band’s sadistic sonic intent.

Thantifaxath may worship white noise, but they certainly don’t create it. I walk away from each spin of Sacred White Noise feeling satisfied, but filled with questions that can only be answered by further listens. This is the mark of excellent music.

Atanamar Sunyata

Label info:

Atanamar Sunyata is a software engineer by trade and a herder of cats by calling. He lives in Peekskill, NY, with his wife and three man cats. When the inspiration strikes, Atanamar spouts metal hyperbole for Scratch the Surface, Metal Bandcamp, and his own blog, sunyata – mindful of metal. You can also find him on Twitter @AtanamarSunyata and Facebook.