Press - Reviews
31st July 2004
Turbulence review, Ventrilocution Webzine

ThanatoSchizO
Turbulence (2004) [Misdeed]


More guitar-driven that its predecessor, ThanatoSchizO's latest offering sets a new level to the Portuguese band, with a much improved production and a thoughtfulness not so present in the collective's past efforts, which sometimes sounded as paradoxical as a band trying to be avant-garde with traditional heavy rock approaches, subsequently leading to a disconnection between what was effectively delivered and the initial idealization.
Fortunately, the group's own process of maturation and development somehow put an end to all that. On "InsomniousNightLift" - though only with shy approaches - and on "Turbulence" we can perceive the output of an honest band in what concerns their musical direction and what is really the core of TSO's artistic leanings. Long gone are the pseudo-doomy-goth ambiences of previous works, or even the traditional death/black metal guitar approach. What is displayed in here is, to some extent, the best decision the band has ever made, as the guitar definitely set its tangible presence, more consistent and, when the moment is appropriate, melodically emotional and dramatic. A fine balance indeed, which one could easily measure up to what Opeth have been doing lately, but although that comparison is not as underrated as it seems at first glance, it only serves the purpose of "lets name a band to provide a general picture of their music".
"Sweet Suicidal Serenade" introduces very enjoyable sludgy riffing, while "Traces" is a monster of progressive-rock bass lines, yielding a neat and comfortable path of diverse frames, travelling through the standard growling/fragile vocal patterns, and the clear melodic vocals and quiet soft instrumentation. "Void" is perhaps the only thoroughly avant-garde song ever written by ThanatoSchizO, mixing Arabic scales with a sardonic sense of composition, interplaying their traditional metal moments with middle-east tribal jamming, resulting in a rewarding 10min journey.
Even though I've enjoyed this release, the question remains for ThanatoSchizO: when will the band release a breathtaking album in all the senses possible to a metal band? In fact, a major step has been perpetrated in "Turbulence", starting with the clear definition of the musical direction and, most importantly to this stage, a successful production, which is as important as what is played, so to speak. Some edges still need to be sharpened, mainly in the female vocals department, which I believe to be feeble and withdrawn, particularly on the moments that do require a stronger presence, but, in a general sense, this is, at least, an unusually developed effort in these Atlantic shores.
A final note to the nice Flash multimedia section, in which one can take a 9min peek to the studio sessions of "Turbulence", and to the concise and matured digipack with its allusive layout, that contributes to a real musical package.
"Turbulence" is a fine, solid and interconnected release, with precise original moments but just not good enough to become a major genre-defining classic. Maybe the next album (perhaps their career's most important one).

Luís Oliveira
5 CDs + 1 EP + T-shirt
€50.00 / $65.00
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