Press - Reviews
04th July 2003
schizo level review, Royal Carnage

ThanatoSchizO
InsomniousNightLift


Complex and well executed, though often uneven, Portugal's THANATOSCHIZO (probably not destined to become a household word anytime soon) play a blend of atmospheric avant-garde, death, black, doom and goth rock to create a unique mix. It's always refreshing to see a band try to set themselves apart from the pack by writing something very original sounding with no obvious influences. It is clear that the band is playing what they want to play and are leaving it up to the listener and not the label or the media to determine whether or not it is to their liking.

When listening to InsomniousNightLift, there is nothing that immediately jumps out as "sing in the shower" memorable; however as a whole this both a heavy and soothing journey. There are changes aplenty to keep the listener interested. And even if not all of the styles represented here are to your liking, you're bound to find a nice chunky guitar riff, a death metal passage, or a soft keyboard laden interlude that will appeal to you. However, I would say that the album leans more towards the cleaner, soft rocking side than the deathier side, employing both male and female vocalists (both of whom are terrific), so if you're tastes lean heavily on the heavy, you may find yourself too bored to sit through the "other" styles awaiting your favorite parts.

And perhaps that's the problem with this album, too many changes. It's as if the band is trying to set themselves apart so much that they fail to find an identity. If you're lucky enough to enjoy all the styles employed here, then you may consider this a masterpiece because there are no parts of the album executed poorly, and the production is rock solid. If there are one or two particular styles played on the album that appeal to you and not much else, it can be very frustrating because barely any of the passages receive the full attention they deserve.

To give an example of how varied the sound is, let's run through the first track, the roughly 10 minute song "Reminder":

-beginning of song to the 2:52 (beautiful acoustic intro)
-2:52 to 4:28 (heavy riffing, alternating between clean, gothic female singing and male black metal growls)
-4:28 to 5:11 (awesome 15 second death metal scream sandwiched between killer riffs)
-5:11 to 6:32 (soft acoustic & non-distorted electric guitar passage accompanied by wonderful harmonious clean male vocals)
-6:32 to 7:04 (interesting echoing guitar effects)
-7:04 to 8:04 (the acoustic intro is revisited, accompanied by piano and more wonderful clean male vocals)
-8:04 to 8:41 (heavy riffing, with piano, female goth vocals and some background growls)
-8:41 to end of song (heavy riffing, alternating between clean gothic female singing and black metal growls)

As you can see, there's quite a mix just in song number 1, and things get even more varied after that. Song number 2 opens with a heavy blues riff, followed by a speedy grooving rock passage, followed by male goth vocals. Song number 3 contains some absolutely killer atmospheric death metal passages and so on and so on. The talent this band possesses is undeniable, however I seem to have a hard time listening to the album all the way through because even though I like most of the passages, I'm never in the mood for all of the styles showcased at once.

Perhaps with the passage of time, THANATOSCHIZO will further refine their sound to create something a little less complicated and places fewer demands on the listener to have to constantly adapt. Still, there's plenty of quality music to be found here.
Rating 7.5/10

Dark One
5 CDs + 1 EP + T-shirt
€50.00 / $65.00
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