CD REVIEW Thunderkraft

Band: Thunderkraft
Title: Totentanz
Label: Svarga Music
Distribution: Rock Inc. / Twilight Vertrieb / Code7 / Plastic Head Distribution
Release date: April 6th 2012
Review: CD

Thunderkraft, it’s one of the projects by Ukrainian multi-instrumentalist Master Alafern, who’s known from (grandiose, splendid, unique - ivan) acts like Triglav or Quintessence Mystica, amongst others. There was a first album, called The Banner Of Victory, in 2005 (released through Blazing Productions), yet since then things went silent.
In mean time, throughout the past years, Master Alafern started writing new Thunderkraft-material, and the sophomore full length Totentanz (which is German for dance of the death) was recorded with assistance of e.g. Vladislav ‘Munruthel’ Olegovich, one of Ukraine’s most famous artists within the Death / Black / Folk / Pagan-scene, and (currently or formerly) involved with e.g. Nokturnal Mortum (ex-member, yet initially active from the very beginning of this legendary act; Alafern worked as session musician for Nokturnal Mortum, by the way), Kolo, Vetche and many, many others (as live and session member), or known from his fabulous self-called solo-project (with a new album, Gothic II: The Dark Saga, a soundtrack for a game, available through Dutch Blazing as well, and posted on the site on March 13th after being professionally reviewed by colleague Tony); another member involved is Ann (who shares some bands with Munruthel, like Neverland, Kolo and this Thunderkraft), who contributes with e.g. keyboards and flute (an instrument not that unusual at all within the South-East European Folk-oriented scene).
Totentanz (in fact finalised in March 2011, yet unavailable officially until now) is comparable to the debut, of course, yet it is, in general, more open-minded and experimental. For more than fifty minutes, Totentanz combines the ‘roots’, which are Folk / Death / Black-based, including a symphonic foundation, yet with more electronic and industrialised elements this time, lyrics in different languages (Russian, Ukrainian and German), a stronger relationship with Traditional Metal / Rock, and a much better sound quality (more modernised, yet still rather unpolished when it comes to the production). The Folk-influences aren’t comparable to the Viking / Pagan ones, yet rather ‘traditional’ (think: the Finnish and Baltic scene). It does include flute and violin, as well as some local / traditional instruments, and the folksy melodies aren’t comparable to the major part of, for example, the ‘evident’ Scandinavian, Iberian or Alpine scene either.
There’s a lot of differentiation, more than before, and a few times it’s rather surprising (whether it being acceptable or ridiculous); the title track, for example, comes much closer to some experimental Industrial Metal track (think, for example, about an act like Ensoph or the huge Twilight-roster). The tempo, yet also the atmosphere / emotional approach, are more varied than before. And even though still being pretty harsh, the structures born out of the Black / Death Metal roots are less present than on The Banner Of Victory. Instead, the whole sounds groovier, then again more experimental-industrialised, mechano-electronized, horrific and / or symphonic, etc. Yet still there’s an irresistible and non-ignorable joy-of-play for sure!

Finally this: in mean time the band did write material for the third full length, so I hope it will be recorded and released very soon…!...
[same shit with the newest Quintessence Mystica-album: when can we finally expect it? - ivan]


Ivan Tibos.