Thempest was forged in fire between the years of 2005 and 2006 and Crown of Thorns is their very first full length album that was just released March. Crown of Thorns is a shredding eleven songs long and about fifty minutes of death metal. Thempest describe themselves as dark-death metal, and I can see where the idea comes from. The music isn’t just straight up and down death metal of the gory variety, but it is death metal mixed in with a little bit of a darker edge to it. Over the fifty or so minutes, you get subjected to a ripping onslaught of Polish death metal. For their very first full length it is a standout release and Thempest stake their claim in the land of death metal with a strong debut.
Crown of Thorns is blasphemous, evil and dark blasting away at your ears and never apologizing. Through the eleven songs you get melodic moments as well as a complete downpour of fiery metal. The songs can get calm and then all of the sudden be just as harsh and punishing as they were before.
Thempest play with the utmost urgency and execute flawlessly throughout the album. Crown of Thorns is tight, well produced, and vicious like a caged bear you’ve been poking at for years, but instead of a bear you get some metal musicians that have been chomping at the bit to release a full length. And with waiting so long to release a full length the product that you get is exactly what Crown of Thorns is and that is a visceral pummeling of your entire body.
As far as representation goes, the album art is stellar and gives the idea that Crown of Thorns is about medieval times, the dark ages among other things, and it also gives off the impression that it is a dark and twisting mass of metal waiting to unleash hell upon the listener. It’s like Pandora’s Box. When you open it, Crown of Thorns throws everything that they have at their disposal at you.
Everything at their disposal may include spears, knives, swords, flails and the like so listen with caution. Instead of weapons they use their instruments however and they are just as deadly. The complete butchering onslaught of Thempest is brought forth on all eleven tracks. The attack comes from the sonic tremolo picking of the guitars. Not everything is sonic though as the songs do tend to slow down at times and become more melodic. Throughout the album there are some shrieking guitar solos that make appearances as well as the occasional more melancholy guitar solo. The drums pound and attack from all sides with brutal assaults from blast beats. With everything that is crammed into the songs musically, the vocalist also adds his own dark twist to the music. As if the music wasn’t angry and visceral enough, the vocalist grunts and growls his way through the songs like a pissed off ogre.
On top of all of that Thempest manages to keep a melodic edge to their music as well. With some of the songs having slower more melodious intros as well as in the middle of most songs Thempest breaks into more almost doom style riffs. With the breaks at the beginning of the songs as well as in the middle it gives the listener a break from the pure flesh-flaying death metal.
Over the course of the fifty minute run time Thempest does a great job of keeping you interested and keeping the music fresh and entertaining. For their debut full length Thempest pull out all of the stops for this and it worked expertly. Crown of Thorns is a neck breaker of an album and an intense listen to say the least.