"Rengeteg" is a must for Avant-Garde Metal fans.
Thy Catafalque have been on the map for quite a few years, yet they’ve been pretty much ignored by a good part of the metal community and had a few but very enthusiastic fans. Personally, this band for me was always one to check out, especially after releasing “Roka Hasa Radio”, easily one of the best albums of 2009. It seemed hard to top that release, however, “Rengeteg” maintains the same high quality.
Frequently labeled as Avant-garde Metal, this band is a lot more than that: being from Hungary, the traditional music of the country is a huge influence in Thy Catafalque’s melodies, and has always been. But we also have Black Metal, Industrial Metal, Folk, Electronic beats and samples, and not to forget Progressive Rock. Their vast amount of influences have made them a pretty impacting band for whoever has listened to their material. “Rengeteg” keeps this same mixture of styles as the previous albums, but there’s somewhat more straight-forwardness here, the songs and melodies being a lot less experimental per se and more focused on the melody. As a consequence the ten songs here are relatively shorter than the other albums, with some inevitable exceptions of course. But the melodies are always clear and easy to remember, even after one sole listen, unlike the tracks featured on “Roka Hasa Radio”.
The previous album, although more experimental and brave, was sort of a one-faced album, meaning that for the great part of it the music was pretty much mellow. “Rengeteg” elegantly mixes the heaviness with the calm parts, creating a wonderful balance that is almost symmetrical. This symmetry is there also in terms of straight-forwardness and quirkiness: the first part of the LP is more easy-going, while the second part is more experimental, even though this division is not at all firm: there are indeed experimental moments in the first part, and there are very memorable ones in the second part. The two distinct sides of the album are clearly separate by the axis of these ten songs, the fourteen minute epic “Vashegyek”, placed obviously in the exact middle of the LP.
Each one of these songs is pretty much a little gem of it’s own: the nine minute intro, possibly the heaviest song here, the extremely memorable “Trilobita”, and the more electronic based “Ko Koppan” are the definite highlights of the first half, while the second part boasts songs like the mind blowing electronics of “Holdkomp” and track number eight, but also more heavy moments like the closing track.
Overall “Rengeteg” is an extraordinary follow up to “Roka Hasa Radio”, which might even outdo it in some ways. Thy Catafalque are a band that should be infinitely praised for the utterly original sound and songwriting abilities, as well as their bold experiments with Hungarian Folk music, Ambient and Electronic. A must for any Avant-Garde Metal/Black Metal fan, in my book.