THY CATAFALQUE

Avant-garde Metal / Symphonic Black Metal • Hungary
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Thy Catafalque is an Edinburgh in Scotland-based avant-garde metal band formed in 1998 in Makó in Hungary by Tamás Kátai. Bringing up such themes as time and space in the lyrics, Thy Catafalque create a blend of black metal, eastern European folk, space rock and industrial metal.

Current line-up consists of Tamás Kátai who is the only permanent member of the project.

..::bio by bartosso::..

https://thycatafalque.bandcamp.com/
Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and Stooge, bartosso, Bosh66 for the updates

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THY CATAFALQUE Discography

THY CATAFALQUE albums / top albums

THY CATAFALQUE Sublunary Tragedies album cover 3.92 | 2 ratings
Sublunary Tragedies
Avant-garde Metal 1999
THY CATAFALQUE Microcosmos album cover 3.95 | 2 ratings
Microcosmos
Avant-garde Metal 2001
THY CATAFALQUE Tűnő idő tárlat album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Tűnő idő tárlat
Avant-garde Metal 2004
THY CATAFALQUE Róka Hasa Rádió album cover 3.60 | 11 ratings
Róka Hasa Rádió
Avant-garde Metal 2009
THY CATAFALQUE Rengeteg album cover 4.14 | 16 ratings
Rengeteg
Avant-garde Metal 2011
THY CATAFALQUE Sgùrr album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Sgùrr
Avant-garde Metal 2015
THY CATAFALQUE Meta album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Meta
Avant-garde Metal 2016
THY CATAFALQUE Geometria album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Geometria
Avant-garde Metal 2018
THY CATAFALQUE Naiv album cover 4.08 | 2 ratings
Naiv
Avant-garde Metal 2020

THY CATAFALQUE EPs & splits

THY CATAFALQUE live albums

THY CATAFALQUE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

THY CATAFALQUE Cor Cordium album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cor Cordium
Symphonic Black Metal 1999

THY CATAFALQUE re-issues & compilations

THY CATAFALQUE The Early Works album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Early Works
Avant-garde Metal 2015

THY CATAFALQUE singles (0)

THY CATAFALQUE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

THY CATAFALQUE Reviews

THY CATAFALQUE Naiv

Album · 2020 · Avant-garde Metal
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siLLy puPPy
THY CATALFALQUE is a project that’s been around for quite a while now having formed all the way back in 1998 as a symphonic black metal band and then getting more experimental as time carried on by incorporating more external influences such as electronica and homegrown Hungarian folk music from founder Tamás Kátai’s home nation before relocating to Scotland. The band which has essentially been Kátai and his sidekick guitarist Juhász János then released several albums as a duo up until 2011’s “Rengeteg” when Kátai went it alone with only selected guest musicians for each album thereafter. The rotating cast of guests has made each THY CATALFALQUE album sound quite unique so it’s never predictable as to which elements of music will dominate any particular album.

Early on in 2020, avant-garde metal band THY CATAFALQUE releases its ninth album NAIV. After the interesting changes of the doom metal drenched “Meta” and the overly abundant use of electronica and lack of metal on “Geometria,” NAIV returns with a nice mixture of all the disparate elements that makes THY CATAFALQUE so utterly unique even within the vastly populated universe of modern metal. While long ago drifting away from any sort of black metal orthodoxies, this act has nonetheless never strayed too far from its roots by keeping a finger or two on the pulse of the primordial pools from whence it sprang forth. NAIV doesn’t necessarily jettison the abundance of electronic effects and noises as heard on the previous album but rather returns some of the metal dominant bombast however any fan of this unique band should know by now, track by track, THY CATAFALQUE delivers the unpredictability of a schizophrenic seance.

Once again eschewing genre labels, NAIV like previous albums creates a unique fusion of the Hungarian folk melodies with black metal riffs, electronic atmosphere and also includes some surprising jazzy touches that remind me of bands like Norway’s Shining. Kátai handles the expected vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and other exotic instruments such as the citera and darbuka while a huge cast of characters joins him for this musical treat. In addition to the excepted bass and drums there are also two guest vocalists with the feminine charm of Martina Veronika Horváth (ex-Niburta, SallyAnne, Nulah) finding its way throughout most of the album. There are many classical instruments such as the cello, viola, violin and even classical guitar as well as many ethnic sounds from a quena flute, out and other Eastern European instruments. On the jazz side of things there are occasional outbursts of saxophone and even a trombone.

Starting out with black metal buzzsaw guitar effects, “A bolyongás ideje” launches NAIV straight into the realms of the metal universe unlike the rather tame predecessor “Geometria” which seemed to lounge in the chill electronica section of the music store for far too long. Despite the heavy bombast of the guitar riffs, the sensual female vocals and folk melodies craft a pacifying folk metal vibe with occasional outbursts of proggy keyboard runs that are straight out of the 70s symphonic prog playbook. While sounding a bit like an 80s AC/DC riff at the beginning, “Tsitsushka” actually takes on a cool atmospheric cloud cover while the guitars clammer away more akin to a caffeinated surf rock band than black metal but it gets even more estranged from the opener with the inclusion of a horn section. “Embersólyom” calms things down quite a bit with dark ambient sounds shrouding a mysterious flute emerging and then breaking into an electro-folk-rock groove which takes on a tango type of rhythmic drive.

“Számtalan színek” continues the ethnic flavors only sounds more like it’s rooted in Balkan gypsy folk only with blistering black metal guitar accompaniments that when dropped out sounds more like a movie soundtrack. In many ways this style of black folk metal reminds me of Greece’s Rotting Christ on some of the newer albums. The violin and viola presence on this one really sets it apart from the other tracks. “A valóság kazamatái” begins with a jittery computer generated sounding keyboard intro before bursting into hefty black metal bombast but it’s accompanied by the folk melodies emerging from the keyboards. When the guitar parts are dropped the folk instruments stand out and the percussive drive begins to sound more like a bigbeat techno album. The layered effects are perfectly mixed and the sounds that come and go add the proper contrast at the exact perfect times.

“Kék madár (Négy kép)” takes the ethnic influences to the most extremes as this one sound like a gypsy wedding somewhere deep in Bosnia but then picks up with a bizarrely contrasting flute run that sounds more like 70s Focus than Jethro Tull along with electronica drumming styles and with no metal guitar sounds to be heard sounds like the project went Opeth on us and abandoned the metal altogether, at least temporarily. Actually they abandoned the rock altogether on this one as the track starts to sound like a heartbeat with flute. Luckily “Napút” brings back the metal heft but trades off with a more techno sound. It then gives the mic to Martina who add the ethnic touches. Nice beefy guitar sounds but at this stage of the game it’s obvious that the metal guitars play a subordinate role to the ethnic and electronic sounds. However just as i say that “Vető” comes along and delivers the heaviest guitar sounds of all with thrashy palm muted beefcakes pounding away while Martina sings her little heart out. It’s a nice contrast between the hyper-masculine and sensual feminine. Beauty and beast of a different name.

“Szélvész” ends the album on a more folk than metal note but the guitar heft does deliver. It’s obvious at this stage of THY CATAFALQUE’s lengthy career that the metal isn’t the most important element of its sound and that it’s all about juxtaposing disparate genres with the Hungarian folk elements being the most prominent. The magic of NAIV is in the production values and how well all these melodies are crafted into nice smorgasbord of sounds. While not substantially different than previous albums, this one seems to have catchier hooks, greater contrast between bombast and sensual touches and is just more satisfying than the lopsided feed of “Geometria” as all the elements unfold in an organic manner and nothing seems forced. Overall THY CATAFALQUE creates the perfect recipe where the gritty metal aspects sit well next to the timeless folk melodies and futuristic electronic and ambient sounds. Although this isn’t primarily a metal album, the last track adds some of the only raspy black metal vocals to be heard. This is a solid album from beginning to end if you dig this sorta thing.

THY CATAFALQUE Sublunary Tragedies

Album · 1999 · Avant-garde Metal
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siLLy puPPy
THY CATALFALQUE has been going strong now for over 20 years and continues to find new refreshing ways to reinvent itself with each subsequent album but yet retains a distinct avant-garde style that sounds like no other. The project is basically the artistic endeavors of Tamás Kátai (vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass) who has led the project through the decades with an ever-changing cast of guest musicians however János Juhász (guitar, bass) was also considered a full member during his tenure from 1998-2011. The duo formed THY CATAFALQUE in Makó, Hungary but since then the project has moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. The term CATAFALQUE refers to a decorated platform or framework on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral which is the perfect moniker for this unique darkened band that mixes filthy aggressive black metal with industrial and ambient sounds along with healthy doses of homegrown Hungarian folk.

While Kátai has incrementally increased the sophistication of THY CATALFALQUE and thus earning the project the highest plaudits within the world of extreme metal for its sheer intensity and experimentation, the band began more or less as a second wave black metal band with symphonic and orchestral touches much in the vein of early Emperor only with a unique paprika fueled Hungarian twist that included a touch of the avant-garde. This debut album SUBLUNARY TRAGEDIES displays the band at its rawest and primeval with ferocious black metal riffs engaging in breakneck tremolo picking, explosive blastbeat drumming frenzies all drenched in Hungarian folklore and rhapsodies on fire. While the black metal aspects are perhaps the most fiery and frenetic of the project’s lengthy career, the more diverse elements emerge from the extensive use of keyboards that not only provide the darkened frigid atmospheres but also includes industrial heft as well as danceable electronica.

SUBLUNARY TRAGEDIES is a powerhouse of seven tracks that creates the ultimate Jekyll & Hyde musical scenario. On the black metal side, this is frenetic uptempo fury that is unleashed and sounds like a rabid dog on fire much like the first Possessed album however there are slow contemplative atmospheric brooding sessions as well as middle of the road mid-tempo variations. While the atmospheric black metal tones and timbres are fairly standard, the underpinnings of Hungarian folk music that is infused in the musical scales gives an eerie and exotic flair that allows the compositions to feel more epic than say the standard Darkthrone or Immortal albums. The metal is brutal and raw yet the album comes off as if it were a Bartok sort of classical album in many ways. The two aspects are at war with no clear resolution as to which side actually prevails. It is the dance of darkness and light much like the universe above and around. While the metal stampedes like a standard second wave band from Scandinavia, the time signatures and progressive touches take it somewhere else completely.

While THY CATAFALQUE has become world renowned for the exemplary releases that peaked from “Tűnő Idő Tárlat” to “Rengeteg,” these earlier recordings are just as compelling provided you can appreciate the lo-fi DIY efforts of an ambitious avant-garde black metal band during its nascency. While many metalheads either love the lo-fi no nonsense approach or prefer the more polished sounds of a production job, i actually embrace both sides of the equation. Black metal is one of those genres that can sound really outstanding either way and in the case of THY CATAFALQUE i think that these early lo-fi albums resonate just as well as the slicker accomplishments that followed. After all, it’s the compositional skills that really win me over with this band and in that department THY CATAFALQUE hit the ground running with its unique folk fueled orchestral black metal sound. After all is said and done, i find SUBLUNARY TRAGEDIES to be an outstanding slab of experimental black metal that shouldn’t be missed if you have already checked out the later albums.

THY CATAFALQUE Tűnő idő tárlat

Album · 2004 · Avant-garde Metal
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Warthur
Thy Catafalque's Tűnő Idő Tárlat takes the electronic dabbling of the preceding Microcosmos even further, with some sections resembling full-on electronic dance music - but fear not, the Hungarian folk and black metal influences that inform subsequent and previous works by the group are rarely all that far off. The end result is a sort of black metal-via-Nine Inch Nails blend, with the abrasive elements of black metal somehow reconciled with the more catchy end of the industrial music spectrum. Thy Catafalque are juggling an awful lot of different ideas here, and whilst they don't quite bring them all together into a single whole, they come close enough that this is a notable success.

THY CATAFALQUE Rengeteg

Album · 2011 · Avant-garde Metal
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Warthur
This is the first Thy Catafalque album crafted by Tamás Kátai as a solo performer (with guests on vocals and cello), rather than as a collaboration with Juhász János on guitar - and to be honest, if I hadn't looked that up I wouldn't have guessed, because this pristinely produced exercise in blackened avant-metal with ample folk, prog and electronic influences and experimentation feels like a whole-band effort. The entire scope of Thy Catafalque's sonic universe is brought together in album centrepiece Vashegyek, a 14 minute tour de force which should win you over to Thy Catafalque's approach even if no other composition on here does. Pick it up if you like the idea of atmospheric black metal by way of early Tangerine Dream as performed for an Eastern European folk festival.

THY CATAFALQUE Microcosmos

Album · 2001 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
This self-released album from the duo of project leader Tamás Kátai and guitarist János Juhász offers an impressively forward-thinking take on avant-garde black metal, the sound veering between roaring black metal fury, folky interludes and gentle electronic twinkling with an impressive smoothness. The production, especially for a self-released album, is impressively nuanced, going polished when polish would bring out the best in the music and lo-fi when a bit of raw, rough about the edges chaos is called for. It's an intriguing piece which has prompted me to look again at Thy Catafalque, and which deserves wider attention for the extent to which it still manages to be well ahead of the curve even compared to recent experimental black metal.

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