Genre: Melodic Black/Death Metal
Country: Germany
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2021

As Steffen Kummerer (vocalist, guitarist, and main songwriter) is on fire and his efforts are now highly acclaimed by both music press and fans Thulcandra and Obscura this month release a new studio album. While Obscura seems rather way too technical for my ears yet their last work is less complicated and simple enough for old school fans like me. As for Thulcandra which their name is taken from a Darkthrone demo called Thulcandra, coming from the 1938 science fiction novel “Out of the Silent Planet” (any bell ringing from Maiden fans?) by C. S. Lewis, where Thulcandra is the name for the silent planet, Earth, is now considered as veterans with 15 years on their back.

Despite the 6 years gap since their last work 2015’s “Ascension Lost”, I’m really thrilled to hold in my hands “A Dying Wish” and so are many fans of the sub-genre out there. The new album is an ode to early 90’s as the band always sounded and that’s no secret or anything someone haven’t noticed, but it is given with such a great way that it feels so charming for Swedish metal worshippers covering a spectrum from early Entombed through At The Gates to Dissection that is after all the main influence of Thulcandra. Kummerer joined by drummer Erebor, guitarist Mariano Delastik and bassist Christian Kratzer creates a solid line-up for the 4th studio LP for Thulcandra (all via Napalm Records).

From the guitar tone to the song structure, the use of melodic passages, the acoustic guitars, the atmospheric breaks, the blackened tones, the groovy parts and the frozen riffs, everything brings in mind the icy atmosphere that Swedish extreme scene had offered since the late 80’s/early 90’s, from Sacramentum and Unanimated to Necrophobic just to name a few, and especially the finest moments of Nötveidt’s gang.

The strong personality of Kummerer, the brilliant compositions, the excellent production and probably the gap that Dissection absence that can’t be filled makes all nostalgic freaks see “A Dying Wish” as a perfect ‘90s influenced blackened death metal record (which isn’t) despite the lack of originality and the lack of enough variation within and between the tracks. In the end the top notch quality songs and the marvelous musicianship, not only saves the game for them, but actually creates a great album and a great suggestion for you to buy.

Highlights: “Scarred Grandeur”, “The Slivering Silver”, “Funeral Pyre” and “Devouring Darkness”.