From the ashes of the late, great Woods of Ypres – come the tongue-twisting Thrawsunblat. Russell Garwood is not at a loss for words.
Thrawsunblat were born just under a decade ago, and came into the light with a debut in 2010. “I mailed David Gold [Woods of Ypres] a few demos, and in 2008, he asked if I’d like him to drum on an album of these songs,” says vocalist/guitarist Joel Violette of the band’s first, faltering steps. “As a massive Woods fan, I obviously agreed. In 2009, David recorded the drums, and I recorded all the guitars, bass, and vocals. And so in January 2010, we released the album via torrent, and Thrawsunblat was born. I would describe the first album as folkened black metal – it’s a collection of folkish, melodic riffs, set to blastbeats.” And the new album, Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings? “Blackened folk metal,” Joel responds. “It has a great deal more singing, folk instruments, and has truly folk-themed lyrics. Yet it’s all set in a harsh, aggressive medium, and again all within the same sonic landscape.”
As it turns out, Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings is a concept album. Joel explains: “I wanted a narrative structure, and remembered Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, or Monomyth – a narrative pattern underlying so many of the world’s myths. It involves a journey, spiritual or physical, where the hero begins in one place or state, and after overcoming the road of trials, ends up in another, better place or state, with some sort of prize won, and ultimately as a different, renewed person. I explore mythology and the role it can play today in this modern age. This is pretty much the function of the track ‘Lifelore Revelation’, which is sorta an overture to the concept and a manifesto for the album. Campbell’s points are equally potent when we apply them to our own lives. From June to November 2011, I lost three people very close to me, and then my bandmate David passed away the next month. So here, the Wanderer’s journey is a spiritual one. The problem he’s faced with and must ultimately overcome is dealing with death in this modern age – not just deaths of loved ones, but also the fact that one day we all shall die. Then facing the question, What must I do with my time on this earth?” The future, Joel concludes, will see “another album, for starters! There are two albums that I have in mind, and that will get done; I just have to decide in what order. One all-acoustic, with drums and fiddles, yet still Thrawsunblat through and through – the other folkened black metal again, but more ferocious. Similar to Canada 2010, but where Canada 2010 was green with trees, this album will be red with fire.”
[origin.new brunswick, canada formed.2008 band url.thrawsunblat.bandcamp.com current release.thrawsunblat ii: wanderer on the continent of saplings]
This feature was originally intended for publication in ZT issue 053. Things got bumped about at the last minute and this deadline casualty is now available here, exclusively. Spread the word!
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