Thūn – Thūn Review

A lot can happen in five years. Jobs come and go, kids grow up, and White Wizzard can receive a mere 3.0 review. What else can happen? Well, if I may be momentarily self-indulgent, maybe I’ve written for this Blog to End All Blogs for five years now. In fact, my first review for Angry Metal Guy, which will never be published1, was written exactly five years ago to the minute in which I put quill to scroll for this review. Five years ago, the scope of metal in my windscreen was as minute as the amount of hair sprouting from the top of my head. Now I’m aware of relatively obscure bands like Monsterworks. And Bull Elephant. And now, Thūn. What do these three have in common? Well, members. And a reviewer. So here I go for the last review of my first five years here, the self-titled debut of death/doom collective Thūn, entitled Thūn.2

Monsterworks found only inconsistent favor amongst the AMG staff, but we all enjoyed deeply ov the first two Bull Elephant releases. So expectations are, well, middling here with the latest incarnation. Thūn are comprised of a couple members of the aforementioned bands – Jon Higgs on vocals and guitar, and Hugo Wilkinson on bass – along with Gargoyle’s James Knoeri on drums and none other than Karl Sanders on lead guitar. Yeah, that Karl Sanders, the dude from Nile. An enticing lineup! And much like Bull Elephant, the songs on this debut album are tied together as a concept album. That makes Thūn Bull Elephant-adjacent. Conceptually, the setting for Thūn is in the near-future, where an ancient guardian arises to eradicate those who would destroy the earth. Which is basically everyone. All fine and dandy, but how about the music?

Death and doom metal are the weapons of choice for Thūn. The self-titled title track, “Thūn,” which opens the album, fully encompasses the band’s style. Ranging from plodding doom to raging death metal, with subterranean growls, maniacal shrieks, blast beats, a variety of guitar tones, and writhing tempo changes, it’s an engaging nine-minute romp. Do they throw too much into the pot in the first song, though? Not really. “Thūn” and closing track “Gaiacide” are both epic-length, and the songs in between are all much more to the point, with crushing tracks like “Cage Within a Cage” and “Righteous Violence” oddly interspersed with an acoustic interlude (“Unity”) and a delicate piano/acoustic diversion (“Momentary Truce”). It seems strange, but it really works.

Rather impressively, the members of Thūn were all responsible for the recording and production of their own parts. Normally this would frighten the pants off me, since I’m quite anal-retentive when it comes to production, but on Thūn the band manage to make everything sound pretty damned good. I would be lying if I said I loved the vocals, which come off as somewhat comical at times (primarily the cavernous variety), but they aren’t exactly poor. The band continues with their light touch on the mastering knobs as well, making for a pleasing mix with ample dynamics. And Sanders does a great job on the lead guitar, laying down some truly insane solos.

Thūn may not hit the heights that Bull Elephant do, but their debut is still a ton of fun. In fact, it’s a lot better than some of the albums I was force-fed in my first month at Angry Metal Guy five years ago. On the flip side, if I was handed this beast back when I was on the verge of being fired for the first time3 I wouldn’t have known what the hell to do with it. Luckily I do, I can say Thūn is another highly entertaining release from the Eat Lead and Die Music band machine. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of creativity from Higgs and friends, and that’s a good thing.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 320kbps mp3
Label: Eat Lead and Die Music
Websites: |
Release Worldwide: June 16th, 2021

Show 3 footnotes

  1. And you’ll never know what it was unless you can take down Steel in an arm-wrestling match. Which you can’t.
  2. You see how much I’ve improved over five years?
  3. Before I was even hired, if I recall.
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