Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thou Art Lord - The Regal Pulse Of Lucifer

Sakis Tolis is an interesting figure. Rotting Christ started out as a pretty sweet grindcore outfit before moving towards black metal and eventually a dark, ambiguous extreme metal sound. As a side project he founded Thou Art Lord with George Zacharopoulos (of underground Necromantia fame) under the pseudonym Necromayhem in 1993 and since then they've served as Sakis' vehicle for a more abrasive, guttural sound. I've only heard Thou Art Lord's material post-2002 in which Sakis became the primary vocalist.

Now on NWN! Prod, Thou Art Lord continue their satanic Greek terror campaign.

The more conventional Rotting Christ and subtle Necromantia influence has always been present in Thou Art Lord's music from the occasional subtle synthesizers to the Sakis' signature abuse of tremolo harmonics. The Regal Pulse Of Lucifer is no different with opener "Nine Steps To Hell" being littered with those signature riffs. Thou Art Lord differs in quite a few ways from both Rotting Christ and Necromantia in that the project has plenty more thrash and death metal influence. "ΠΟΛΙΤΕΙΑ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΩΝ" being the obvious pick out of the tracks on The Regal Pulse. The stereotypically descending chromatic riffs, d-beats merged with blasting and tremolo riffing, as well as the occasional guttural vocals really describes their overall feel best. There's just something so distinctly Greek in style about it that makes it special. The Hellenic metal scene is hardly dead, but The Regal Pulse Of Lucifer is almost like an ode to the scene.

Sakis' guitar leads are fantastic when they pop up. All of his material tends to lean on the simple side but they're damn catchy and that's what makes them so good. They never sound like needless fretboard exercises, always fitting the flow and feel of the track. "Justicia Profana" is a great example, where the lead and minor solo bit becomes entwined with the main riff for the final third of the track. That's not to discount other cool guitar moments like the subtle lead on "Artificial Malevolence."

The production and mixing is solid and grainy. The catchy guitar leads shine through the high-gain rhythm support and The Magus' (George) bass has plenty of low-end to it although naturally it doesn't come up in the mix on its own much. One thing I found kind of silly though was the use of samples and short intros to tracks. The humorously pitch-shifted vocals at the beginning of "L'Evangelium de Diable" heralding the start of the track were a bit out of place. The synthesizers on "Infernarium" were a bit over the top for my taste too.

The Regal Pulse Of Lucifer is a solid album and the only Thou Art Lord release that really stuck with me after a single listen. I should really get around to hearing Rotting Christ's newest but I have to say AEALO left a bad taste in my mouth.

7.25 out of 10

1. Nine Steps To Hell
3. Das Messer
4. The Regal Pulse Of Lucifer
5. Artificial Malevolence
6. Justicia Profana
7. L'Evangelium de Diable
8. Infernarium
9. Fire And Blood


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