Thaurorod – Anteinferno

December 30, 2013 in Reviews by Arno Callens

CoverThaurorod – Anteinferno (2013)
Reviewed by Arno Callens

Sometimes bands just listen to you. Thaurorod’s debut Upon Haunted Battlefields was huge in its musical ambition and scope, alas, even to its detriment. Despite streaks of brilliance, the tracks were so adventurous and bold it was hard to grab hold of them. As the village of Asterix against the Romans, one small song bravely held out against the progressive oppression: “Shadows And Rain”. It was short, intimate, and utterly beautiful. If only there were more of its kind.

Now there’s an album full.

Anteinferno sacrifices a lot of the original’s guts in favor of a more streamlined sound, and songs you don’t need a course in mathematics to follow. Opener “Planet X” shows some leftovers of the debut’s tension to throw you off track, but they’re integrated splendidly into an immediately gripping song. What hasn’t fallen by the wayside is the top-notch musicianship and the immense propulsion the music is infused with.

Power metal is a lot about energy and drive, and Thaurorod has a huge battleship filled with these things. “Overboard”, “Victor”, and “Riders Of The Shires” are bursts of power metal bliss, furious and unforgiving. It’s enough to eclipse some of the tracks in between, such as “Heart Of The Lion” and “Far From Home”, but on their own these songs stand strong. Special mention goes to “Path”, which is a wonderful throwback to Walls Of Jericho-era Helloween. Newly recruited vocalist Andi Krav Maga (that’s Kravljaca after copy-paste) even does a remarkably good old school Kai Hansen.

Smartly, Thaurorod takes a step back now and then to let the material breathe, resulting in calmer waters as the simple but effective “Marked For Diablo” and the wonderfully built-up epic “Anteinferno” demonstrate. If Kravljaca didn’t do the trick for you before, he certainly will here, his voice sailing atop the instruments like a ship on the sea. He’s so smooth that Georg Neuhauser from Serenity looks like some dude from Immortal next to him.

Thaurorod learned a lot from its debut and broke out of the gate on this, its sophomore effort, with almost completely the opposite approach. Perhaps a little bit too much of the band’s ambitions were lost in between the albums, and it would be interesting to see them strike a more even middle ground next time around. Such complaints, however, pale against the sheer fun that Anteinferno presents, where Upon Haunted Battlefields was often a struggle for me to get through. Well played, Thaurorod, and what were you ever thinking replacing your singer with Michele Luppi? Kravljaca is the best, and at least the band is still your own. Sorry, Secret Sphere, but you lost.

4.0 // 5