The second album from Thūn features Nile’s Karl Sanders on lead guitar.
Thūn is a “Bull Elephant offshoot” that focuses on thunderous and cracking doom metal. The people responsible for it are Jon Higgs (guitar, vocals) and Hugo Wilkinson (bass), with James Knoerl (drums). Returning as guest lead guitarist is Karl Sanders of the legendary band Nile.
As with Bull Elephant, the story that goes along with the music (and/or vice versa) is complex. Here is a brief description. “The narrative concept is Bull Elephant adjacent … drawing from the same loosely Lovecraftian mythos but following the present-day adventures of an eco-witch-terrorist … The enemy is every person or corporation that puts profit before preservation of the natural world. With tentacles.” Uh-huh.
In case you are a little fuzzy on the whole Bull Elephant situation, here is a refresher. “Bull Elephant is the story of a slain African elephant that occultist Ahnenerbe SS attempted to bring back from the dead as a new form of battle asset. However, before re-animation could be completed it was intercepted by a mysterious witch-shaman, pursuing her own agenda and redirecting the undead creature’s purpose.” There have been two Bull Elephant albums so far, with the capping third due out later this year.
So, let’s leave it that there is a lot going on in the realm of Thūn and Bull Elephant. But what about the music?
As with the first Thūn album, there are seven tracks on II. The opening song is “Where All Truths Lie,” a heavy and mysterious affair. There is a very spacey feel to the music, and that could be inner or outer space, for all we know. The music shifts and pauses, turns its focus from mountain to valley to sky, taking in all it surveys. “Look To The Sea” is more directly melancholy, in my ears anyway, and the sorrowful character is enhanced by the variegated tempos and tucks, and of course the brilliant lead guitar work.
“Kiss The Ground” has a raucous, charging movement and a campaign of delights that fulfills the journey. There are two short pieces then, “I Have Failed You,” a sort of punk-like song, and “Completely,” a beautifully light interlude. And then the final push of “Zero Growth” and “Final Cut.” The music, especially the last two tracks, is complex and at times dense. There might be a tendency, too, to get lost in the narrative because it is content-heavy and compelling.
The best approach is to listen the album straight through the first time without thinking about it too much because the music is great. Go back and ponder it all on the second pass. I predict that on both listens you will like what you hear. Recommended.
Thūn’s II is out on Friday, July 1st through Eat Lead And Die Music. Links below.
Bull Elephant review at FFMB, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2019/11/15/bull-elephant-new-release-review/
Bull Elephant, Part 2 review at FFMB, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2020/08/13/bull-elephant-created-from-death-review-eat-lead-and-die-music-2020/
Eat Lead And Die Music, http://www.supermetal.net/
© Wayne Edwards