Thanatos "Realm of Ecstasy" 2xCDPosted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 @ 8:58am » permalink
The second of the Thanatos reissues from Areadeath Productions is obviously the band's sophomore full-length, "Realm of Ecstasy", first released in 1992 (the band originally split later that same year) by Shark Records. Equally as killer as their debut, this is noticeably more of a death metal record across the board. The vocals are little lower and have more of that guttural death metal angle happening, the midpaced riffs are a bit chunkier and more in your face, the faster riffs and blasts a little more intense and extreme, etc. There are also a couple of slightly longer and more involved songs, in addition to some scattered riffs throughout the album that head in a subtly more "technical" direction (check about 0:55 into "Human Combustion", for example). They still tossed in some ripping solos and thrash riffs, though, so regardless of the direction that their influences may have been leaning in they were still capable of executing rather badass songwriting that possessed some unexpectedly catchy, memorable runs ("Tied Up, Sliced Up" is pretty fuckin' classic all around). It's cool because – as one would expect given the death metal slant – the material's a little darker this time around, but they retained a similar sense of energy to what they were dealing with in years prior, which definitely pays off in terms of giving this material an edge over your average early-90's death metal record.
The second disc isn't as interesting this time around as none of the bonus material was gleaned from official demos or anything like that. Things start off with a pretty shitty sounding 1985 promo tape that was recorded several months after the band's first demo. Despite the muddy sound quality their rapid growth was already quite apparent, though. After that it's four sets of rehearsal tracks from 1986, most of which are listenable, but still a little too craggy and raw to do anyone much good. Sometimes they're way too muddy, sometimes the vocals are too loud, etc. Then they close it out with an unreleased 1987 demo recording of "The Howling" that also has a muddy sort of sound to it, but again, it is tolerable. You can't expect but so much from random death/thrash metal rehearsal tracks that are upwards of 20 years old, though, so… fuck it. Oh, and there are also a bunch of CD-Rom videos on the first disc, but once again they only show up as raw data files for me, so I can't get any of them to play!? Go figure. But this one's packaged with another killer booklet that contains all of the lyrics, liner notes, old photos, and a band interview looking back on this specific time period leading up to their breakup. There's also a four-panel "poster" of the cover art with Chinese translations of the lyrics and liner notes on the back, as well as another little card insert with classic Thanatos artwork on one side and an old band pic on the other. Good stuff.
As mentioned last time, you can order the entire box set of these Thanatos reissues from Evil Legend Records for just $35, but I'd email the label if you're interested in buying any of the CD's individually. The pressing's limited and not widely available in the US, so don't sleep on it for long if you're a big fan of this classic age of death metal!