Review: Vow of Thorns – Farewell to the Sun

Posted: August 20, 2016 in ALERT: Awesome new music, Reviews
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Vow of Thorns - Farewell to the Sun

The fusion of black metal and doom is a task that can only be achieved successfully by bands who understand the subtleties, the nuances of both. The unbridled darkness and rage of black metal, meeting the gloomy melancholic introspection of doom is something only a few bands have managed to pull off. Mid 2000s Agalloch is a good reference point for Canadians Vow of Thorns, whose ‘Farewell to the Sun’ is a masterpiece.

The gloomy magnificence of ‘Meeting on the Astral Plane’ is obvious for all to see. It soars with blackened glory, and other sections trickle past with melancholic acoustics. ‘Great Abomination’ is a more traditional black metal piece, with scything riffs cutting through the cold misty atmosphere, and a frostbitten aesthetic that rears its bleak head again in the three part title track.

‘Part 1’ is the scene setter; a lonely melody weaving its wintry way towards an icy peak, where ‘Part 2’ takes us upon that journey, high above any of those mere human concerns, to where ancient spirits shriek and the snow falls. This is an excellent, evocative record that brings to mind the naturalist strength of Drudkh, but the weeping melancholy of Agalloch. ‘Part 3’ is the most “doom” section, with a dirging riff crushing those trapped beneath.

Closing with the grey epic ‘Doomed Woods’, Vow of Thorns have crafted one of my favourite record this year. ‘Farewell to the Sun’ is an album that sits perfectly on a rainy day, and with each listen unlocks new levels and subtleties. I love this record, and you should too.


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