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Thomrukh : Göç

Not so much Doom as doomy cinematic soundtrack, Thomrukh's debut is nonetheless worth investigating.

By way of introduction, Thomrukh is a spin-off from Turkish band Depressive Mode, not to be confused with defunct Finnish unit Depressed Mode - though you could actually be forgiven for finding some similarities other than name between the two, with both venturing into the realms of contrastingly symphonic/melodic and aggressively thunderous Funeral/Death/Doom. With the stated aim of introducing an Ambient/Neofolk slant to that sound, and concentrating on reflecting their historical myths and culture with debut 'Göç' (Turkish for migration), Thomrukh tread a slightly less purist, more atmospheric and melancholic, Doom path.

If I was going to pull out an immediate 'first impression', it would be to a less strident Summoning, although that's not a great - or particularly close - analogy, especially on repeated listening. Still, there is a certain piping, fantasy-martial/medieval quality to some of the extensively used keyboards throughout the album that echoes the more relaxed and folksy exploits of that Tolkien-worshipping duo. Not that there's any hint of Black Metal influence to reinforce that comparison: instead, the vocals, where used, are mainly softly-spoken, and the pace is a slow-to-mid Doom tempo backed by - if anything - primarily tribal-rhythm drums and somewhat background guitarwork.

Something of a mixed bag, musically, then, but one which certainly hangs together well enough under its own terms of reference. And also one that sits easily on the ears, as it drifts from gently acoustic passages to more stirringly forceful crescendos. Sound-wise, it would be hard to fault the way the layers of lush textures flow together, and the mix and production complement that with a broad and spacious stage. If there's any difficulty with it, it's that the use of Thomrukh's native tongue does have some disadvantages - firstly, that it doesn't come across as especially conducive to delivering 'metal' lyrics, and secondly, that it's near-impossible (as a non-speaker) to pick up any context as to what story they're actually telling, making it a bit difficult to understand the ebb and flow of the musical dynamics.

I'd have to admit I'm not especially clued up on that part of history, but I presume 'Göç' is referencing the 10th/11th century sweep out of the Mongolian steppes and into the Eurasian mainlands, in which case it does quite successfully convey a feeling of the grandeur and majesty of such a vast and expansive undertaking. Indeed, you could probably consider this something of a cinematic soundtrack, as it lopes through various different scenes ranging from the warlike and urgent semi-Industrialised pounding of 'Batrak' to the softer and more relaxedly mellow interlude of 'Meydan'. Maybe later - 'Volk'-era, say - Laibach would actually be a better comparison, though it'd still be a largely approximate one. But I'd certainly suggest if that sort of eclectic bombast is something you enjoy listening to, you'll find something worthwhile in this album.

Personally, I'm a bit on the fence with it - it's well-done, and some of the more sweeping, building passages have a quite visceral pull to them. But those are, by and large, the least doomy parts of the album so I'd not really be recommending it on any sort of genre platform. Instead, it's probably best viewed as one of those uncategorisable Doom-related offerings which might, nonetheless, hold some appeal. Worth checking out, though, and if you want a less ambiguous listening experience, there's always the parent band, Depressive Mode, to investigate.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. İntro
2. Batrak
3. Filkete
4. Meydan
5. Destan
6. Göç
7. Outro

Duration : Approx. 33 minutes

Visit the Thomrukh bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-06-19 by Mike Liassides
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