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Thera Roya : Stone & Skin

After several shorter releases, Thera Roya's debut album is full of energetic yet dark atmosphere.

Thera Roya is a band that embodies Post-Metal. Their sound, open and spacey, explores some of the more untouched aspects of music in the Metal world; heavy is hardly the word I'd use to describe it; instead, energy-driven, but dark atmospheres are what's found on Stone & Skin, the band's first full-length. There are riffs aplenty, but the vibe they seem to strike isn't one most Metal guitarists often find themselves exploring.

Guitar-wise, there is a satisfying amount of variation. The tones change from full distortion, lead tones, and clean channels seamlessly - the track 'Phaedrus Revealed' has an excellent Death Metal riff intro played with such a distortionless tone. This does a lot to spice up some of the repetitiveness of the album, though it can't save the track 'Solitude', which is the main culprit of the album's tendency to keep a song going for too long. Regardless, the riffs are solid, and behind this excellent variation in rhythm guitar are drums that always play an aggressive beat, and bass that hardly goes without distortion. This makes for interesting compositions, though. The music always seems to have a soaring quality to it - even during the clean riffs, the drums don't hold back and the bass buzzes along, save for a few rare instances.

Vocally, Stone & Skin is a curious album. Our first glimpse of lyrics is a small one. The singing seems to crawl in on the opening track 'Saffron', hanging in the background and establishing an ominous tone. In contrast to this, on the third track, 'Dream of Arrakis', my favorite off the album, the vocals are absolutely ferocious. They belt with an admirable amount of energy in a style that I'd like to hear more clean vocalists go for. Similarly, the closing track's vocals don't hold back - it's as if Thera Roya's vocalist is tearing the notes to shreds with his voice on the aggressive parts, and the vocals seamlessly become extreme vocals on the outro, almost as if they had gotten lost in the energy and rage of the music along the way. In this regard, the vocals deserve a lot of credit; they show dynamics and range many singers can't seem to match.

Though a few songs may overrun their course, Stone & Skin is a solid album, one that makes it difficult to draw comparisons due to its distinctive approach. I'm almost tempted to say there is an Industrial element to the music as well, but that's the thing about distinct albums: they're a little harder to classify.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Saffron
2. Egypt's Light
3. Dream Of Arrakis
4. Hume & Ivy
5. Solitude
6. The Stream
7. Phaedrus Revealed

Duration : Approx. 42 minutes

Visit the Thera Roya bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-02-25 by Alex Drozd
Thermal Mass
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