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Thorns Of Grief : Anthems To My Remains

This blackened Funeral Doom debut from Polish solo project Thorns Of Grief is a great mix of brutality and forlornness.

'Anthems To My Remains' is the debut release of Polish one-man band Thorns Of Grief, formed by Nebiros. A decade or so back, you couldn't move in the Doom scene for stumbling over one-man Funeral Doom bands but that seems to have dissipated somewhat now, based solely on my own experience. Therefore, it's with a delightful irony that I say that having the opportunity to listen to one now makes a lovely change for me!

Yes, that's right - Thorns Of Grief is 100% Funeral Doom, and if that's not your thing to begin with, then this release won't change your mind. Nebiros sticks to the core principles of Funeral Doom rather rigidly, as all must to an extent I suppose, given the vast number of sub-genres of Doom Metal now. Still, some bands push it and attempt to fuse new elements, but that's not the case on 'Anthems To My Remains'.

Some of you might find this release boring for that reason; I can't deny that. Personally speaking, however, I'm a fan. I like all forms of Funeral Doom with the proviso that it's done well, and I'm pleased to say that Nebiros ticks each box on that front here.

What I found interesting about this album is that he opted to switch between a very forlorn yet longing atmosphere and an altogether more brutal sound with pained harsh vocals and some early '90s raw fuzz to accompany it. I like both but to see them together isn't all that common, in my experience, because it's hard to pull off. The more 'longing' feel fused with some beautiful piano interludes and acoustic guitar makes for natural bedfellows - but not always the aggression that Nebiros has utilised here. It works, though - I could listen to this album whether in a more angry mood or relaxed mood because of it.

In terms of production, I think it could be considerably better than it is, especially when I heard how the fading screams sounded on 'Till Our Rebirth'. Having said that, I believe that having a poorer production aids music of this nature because of the atmosphere it generates so although I mention such, I do so in more of an observational manner than as a criticism. The only real criticism I have of this album is that I found it to be quite short, at least by Doom standards. The growled vocals convey the desired emotion well enough, the guitarwork is good, and none of the instruments are overbearing/too low in the mix often enough to be annoying.

If I had to compare Thorns Of Grief, I'd say that you'd find similarities to the music produced on 'Anthems To My Remains' on early Funeral releases, Ornamentos Del Miedo's 'Este No Es Tu Hogar', and littered throughout the career of Mistress Of The Dead, to name but a few that come to mind. Obviously I could by no means could I call 'Anthems To My Remains' original, but I enjoyed it a lot for what it was. No complaints here!

To summarise, this is a hauntingly beautiful piece of Funeral Doom that we've all heard before, but one I personally will never tire of hearing.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Thorns Of Grief
2. A Longing
3. Till Our Rebirth
4. The Deceit Of Materiality
5. Illusions

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Thorns Of Grief bandpage.

Reviewed on 2020-08-19 by Ian Morrissey
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