Dead Elephant - Thanatology
Falling somewhere between the drone mantras of Om and Neurosis' apocalyptic post-metal, Dead Elephant's third album Thanatology is most certainly not an easy listen, but it is a rewarding one given time. The twelve-minute ‘Bardo Thodol’ opens with heavy, crawling riffs and focussed chants before drifting into a world of bass rumbles and subdued, crackling feedback. ‘On The Stem’ features dark, swirling electronics and a hint of melody that segues into spiky riffs and ferocious screams. The relatively short four minutes of ‘Distrudo’ are quite appropriately some of the most chaotic and thrashing of the album. Saving the best till last, ‘A Teardrop On Your Grave / Downfall Of Xibalba’ travels through delicate, gloomy keyboards before merging with satisfyingly lumbering distortion. Italy’s Dead Elephant may be providing a challenging take on heavy music but at the end of the day, Thanatology is an incredibly satisfying record.