Thy Catafalque - Róka Hasa Rádió
Epidemie Records
Avant-garde Metal
9 songs (68'10")
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

Hungarian Thy Catafalque bears somewhat of a cult status on our site. Introduced to many via Tûnõ idõ tárlat review, this creation of Tamas Katai was listened to by many of our readers by now, and the mere reference that “something” may sound like Thy Catafalque sends the faithful scouring for that something, only to come back longing for the real deal. I am somehow in a privileged position, keeping in touch with Tamas, knowing when the next Thy Catafalque installment will hit the sonic waves. With that, rejoice all lovers of avant-garde metal, Róka Hasa Rádió is here to make you squirm, shiver and spew praises.

I have to admit, Róka Hasa Rádió took its time before penetrating my thick cranium, unlike Tûnõ idõ tárlat, which succeeded with a more immediate hold. But once my reservations and guards were breached, Tamas did it again. The album managed to invade my senses ruthlessly and egotistically, occupying them now to the point that I have a need for my daily Thy Catafalque fix, not allowing me enough time for other artists.

It could be that Róka Hasa Rádió is a much more grounded record, while Tûnõ idõ tárlat was cosmic, watery and fleeting. The melodies of Tûnõ idõ tárlat were closer to the surface, there for the taking and imbibing with ease. Róka Hasa Rádió does take more work to comprehend. Or, it could be that Róka Hasa Rádió lacks that monster track which Neath Waters was for Tûnõ idõ tárlat (but what can compare to that masterpiece?!). In truth, Róka Hasa Rádió opens up with a pair of complex compositions, Szervetlen and Molekuláris Gépezetek, before shifting to shorter more focused tracks. With the latter Tamas has shown a tendency to work and develop a singular idea, to take a Western Carpathian Mountains (Gutsul) melody and set it to a harsh techno rhythm (Köd Utánam) or use mesmerizing repeating loops to subdue, corrupt and transfix senses (Piroshátú). In folky castanet percussion filled Kabócák, Bodobácsok Thy Catafalque unveils a mysterious ballet dance borrowing décor from both Pasa Doble and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

Róka Hasa Rádió bigger compositions are just as complex as before, and present multiple kaleidoscopic parts, connected by transitions both absolutely logical and smooth as well as abrupt and puzzling. After a spacey airy beginning Molekuláris Gépezetek goes through a series of stubborn chords, which remind me of grass springing back regardless of how hard one plowed the ground. After some folk melody hints, the track shifts to another cosmic moment reminding why Tamas Katai is probably the closest thing to modern day Ekama (Didier Maruani). Then, bam, all that watery melody and violin get crushed by an unexpected harsh finale. Szervetlen, on the other hand, begins with the rising forcefield, oozing from the inside of every fissure, until it can no longer be contained. A perfect wall of noise arises with the muscular programmed pounding, while a frozen worm of a melody, the Thy Catafalque trademark, finds its way into subconsciousness, drilling, eating at the mind. Crushing doom death chords, however, give way to tremolo guitar and some floating keys which show the listener an escape route.

Trying to describe Thy Catafalque music verbally is a futile task, I completely realize that. You have to experience it with your own skin, ears and some sixth sense to become a believer. I underwent two states while listening to Róka Hasa Rádió. When the music was post-black and crushingly heavy, my brain went into isolation, trying to ponder my own relationship with the world. Call it catharsis. Yet, many a times, when Tamas played a piano melody akin to a spring snow meltdown, with clarity rivaling some mountain brook (Molekuláris Gépezetek, Fehér Berek), I felt incredibly refreshed, calm and rested. The female voices, used quite often on Róka Hasa Rádió perpetuate this relaxation feeling. In fact, the album is a lot more vocalized than its predecessor, and it is an absolute shame I do not understand the lyrics. They must be a huge part of the message, providing the narrative to this music tapestry. Alas, those of us who do not speak or understand Hungarian, and I suspect those would be many, will be missing one dimension of Róka Hasa Rádió. Regrettable, this should not be an excuse for you not to delve into this completely the first chance you get.

Killing Songs :
Molekuláris Gépezetek, Köd Utánam, Piroshátú, Kabócák, Bodobácsok, Fehér Berek
Alex quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Thy Catafalque that we have reviewed:
Thy Catafalque - Sgurr reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
Thy Catafalque - Rengeteg reviewed by Alex and quoted 87 / 100
Thy Catafalque - Tuno Ido Tarlat reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
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