I remember the second album ‘Chroniken des Ablebens’ from Infestus back a decade ago in 2008 but our paths do not seem to have crossed since then. The German outfit who have had various past members in their ranks now appears to be a one man entity with Andras responsible for everything both musically and vocally. Thrypsis which if you want to get medical is basically a bone fracture is the 5th album under the Infestus banner.

It’s black metal for sure but here Andras takes us on the whole down a doomy left hand path at times showing dark gothic sensibilities. Be prepared for the tolling of bells, neo-classical piano segments and some acoustic interludes within these 7 tracks. The first few listens found me a bit side-tracked as I kept finding comparisons to others within the music and none particularly as expressive and substantially enthralling as the artists themselves. There is definitely an atmosphere here reminiscent of countrymen Secrets Of The Moon and with the vocals at times and the more violent parts of the music a nod towards the Polish clans such as Behemoth and Hate. There’s the lyrical poetic flair both practised in German and English of Deinonychus and by the time I got to the last track there was a melody which wouldn’t be out of place on a Shining Sweden album.

I found myself floundering at the start with opener ‘Of Unhallowed Soil’ due to some spoken word parts sounding somewhat muted behind the music, offering mystery but being annoyingly obtuse. The glistening music could have actually done without them, as the track progresses this introduction develops into a proper song and the bellowing elongated roars stating “I will destroy” put the message to us much more clearly. The German angst of ‘Thron aus Trümmern’ sees the music gallop off and take us on a surging ride, the language really heightening the music and feelings behind it. There is definitely a lot to remind of the aforementioned SOTM here and the song is left to develop and run for a lengthy 9 minutes taking through various moods and emotions without thankfully getting stale. The language and lyrics strike as particularly important and on reverting to English on ‘Seeds Of Agony’ there is clearer understanding. I’m not one for swearing in music particularly and it can trivialise things but when used as a weapon like it is here it can also be incredibly potent; the cavalcade of “fucks” show venom, disgust and distaste perfectly and this is a case of doing things just right. No singalong playground rant here; this is an exercise in pure unbridled violence interspersed with solemn piano parts and is the albums defining moment of glory in my book.

On the whole tracks are long and take dedication from the listener to truly sink in. This is no quick fix album and perhaps I approached it wrongly myself at first. It has thankfully grown on me in the process. Without further dissection of individual tracks you should hopefully have a good indication of just what to expect here and that is a good, mature and solid 50 minutes or so of dark Germanic blackness, skilfully and personally rendered by an individual with plenty of good ideas. Although feelings of deja-vu keep cropping up and I can’t quite find myself managing to be totally objective at ignoring them Thrypsis definitely delivers a wound even if it doesn’t completely leave you incapacitated and in pieces.

(7/10 Pete Woods)