Wed 26th March 2014
Earlier this year, after a guitarist departed, Thorun announced they would not be continuing, which seemed sad for a band who'd created the hugely promising Chorus of Giants back in 2011. Thankfully, they changed their minds and already have a new album out for our pleasure.
Thorun deal in instrumental stoner rock and doom, with the odd sludgey moment thrown in for good measure. Festivals at Fire Peak is a wonderful amalgam of those genres, an album with bright sparks that entertain and earn repeat listens. It is full of "moments" and creative enunciation to rise it above a growing number of instrumental acts and avoid the problem many of those suffer from where the lack of vocals creates an quagmire of indistinctness that loses its grip on you before it really begins.
There's variety too - Growth of the Soil (Reprise), after a delicate beginning opens out into trad-doom heaviness while the following The Senseless Squeak and Gibber of Ghosts has a friskiness to it akin to the quirks of Dyse or Beehoover. They all manage to sit amiciably together and define each track without sounding like a hotchpotch mess, a tasty bag of pick n mix as opposed to the mix of gunk at the bottom of your sink after washing up others serve you when trying too hard to vary their sound.
My only complaint would be the sample laden You Dig, a pointless distraction from the quality elsewhere. They err for only a short time however, the next track The Knarr a near eleven minute beauty that builds cleverly, almost post rock in its evolution, albeit with a heavier tone to keep it a step removed from that.
For anyone wondering if there's value in instrumentalism in these genres anymore, then tune in here. This is pulse quickening and highly relevant. Festivals at Fire Peak is a sprightly, heavy and rewarding experience.