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Totentanz by Thunderkraft
Released: Mar 2012
Label: www.svarga.eu
Like a proggier and more Slavic-toned version of '90s French noise'n'rollers Treponem Pal, these Armageddon-industrial folk-metal Ukrainians manage to employ synths in ways that bolster their music's organic heavy rock thrust. Weirdness and surprises emerge naturally: melancholy blues-goth guitar, rustic flute and keyboards (from lady member Anna Merkulova), new wave-y electro-piston and music-box effects, radio interceptions, Neue Deutsche Welle-like intonations, dialogues between elves at wit's end. The metal takes all sorts of intriguing twists and turns, but never loses its hearty thump.
CHUCK EDDY