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On Thorns I Lay Serve Up Goth Melody on “Erevos”

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Longtime goth veterans On Thorns I Lay are back with a new record, and depending on what you love most about their previous work, you’re either going to be supremely excited or somewhat let down. On their upcoming album Aegean Sorrow, the eighth in their career, the band have severely streamlined their stylistic focus and song structure while cutting back heavily on the sonic ingredients.

Gone is much of the symphonic bombast of Eternal Silence and the dated cheese-rock edginess of earlier albums Orama and Crystal Tears, as well as all of the haunting vocals that so strongly characterized these records. With Aegean Sorrow, On Thorns I Lay have instead created an intensely focused doom-death record that is effective at evoking its desired mood. See for yourself with our exclusive premiere of their new video for “Erevos.”

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The band wastes no time as they launch with zero fanfare or fussiness into the song’s earworm of a primary melody. Ringing out over beefy chords and ominous drums, this strong melody (and its later counterpart) will play on repeat in the heads of listeners long after the song has concluded. Midway through the track, the band spice things up with a new riff that makes use of a few unanticipated chord changes as well as a truncated measure of just two beats at the end of its phrase. These additional beats stand out in stark contrast to the rest of the song, in which On Thorns I Lay favor intuitively comfortable sets of four-bar phrases so as not to detract from the overwhelming melancholy in the atmosphere.

As if one absurdly catchy lead wasn’t enough, the band deliver a second only moments later, after a brief interlude of acoustic guitar and tom fills. The guitar solo then returns, this time as a lead with layered vocals, before ceding the floor back to the second central melody to finish out the song. Led by the domineering presence of vocalist and bassist Stefanos Kintzoglou with one of his strongest and most consistent performances yet, On Thorns I Lay are as powerful and poignant as ever.

Aegean Sorrow drops via Alone Records on March 12th.

— Ivan Belcic

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