Thulcandra is a project led by Steffen Kummerer, the guitarist and vocalist of the German technical death metal band Obscura, that started out around 2003 as a homage to the old melodic death/black metal bands of Sweden, and particularly Dissection. The band released their first album, “Fallen Angel’s Dominion” in 2010, which was a very well executed and enjoyable, but ultimately unoriginal release, drawing too much on Dissection for its own good. And Thulcandra’s second release, “Under A Frozen Sun”, does not stray far from the sound of its predecessor, for good or bad.

Again what we are treated with here is an album of pure old Dissection worshipping. Every trait that characterized the first 2 Dissection albums is here, the melodic leads over tremolo riffs, the acoustic guitar parts, the throaty mid ranged growls, even the cover art by the legendary Necrolord. Also the production has that icy feel the first 2 Dissection albums had, albeit a bit clearer and more polished. From all the above, one could easily conclude that “Under A Frozen Sun” is a straight rip-off, but this would be a harsh description for this album. It surely borrows a lot of tricks from Dissection, but rather than a rip-off, one could see this album as a tribute to a legendary and a very influential band.

The album opens with “In Blood and Fire”, which starts with an acoustic intro and then explodes into blastbeat fury, also featuring the trademark sinister melodies of Dissection, and is the most memorable track on the record. Also worthy of mention is the title track, which utilizes a lot of acoustic guitars, and reminds a lot of the classic Dissection song “Where Dead Angels Lie”. Other highlights include the thrashing “Aeon of Darkness”, whose verse riff is almost identical to the verse riff of Dissection’s “Unhallowed”, as well as the epic 9 minute “Gates of Eden”. Finally, the album closes with a very nice cover of “Life Demise” by Unanimated, another great old Swedish death/black metal band.

In short, almost everything about “Under A Frozen Sun” is quite good. The production captures the vibe of the classic Swedish death/black sound, and the songs are catchy, tight and well structured. Unfortunately the album’s one and only flaw, unoriginality, prevents it from being more than a good album. It is clear though that Thulcandra is not aiming to produce something that is innovative or original, but to pay tribute to the musicians that they love, and the fact that they do so with great craftsmanship and performance is more than enough to show them respect.

Track List Line Up
01. In Blood and Fire
02. Black Flags of Hate
03. Ritual of Sight
04. Under A Frozen Sun
05. Aeon of Darkness
06. Echoing Voices ( A Cold Breeze of Death)
07. Gates of Eden
08. Life Demise (Unanimated cover)
Tobias Ludwig: Bass
Steffen Kummerer: Vocals, Guitars
Sebastian Ludwig: Guitars
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