Save 13%

Narrow House - Thanathonaut (CD)

dark metal / doom death, BadMoodMan Music, BadMoodMan Music
List price: 7.13 
You save: 0.89 € (13%)
Price in points: 700 points
BMM. 067-14 x
In stock
The second album from the extraordinary Ukrainian band which started its way from the experiments with funeral doom metal and received a unique for the local scene musical and psychological experience. This time Narrow House goes for fusion of different subgenres of doom metal and other musical styles. Living choirs, saxophone, cello and contrabass were employed for “Thanathonaut” recording bringing individual sound and uniqueness to Narrow House music. The main theme of the album is war and nuclear weapons; otherwise the work continues the study of man inner world and its self-destruction which has been started earlier. The cover to symphonic doom death metal band Virgin Black with Russian lyrics presented in the album is also worth mentioning. Recording and mastering of the album were performed at the studio of famous sound producer Max Morton who also appeared as guest musician with bass parties. Another guest musician is a vocalist of Ukrainian band I Miss My Death. The album artwork is crafted by French photographer and artist Christophe Dessaigne whose works appear on covers of books by Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Margaret Atwood and other famous writers. To conclude, «Thanathonaut» is a solid conceptual material with original appearance distinguishing the band Narrow House among others at the CIS metal scene.

1 Crossroads 4:19
2 The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life 3:26
3 Furious Thoughts Of Tranquility 2:32
4 The Midwife To Sorrows 5:04
5 Thanathonaut 5:08
6 A Sad Scream Of Silver 3:31
7 Crushing The Old Empire 2:59
8 The Last Retreat 3:50
9 Doom Over Valiria 2:08
10 Возрождение 7:12

Narrow House
Artist Country:
Album Year:
dark metal / doom death
CD Album
Jewel Case
BadMoodMan Music
Cat No:
BMM. 067-14
Release Year:
4 627080 610590
Country Of Manufacture:
Rock Metal Essence

Il sassofono, le tastiere e il violoncello nella musica doom metal? Da oggi si può, grazie alle ispirate composizioni della formazione ucraina dei Narrow House, contenute nel loro secondo album Thanathonaut.

A metà tra doom tradizionale e heavy metal moderno, questo interessante disco crea una serie di atmosfere apocalittiche ed oscure di sicuro impatto, muovendosi attraverso un sound fresco e fortificato da tanto groove, e curati arrangiamenti. La voce tenebrosa del cantante e bassista Yegor "Bewitched" Ostapenko si sposa a meraviglia con le trame doom, mischiate di folk e gothic, di questo combo, ma è l'unione tra violoncello, sassofono, tastiere e chitarra a rendere l'esperienza d'ascolto unica ed entusiasmante, con questi strumenti ad alternarsi o intrecciarsi nel disegnare immagini e sfumature vivide e raggianti.

Con tanto spazio lasciato allo strumentale, è il duo di canzoni Thanathonaut e A Sad Scream of Silver, con l'aggiunta dovuta della finale Возрождение, ad esemplificare al meglio il sound di questi musicisti che, con la giusta dose di fortuna, non stento a credere potranno farsi notare nel mercato internazionale. Magari già con questo Thanathonaut, un disco maturo ed ispirato, che tanto piace e diverte. Tenebrosi e raffinati.

Author: Iacopo Mezzano
Stu's Reviews

Narrow House are a Ukrainian metal band which was started in 2009 as an atmospheric funeral doom project. The first album of the band titled “A Key to Panngrieb” was published in 2012 by Solitude Productions. After completing the debut album, band took a new musical direction, combining various doom metal subgenres (traditional, stoner, funeral etc).

'Crossraods' is a clever mix of symphonic melody into traditional doom powerchords, this is overlayed from samples from television programmes and keyboards.

Keeping with traditional funeral doom for 'The First Day' in terms of vocals and music, the only difference here is the addition of saxophone, which although not totally out of place (Think bands like Sigh and The Shining for example) does throw you a bit from the downbeat vibe.

A great Cello/Double Bass intro into some more sax playing that fits better for 'Furious Thoughts', the song has more voice samples and a simple guitar and drum backing.

Distorted vocals and doomy powerchords for the symphonic metal of 'The Midwife To Sorrows', some pretty epic guitarwork on this one as well.

'Thanathonaut' has a military style snare drum pattern and there is even a marching feet sample mixed in, the song soon starts to build with more sax and then keyboards, gives this quite a jazzy feel.
Half way through the song stops and we get a delicate piano solo, then a few vocals and then some full on drumming with a blistering sax crashing over the top.

Moody and atmospheric acoustic guitar and another symphonic backing help to make 'A Sad Scream' an nice little instrumental.

More television news samples about nuclear war lead 'Crushing The Old Empire' into a strange doom laden song with an almost oriental sound attempted on the keyboards.

Evil chorus sounds greet 'The Last Retreat' then one helluva riff kicks in, but instead of exploding into full on metal the sax comes in, reminiscent of Laura Logic's (X Ray Spex) style, more samples then start to appear with another more harmonious choral backing.

Now i was expecting 'Doom Over Valiria' to be well, err..Doom, but this is another delicate piano driven instrumental.

The last track is the longest on the album at 7 minutes, starts with more sax and more samples and just moves along at a happy pace, that is until the music stops and we get a whispered vocal in their native language over some piano playing, this then builds slowly with each instrument joining the mix note by note, adding more agression with the drums then some inspired guitar playing, then it stops and changes pace for some sax lead (almost) black metal to end.

Okay this is a weird album, more in keeping with slightly avant-garde/symphonic black metal that Doom, but thats a good thing, this is what i like to hear, original ideas and intresting music.

Author: Stu Tovell
Ave Noctum

A couple of years ago I came across this Ukrainian lot via their debut, A Key To Panngrieb and was suitably impressed by its promise. Funeral doom, orchestrated sound but a heavy Skepticism debt. So when this dropped in I was intrigued as to how they might have progressed and what they have done.

Well opener ‘Crossroads’ is a suitably sombre funeral sound, a musical intro, but it seems the band stood at those very crossroads and pondered their direction. From ‘The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life’ it is plain that they have taken a decisive, different direction. This song retains some of the funeral aspect, but, in keyboard driven melodic hands it steps gracefully into a broader realm of doom/death. Beautifully arranged vocals, a harder riff higher in the mix, saxophone, and an elegance that kind of brings My Dying Bride together with Dead Can Dance or Elend in a waltz. However it is ‘Furious Thoughts Of Tranquility’ where this album really pulls through the character. Narrow House are a truly class act; deliberate, imperious, thoughtful and this is sort instrumental of verve and vibrant keyboards that leads us to ‘The Midwife Of Sorrows’. It retains that veneer of doom but with a faster, harder riff and the combination of keyboards and saxophone it moves further into a stranger realm. With electronic tinged lead vocals, operatic backing voices and a grim tone it is kind of reminiscent of The Kovenant yet far superior. It splices a semi-industrial feel to a Gothic melodic doom death sound with outbursts of martial rhythms punctuating the album’s overall theme of war.

They really have mastered the combination here of a bright and modern sounding guitar, hard edged and dense, with the melody of piano and saxophone and strings to create a classical metal sound heavy with emotion and atmosphere. A Forest Of Stars modern descendants maybe. Nor do they over-labour things; an album of a perfectly formed forty odd minutes and songs between three and five mean this is a clean, lean art deco train gliding and pushing forward with power to spare and flowing from station to station with rare ease. And I hate to bang on about it, but the use of the saxophone with the guitar is just about the best I’ve heard since the dim and distant days of Van Der Graaf Generator.

Everything here is an exercise in quality and sumptuous class, wrapping us in a timeless landscape of the neo-classical meets Blade Runner, the waltz of a world of satin forever drenched in war. Narrow House have, by not taking the obvious turn at their crossroads, produced a dark, intriguing work and the sound of an empire going down in flames. Dark and undeniably beautiful, this neo-classical doom for those with a taste for the finer things in life. Love it.

Author: Gizmo

Pare che, dapprincipio, gli ucraini Narrow House suonassero funeral doom; ma la band che mi trovo metaforicamente davanti oggi non appartiene più a questo genere. “Thanathonaut”, il loro secondo disco, può infatti essere ritenuto un album avantgarde, anche se spesso non ha quasi niente a che fare con il metal in senso stretto… Un sassofono, un sintetizzatore e un violino si dividono il compito di disegnare l’atmosfera dell’intro “Crossroads”, creando un mix inquietante e che cattura; ma “Furious Thoughts of Tranquillity”, dove il primo strumento domina, ha una atmosfera quasi jazz. Dal canto suo, “The Midwife to Sorrows” si spinge su territori gothic/doom, con toni pesanti ma mai veramente plumbei; la titletrack, pressoché del tutto strumentale, mescola ancora di più le atmosfere, partendo come una marcia militare e trasformandosi in uno spedito contrasto fra una ritmica quasi death e un lungo assolo di sax. Con “The last Retreat” siamo chiaramente in territorio avantgarde: presenza costante di quasi tutti i brani sono voci registrate che sembrano provenire da vecchi notiziari radiofonici, mentre le parti cantate sono ridotte al minimo. Dopo lo splendido stacco pianistico di “Doom over Valiria”, la conclusiva “Возрождение” (non chiedetemi cosa significhi, non ho la traduzione) ha qualche apertura doom, ma anche momenti sperimentali di una certa efficacia, pur se sembra andare un po’ alla cieca in alcuni passaggi. Un disco che ha bisogno certamente di numerosi ascolti per essere assimilato, e che forse si compiace un po’ della propria natura ‘intellettuale’… tuttavia, chi ama i sound non lineari dovrebbe almeno accomodarsi per un ascolto di prova.

Author: Renato de Filippis

You could, I suppose, say that the Narrow House has widened considerably, although you might regret such a terrible pun in years to come. It has, though, as the Ukrainian outfit move away from the intelligent but relatively genre-defined Funeral Doom of their debut 'A Key To Panngrieb'. In truth, even the unusual incorporation of a prominent cello on that album didn't give much of a clue as to how far and how quickly they would travel, in a radically different direction. It took the actual release of 'Thanathonaut' to do that, and – despite the band's commendable willingness to create and share diary videos along the way – I don't mind admitting that it still came as a real surprise to me.

Fortunately, I should add, not in a bad way at all.

At first listen, the only question was not how good the album is, but how Doom: a debate slightly fuelled by the Solitude CD release being through the BadMoodMan Music sublabel, which handles their more Gothic/Rock-leaning offerings. And, yes, it could be categorised as particularly doomy Dark Metal, assuming there was much value in arguing where, exactly, the border lies between Gothic/Death/Doom Metal and Goth-tinged Death/Doom-influenced Metal. Alternatively, since Narrow House describe themselves as an 'Apocalyptic Doom' band, and 'Thanathonaut' is an album about apocalypse, laden with Doom motifs and moods, one could simply avoid that hair-splitting exercise and go straight to 'it's Doom'.

Putting the semantics aside momentarily, what you get with the standard release is the usual high-standard Solitude package: dramatic artwork, informative glossy booklet and crisp production. The band also offered a limited, self-produced digipack version containing all that and more; and kudos to them for doing so – such personalised touches are a meaningful effort worth appreciating.

The album inside is quite short, at just over 40 minutes, comprising 9 original tracks and a cover – in Russian - of Virgin Black's 'Renaissance' ('Возрождение'). To deal with this latter first: obviously few people are able to emulate the way Rowan London's idiosyncratic tenor delivery winds through often minimalist instrumentation, so Narrow House have approached it with a muscular, pacier musical transcription and a hoarse, snarling vocal. This reinterpretation gives it an aggressive edge not found in the pathos of the original, but far more suited to the character of this album, and, overall, is a worthy and intelligent reimagining of a classic track.

It also demonstrates a number of the staples found throughout the preceding body of the album: samples - discussing weaponry - linking the tracks; heavy, pulsating percussion; guitar-work that lays down both Death/Doom riffing and intense lead breaks; clean and more extreme vocals both laid back into the mix; and the liberal addition of classical/symphonic contributions (choirs, cello, contrabass, saxophone and, of course, keyboards). That may sound like an eclectic combination, largely because it is, but it works - with a vengeance. The combined layers of instrumentation give it a smooth lushness that, in part, is what distracts from the Doom elements which form a backbone to proceedings. Those ensure that there is plenty of dark, sombre heaviness lurking behind even the most soaring of sax melodies – which are worthy of special mention, both as a genuinely rare instrument in this field and for their sublime nature.

It's actually quite hard to pick out any high spots against such an extraordinarily, consistently brilliant construction. 'Thanathonaut' paces itself superbly, without a wasted moment, dipping at will into gentler interludes and urgent bursts of momentum, mixing the mournful groan of the cello with some ultra-sharp guitar lines, dragging in moments of funereal battery and surging choral movement as it goes. Even the mild – and only possible - criticism that the headlong dive towards Armageddon is a somewhat hackneyed subject seems inappropriate, given the current state of affairs in the Ukraine - if anything, having seen the news footage, it gives an additional poignancy to the material. I will, however, nominate a couple of personal favourite tracks: the stomping, furious whirl of 'The Midwife To Sorrows' and the sad, beautiful instrumental 'Doom Over Valiria' – between them, they sum up the breadth and majesty that is on offer here.

Okay, that's quite a lot of superlatives, but I stand by all of them. I'd describe this a genuinely important album: a turning-point for the band, and possibly more than that. Narrow House have produced something quite unique with 'Thanathonaut', in my opinion a sufficiently radical and enthralling creation to stand comparison with other seminal self-redefinitions like My Dying Bride's 'Turn Loose The Swans', Katatonia's 'Discouraged Ones' or Anathema's 'Eternity'. Only one of those went on to epitomise a Doom genre, of course, and it remains to be seen whether similar odds apply here. Still, even if Narrow House choose to head off at a tangent in future, right now they're demonstrating in the best way possible that the boundaries of Doom can still be pushed into new and exciting places.

Author: Mike Liassides
Terroraiser #3

NARROW HOUSE - это подающая большие надежды атмосферная Doom Metal группа из украинской столицы. В этом могли убедиться постоянные читатели нашего журнала прослушав аудиоприложение к прошлому номеру, правда, по техническим причинам - в несколько усеченной версии. Но если вы пока так и не слышали NARROW HOUSE, то словами описать я могу это так: по настроению это приближенная к фюнеральной ветви стиля музыка, но зато средства выражения настолько разнообразны и неожиданны, что просто диву даешься фантазии и творческой смелости музыкантов! Ну скажите - доводилось ли вам слышать в похоронном думе саксофон? А ведь вписан он крайне гармонично в общую музыкальную канву! Однозначно, в подобной музыке - один из лучших релизов за последние несколько лет. Да что там скромничать - это шедевр!
Forgotten Path

Kiev based band Narrow House presents their second studio album “Thanathonaut”. I’m a bit surprised as to why “Solitude Productions” sub-label released this very average album. Does every Doom Metal album get to see light nowadays? On second thought, the same label has published worse works than this one in the past...
I’m not certain that there is anything worth mentioning about “Thanathonaut”. It’s a light Doom Metal release accompanied by unpleasant, sentimental saxophone. In my opinion, only Coltrane and Brotzman can make sax sound really good and only Zorn can incorporate it into Metal. Besides saxophone there are plenty of acoustic elements and keyboards, which bring the music closer to a Symphonic Doom sound. Often Narrow House sounds nothing like Metal and could be put next to Anathema. There are some heavy guitars on the surface, but the tracks are based on cheap piano notes and unimpressive guitar solos. The vocals do not play a big part; they just appear in a form of speech or choir echoes, which soon fade away. The psychedelic thoughts mentioned in the lyrics do not appear in the music and there’s not much melodiousness. Narrow House describes themselves as an apocalyptic Doom Metal band, but that is very misleading. There’s an abundance of romantic, light Ambient, but not a trace of energy or expression. Frankly, I got nothing out of “Thanathonaut”, but teenage Doom fans might.

Author: Bloodie
Lords of Metal

Ukrainian band Narrow House debuted strongly in 2012 with ‘A Key To Panngrieb’. That album was a very strong funeral doom album where comparisons could be drawn with Faal and Esoteric. Curious how the band had evolved in the two years that had gone by I put ‘Thanathonaut’ with great anticipation into the cd-player. Unfortunately, I am a bit disappointed. No more funeral doom and instead they went down the road of atmospheric doom and the band has incorporate d a non-genre instrument, the saxophone, into their sound. At times the saxophone really works well and at other moments it doesn’t work at all. The songs are now short and to the point, the longest song, and also closer ‘Rebirth’ clocks in at seven minutes. The rest varies between two and five minutes. It still is doom, I even from time to time hear riffs that could have featured on the last two Deinonychus albums, although they sound like they could have been written by that band they miss the venom of Deinonychus. After having listened to ‘Thanathonaut’ about ten times I am still not sure what I really think of the album. But one thing is sure, I certainly prefer ‘A Key To Panngrieb’. Well executed but nowhere does it grip me.

Author: Marcel H

Nous avions attiré votre attention sur le premier album des Ukrainiens de NARROW HOUSE (« A Key To Panngrieb », chroniqué ici) et nous ne pouvons que réitérer la manœuvre avec ce second opus en nette progression.

Si NARROW HOUSE demeure affilié au Funeral Doom, il dénote une écriture plus personnelle, plus affirmée et plus variée. Tout d'abord, le son général est dorénavant moins monolithique, plus sec et plus aéré, avec un rendu plus tranchant et plus organique. Ensuite, les compositions sont nettement plus courtes. Même quand elles sont composées de plusieurs séquences agencées selon une progression complexe (le superbe titre éponyme par exemple), le groupe fait preuve d'un souci constant d'efficacité et de concision.

Mais le signe le plus manifeste que NARROW HOUSE s'affranchit de ses influences Funeral Doom et affirme une personnalité originale réside dans la richesse des arrangements. Le groupe semble ne s'être rien interdit : violoncelle, piano, claviers divers, saxophone... autant d'instruments qui viennent rehausser l'austérité du substrat Metal. Attention, il ne s'agit pas seulement de pastilles exotiques mais bien d'éléments constitutifs des compositions, utilisés aussi bien en tant qu'arrangements stricto sensu qu'en tant que porteurs de rythmiques et de mélodies. Faire preuve d'audace est une chose, transformer cette audace en un résultat convaincant en est une autre. Force est de constater que NARROW HOUSE fait sonner l'ensemble de manière tout à fait naturelle et seuls les esprits bornés trouveront à y redire. Car les compositions demeurent foncièrement sombres et rampantes.

Chapeau bas, messieurs.

Author: Alain Lavanne

Szinte még zöldfülű firkászként találkoztam az ukrán Narrow House bemutatkozó lemezével (A Key To Panngrieb), ami egy meglehetősen átlagos, de minőségileg nem kifogásolható funeral doom zenével ostromolta meg a világot a Solitude közbenjárásával. Azóta rengeteget híreztünk a zenekarról, véleményem szerint azért, mert a folytatásról csepegtetett stúdiófelvételeik, apró részleteik igazán kíváncsivá tettek minket. Az érdekes töredékekben olyan elemek jelentek meg, mint a szaxofon és a cselló, a korábbi acsarkodós hörgés helyében pedig a többnyire tiszta ének, kórusokkal fűszerezve. Aki azonban ezek után is funeral doomra számított, az bizony nagyot csalódott a zenekar új, Thanathonaut c. kiadványában, mert a temetői hangulatot csak nyomokban megőrző album teljesen más utakra tévedt, amihez nem is igen tudok hasonlót említeni. Ugyan a kiadó honlapján megemlítik az ausztrál Virgin Black nevét velük kapcsolatban, de komoly hasonlóság nem mutatkozik a két csapat produktumai között. Az ukránok a funeral doom mellé jócskán szippantottak a hagyományos vonalból, de a stoner, gótikus elemeket éppolyan szeretettel használják, mint a progressziót. A 10 dalt rejtő kiadványt Christophe Dessaigne francia művész alkotása takarja el a nagyközönség elől, akinek munkái Stephen King és Agatha Christie könyvek borítójaként is feltűntek már. A hangzásra szokás szerint nem lehet panasz, de ezt megszokhattuk már a kiadótól, sokkal meglepőbb azonban maga a zene, amiről először csak annyi jutott eszembe, hogy furcsa. Nemcsak a dalok szerkezete, de az egész anyag hangulata olyan, amire ez a legjobb jelző.

A hosszú tételek lerövidültek, így a 10 dal bőven elfér 40 percben, még így is több instrumentális szösszenet fért a keretbe. Ilyen a nyitó Crossroads, ahol a temetői hangulatot megteremtő (egyébként a Burzumot idéző) szintihez gyorsan bekapcsolódik a szaxofon és a cselló. Dalszöveg helyett híradások, reklámok szövege hallható a háttérben, felvezetve a lemez fő témáját: a nukleáris háborút és az apokalipszist. Itt még a funeral doom hangulat uralkodik, a nyitány gyorsan a hóna alá kap és velünk együtt vánszorog a merengő magány utáni áhitatba, de a közvetlenül utána érkező The First Day of the Rest of Your Life már egészen más vizeken evez. A kórussal, tiszta énekkel és nagy teret kapó zongorával a tradícionálisabb doom híveket célozza, de a kemény death/doom riffelés is megfér az alig 3 és fél percben. A szaxofon ismételten feltűnik, amit bátran használnak, de véleményem szerint a kevesebb jobb lett volna egy-egy dalban, mert amilyen ütősek lehetnek a különlegesebb hangszerek, olyan gyorsan válhatnak unalmassá, ha erőltetik őket. A még rövidebb, gyorsabb Furious Thoughts of Tranquility c. dalban már világossá válik ez a tendencia. Rövidségének köszönhetően én egyfajta felvezetőként tekintek rá, méghozzá a lemez talán legjobb dalát készíti elő, a The Midwife to Sorrowst, amiben aztán minden elfér egy helyen. Tradíció, modern extrémitás és a refrénnek köszönhetően egy kis 80-as évek (legalábbis nekem a kor legalulértékeltebb pop-rock bandáját, a Tears Of Fearst juttatta eszembe). Ezek után jön a katonás címadó, a Thanathonaut. A lassan építkező dal képes a legjobban beépíteni a csellót és a szaxofont, az ének nélküli szerzemény igazi progresszív csemegévé képes növekedni, miközben a súlyosságból sem veszít. Innentől kezdve azonban csökken a dalszerző kedv, vagy inkább kreativitás, mert a rövid A Sad Scream of Silver és a brutális doom riffel nyitó Crushing the Old Empire már inkább tekinthető dal töredéknek, mint komplett szerzeménynek. Önmagukban nem rosszak, de a háttérbe ismét visszatérő bejátszások már kevésbé hatnak izgalmasnak. A Crushing the Old Empire témáit pedig 3 percre elpazarolni vétek volt. A The Last Retreat sem más, mint egy rövidke keret egy egyébként nagyon dallamos és depresszív gitárszólónak, ami mellől persze most sem hiányzott a már unalmasnak ható szaxofon. Az akusztikus Doom Over Valiria vezeti fel a lemezt záró, végre hosszabb szerzeményt, ez a cirill betűs Возрождение (Vozrozhdenie). Ebben kapjuk a legtöbb extrém vokált és az album teljes repertoárját.

Vegyes érzelmekkel tudom csak fogadni a Narrow House egyedinek szánt lemezét, legfőképp a sok pocsékolás miatt. Ezek az ukránok a hangszereik feletti teljes uralommal rendelkeznek, kézben tartják a hangulatot és olyan úton indultak el, amiből valami nagyszerű is kisülhet még, de a rövid tételek ehhez nagyon kevésnek bizonyulnak. Mintha csak ízelítőt kapnánk egy-egy gondolatmenetből, hogy lássuk, mit tudnak, de nem akarják megosztani velünk azt, amit a Narrow House adhat. A külföldi és egyéb véleményeket nézegetve ugyanez a vegyesség jellemzi a legtöbb írást a lemezről, van, aki az egekig magasztalta, mások pedig nem tudták mire vélni a produkciót. Én valahol a kettő között érzem reálisnak az értékelést, mert ez a lemez egy ígéret valami újhoz, egyedihez, amit remélem legközelebb be is váltanak. Aki szeretne valami egyedit hallani a doom metal berkein belül, az nyugodtan próbálkozzon meg ezzel a lemezzel, de valószínűleg gyorsan rájön, miről is koptattam eddig az ujjam a billentyűzeten…

Author: boymester
Write a review