|Cover artwork by Becker Schmitz|
Thalamus is a four piece band from Germany founded in 2003. Mr. Avenson (2011) is their 3rd release. They describe themselves as a progressive-grunge band, but you would do good to forget about genres when you listen to this album, or you will be getting confused.
The only reliable thing is its progressiveness... and it is most progressive in "not giving a fuck about genres", but as soon as you get that you will listen to the album with a broad grin on your face as its unpredictability is half of the fun. It leads you from one surprise to the next, be it the song structure, the perfect balance of harmony and disharmony, heaviness and fragile melody, the unique atmosphere of each song, or the fact that despite all the many exciting things happening in the songs, they never sound bulky or overloaded. The other half of the fun is to listen to excellent musicians who are able to give their ideas a unique form and who have the maturity to commit their talents to the songs (not to their respective egos losing the context in endless complicated tinkering - you know what I mean), to listen to a vocalist with the ability to emphasize the atmosphere of the song with nuanced expression and feeling.
Mr. Avenson is maverick "genre anarchy", food for your head and your heart. Inexperienced musical taste buds may need more than one approach to enjoy this taste of anarchy though, but this album is definitely worth the effort. My favorite song is (of course) The Machine, it has a good portion of "right-into-your-face" sludgy heaviness that warms my sludge heart.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]