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Thy Catafalque / Press

“So what is this album actually about? My first guess would be a close examination on the benefits of wind power but since the album’s name translates to An Exhibition on Vanishing Time maybe its more complex than that. Looking back it’s very impressive a two member DIY band could self release and create a record of this quality. Even more surprising is that it didn’t get picked up by a label and re-released until 6 years later. It’s alright though. That is just proof they were ahead of their time.”

“Thy Catafalque manage the impossible. No one can maintain an atmosphere composed of such earth-crushing heaviness, such vibrant textural earthiness, and such a range of timbre like Thy Catafalque. Even the lyrics contribute to the album's massive, ancient atmosphere. I didn't imagine an endeavor like this was possible before I heard it. But Thy Catafalque doesn't just maintain that atmosphere on Rengeteg; they mold it into brilliant structure after brilliant structure. The grace with which the compositions dance around while maintaining their astonishingly heavy and organic atmosphere is astounding. The music weaves back and forth between deeply moving post-black metal progressions driven by 50-megaton blast beats and an eclectic range of industrial, rock, and folk, all the while maintaining that impossible atmosphere. Renegeteg contains some of the heaviest moments of music that I've ever encountered yet doesn't dwell on them like many bands do...”

“There's something to be said for a metal band that manages to find an original sound. Even in the so-called avant-garde metal style, a listener is bound to find scores of artists pulling out the same 'weird' cliches, without necessarily doing something fresh with them. First hearing Thy Catafalque and the work of Tamás Kátai through his more death metal-oriented project Gire, it was clear to me from the start that there was something sincerely 'out there' about this music. On "Rengeteg", fans of this Hungarian act's previous work will get what they expect: a viciously eclectic dose of strange folk melodies, industrial percussion, and plenty of synthesized goodness. It's not a taste for everyone, but "Rengeteg" is one of the most interesting musical experiences I've heard in recent times.”

“Rengeteg is this year's winners of the To Mega Therion award for "I don't know what the hell I'm listening to but I freaking love it!" Highly experimental, but still firmly rooted in the metal sound (in other words, there's enough heavy riffs, fast drumming, and emphatic vocals to remind you what genre you're actually listening to), Thy Catafalque manage to blend black metal, avant-garde, folk, death metal, prog, ambient, and electronic into one tightly-delivered and mesmerizing package.”

“The band’s usual sound is back in full force, with blasting aggression, ghostly ambience, playful melodies and interesting electronic effects all blended into one roller coaster ride of an album. Unlike acts like Unexpect or The Diablo Swing Orchestra that seem to relish being over the top, Thy Catafalque’s greatest asset may be their ability to wrangle all the elements of their sound into something that sounds natural, almost as if all the disparate sounds and effects were meant to go together this way. It’s the musical equivalent of a Pollock painting. The tracks on Rengeteg run the gamut from more playful, almost folkish melodic tracks like ‘Kék Ingem Lobogó’ and ‘Kel Keleti Szél’ to heavy-hitting bruisers like ‘Fekete Mezõk’ and ‘Minden Test Fu’, with several sublime keyboard and electronic passages that almost veer into the psychedelic.”

“Thy Catafalque is one of the most interesting one man band in Hungarian metal scene. Album „Rengeteg” started as death/black album with electronic influences, but from the 3rd track this guys started total avantgarde conception to play metal... „Trilobita” track included some quasi-oriental sounds, next track’s flow is neofolk/metal/progressive rock in one. Full of 60 minutes of this album is a journey from death/black metal to neofolk/folk/breakbeat and electronic sounds. Respect from me for vocalist for singing in Hungarian and for great voice. This is real avantgarde in metal – without NUcore/NUtown/grunge trashes. Great, great, great!!! Rating: 9.5/10”

“Thy Catafalque's fourth album is a bizarre black metal mutant which constantly surprises the listener with the range of genres the band manage to cram into it - there's folk, space rock, ambient moments and more as well as some vicious metal outbursts to be enjoyed here. I'm particularly impressed with the way the band are able to explore all these different styles without the album becoming unfocused, and also the way the album is constantly in transition; just when you think you've got a handle on what they're doing at any particular point, the compositions start incorporating little twists that build up to move the soundscape in an entirely different direction. I'll have to listen to more of these guys.”

“'Moulded within the kilns of Season of Mist and lasting for nearly an hour of atmospheric post-black brilliance, Rengeteg is more than just music. It's a way of life, a myriad of human conditions accumulated over a span of millennia. It's a dynamic cycle, an ever-changing state of mind romping through the brain stem to stimulate emotions connecting man to nature, music to dreams, and soul to landscapes. It's the unyielding simplicity of the riffs, the demolishing aggressiveness, the ethereal melodies of the instruments, the eerie Uralic lyrics, its scintillating aura and the undying passion of that dark-haired musician that all together make it quite simply an album unto itself. It charges like a howling tempest with ear-splitting guitars, flying solos, chilling keyboard passages, bloated vocals and well-programmed cold, hollow drums before it settles into a thick progressive-ish mid-tempo, low-tuned, folk-driven theme.”

“And last but not least, we have the album’s production which is a real treat for THY CATAFALQUE’s music. I don’t know who is responsible for this, but he’s definitely done a kickass job giving the album the boost it needs with a sound that balances between clarity and the “dirty” heaviness of our beloved music. Unfortunately I never had the chance to know this band earlier, but this album will definitely be my ticket to the world of this one man band/project/whatever. I guess the people of Season Of Mist know what they’re doing after all.”

“A spiritual cousin to the folk-steeped metallurgists of Borknagar and Melechesh, Kátai uses the unorthodox modes of his homeland as the roots of a unique musical language, rather than making them the main focus. The palette is gigantic, ranging from superb Death-esque riffing ("Fekete mezők") to electronic instrumental hoodoo ("Holdkomp") and moody four on the floor prog-pop ("Az eső, az eső ,az eső"). Some of the best stuff on Rengeteg has absolutely nothing to do with heavy metal. And it's all leavened by irresistable pentatonic folk melodies.”

“Each new release sees him straying further from his blackened origins – this “band” is really just the genius vision of one man, Tamás Kátai, who performs all the instruments – and stepping deeper into the fantastical world of the Avant-Garde, but this isn't a band to bombard you with new elements every time the wind blows. Maybe they took their cues from their more experimental classical history (Hungarian composers had a habit of infusing elements of folk into their compositions), but every progression they've made up until this point has been nothing but perfectly natural, and so now that they've now come to a point in the musical abyss where the music is nigh on indescribable is to say nothing bad about the tone they've carved from themselves. It's unique and not quite like anything that came before it; it's like waking up and discovering that there's a whole new colour in the world you've never seen before, and it's nothing short of breathtaking to behold.”

“Loner Tamás Kátai, without his buddy János Juhász, wrote this album with his modest equipment in gothic Edinburgh where the city's dark skies have definitely been reflected into the overall concept of the album. Several guest vocals make the album an interesting melting pot of different traditions in metal, and thus a quite sophisticated experience for an avarage listener. Yet, if you are an avid avantgarde disciple, this album may give you hope, and raise your expectations for the muses that live on the banks of Danube.”

“The record is produced in a professional way which means the sound is clear, fairly selective yet not overproduced or artificial. Distortion is heavy, a little bit fuzzy, kind of reminding me of sludge and industrial metal. Same for computer generated drums. Besides heavy distortion, Thy Catafalque uses a whole range of guitar sounds - from soft space rock overdrive to occasional classical guitar nylon strumming. The vocalist is one of the most intriguing aspects of RENGETEG. Mostly clean, folk-influenced vocals with a few shrieked parts here and there are very well performed. However, it's a presence of various synthesizers and space rock sound effects that determine Thy Catafalque's uniqueness in terms of sound and ambiance.”

“Rengeteg was definitely a surprise find. It’s safe to say that most if not all metal fans should have no problem rallying around this hidden gem. All the bases are covered from progressive to heavy to atmospheric, Rengeteg is massive in its scope and execution. If you swore off metal for the new year, do yourself a favor and rediscover everything that it can be.”

“Overall "Rengeteg" is an extraordinary follow up to "Róka Hasa Rádió", which might even outdo it in some ways. Thy Catafalque are a band that should be infinitely praised for the utterly original sound and songwriting abilities, as well as their bold experiments with Hungarian Folk music, Ambient and Electronic. A must for any Avant-Garde Metal/Black Metal fan, in my book.”

“Given my usual extreme tastes in metal, there’s a lot of music in this album I shouldn’t like — but I loved every bit of it. It’s fascinating, unorthodox, emotionally powerful, beautifully worded, heavy as fuck, truly inspired — as connected with the part of me that wants to spin around and headbang ’til my neck hurts as it is with the part of me that wants to believe that I’m part of something larger than what I can see around me, the part of me that wants to believe it will live forever.”

“The song ‘Vashegyek’, 14 minutes long, pulls out all the stops and truly is a masterpiece - after a very slow, melodic beginning, accompanied with female, softly-sung vocals, a tension is constantly build up which in the end veers towards a very fast and almost brutal conclusion. All songs are very remarkable, unique and hard to grasp at the first listen - several intense passes are needed to understand and absorb every detail. THY CATAFALQUE again presented an album, which includes lots of variety, complexity and atmosphere - Avant-garde may be a suitable description, but it is probably best to indulge into the music and simply enjoy the intense and melancholic ambience.”

“Given that this album was released only last month, and that these crazy Hungarians have been flying low on the radar of many, it's little surprise I've found little mention of them else where. I was a big fan of their last release, though it received only a fraction of the attention it deserved, they've now returned for what can only be described as another leap in the quality of their output. What was once rooted in Black now feels more free-form, moving in and out of folk-like passages, still filled with a darkness; an icy cold perfect for the winter months, but coupled with more epic lines, electronic interludes and ethereal dream-like passages, mixing lo-fi noise with precision, creating a chaotic wall of sound only to break to a controlled passage. Is it some sort of Dark Heavy Metal? Some form of Industrial Blackgaze? Progressive Ambient Folk/Darkwave? Agalloch meets... hell I don't know, Arcturus maybe? All I know is I'm loving it.”

“At its heart, Rengeteg is a simple meshing of post-black metal and folk music (the vocals, in particular, are deeply rooted in the latter). Other elements are subtle enough so as not to be distracting. Little electronic elements and distorted spoken word parts are sprinkled sparingly, most notably in an intense section of fourteen minute epic "Vashegyek." Creeping forth with a soft, lovely intro complemented by female vocals, this track soon bursts into a repetitive onslaught of droning rhythms and synthesized sounds, the latter of which you might find in the likes of 70s Deep Purple. Opener "Fekete mezők," possibly my favorite here, is a stunner, beginning with a surprisingly crushing death metal riff and segueing into agonizing harsh vocals. The powerful and wonderfully sang chorus just tops it off, proving avantgarde can be as catchy as it is daring and assuring that its nine minute runtime never becomes boring.”

“Rengeteg is the latest album from Hungarian metal band Thy Catafalque and while extremely experimental in nature, this is definitely solid metal at its core. The guitar-driven songs have numerous ambient, ethereal breaks running through them and more than the occasional electronica vibe as well. Even more interesting is the fact that the whole album is sung in Hungarian; which though it might turn some people off, really doesn't take away from the album's enjoyability. While the whole record has an overall rawness that is very similar to many black metal releases, Rengeteg is very different from most everything else currently on the scene; at times it's bone-crushingly heavy and at others strings, keyboards and a melancholy female voice are layered in a hauntingly mournful dirge resulting in a powerfully emotional vibe.”

“2011 Superlative: Album most likely to look like a shittily produced black metal record, but isn’t. The very fact that I got that impression looking at the album cover and title was enough to make me ignore this peculiar one-man project from Hungary. But in reality Tamas Katai’s latest work couldn’t be further from that. Instead of the “soundtrack to being raped in cave” you might expect (term courtesy of Vic Vaughn), “Rengeteg” turns out to be a really unusual and exciting record. A cross between Arcturus and Rammstein is probably about as succinct of a description as I can give this album, but that doesn’t really do it justice. Katai stirs black metal, industrial, prog, and Eastern European folk together in a way I can’t say I’ve ever heard before. The lack of consistent heaviness may turn some off, but just about every style attempted here succeeds, and that, in itself, is impressive.”

"Az eső, az eső, az eső", one of the album's highlights, is built on dark layers of reverb-heavy synth pads and a clipped, echoing guitar part that sounds like early U2. The heaviness is never too far away though, as the breakneck closer "Minden test fű" proves - it's the heaviest song I've heard by them yet. Literally everything I asked for and more, Rengeteg is a properly jaw-droppingly brilliant album; metal just doesn't get better than this in 2011, just like it didn't get better than Róka Hasa Rádió in 2009. They will have to fuck up spectacularly on their next couple of albums if I'm not going to permanently consider them one of my favourite ever metal bands.

“I daresay that Tamás Kátai has delivered a very interesting and perfectly balanced album this year. Rengeteg grabs the listener from the very first minute, and even though it gets better after a couple of spins, and proves to be very captivating. Catchy somehow songs belittling, but is a fitting term nonetheless; it’s mostly to do with the not-overly complex yet prominent guitar riffs, the amazing production on the album, and Attila’s voice. This album is bound to end up very high on my “best o’11”-list and I think that if you appreciate experimental, out-of-the-box metal, you should give Rengeteg a spin or two. While I am having a hard time finding actual comparable bands (Borknagar and Solefald come closest, but Thy Catafalque hardly sounds anything like them!), I can almost assure you that you will not be disappointed. I sincerely hope that this mean will be the all too well known ‘stepping stone’ to a greater audience, because Thy Catafalque more than deserves that.”

“I should mention here,that the lyrics are written in hungarian, a fact that may drive away some people, who aphoristically dismiss any band or artist who chooses not to sing in English. There's no such rule, mates! In my opinion, after 2-3 listenings, the use of the Hungarian language is not something that should bother you, on the contrary it offers to the whole experience a more special, pagan/occult mood. Furthermore I can't help but mention the memorable, medieval vocal performance of Ágnes Tóth (from the neofolk outfit The Moon And The Nightspirit) in the album's greatest composition, the impressive 14-minute long "Vashegyek".”

“The rubbery Goth angle of “Trilobita,” is bolstered by Kátai’s springy vocals, sounding distinctly Hungarian (all of the songs are in the man’s native tongue, obviously) and catchy at the same time. Even when Kátai drops in poppy synth lines like on the aforementioned “Trilobita” and “Vashegyek.” “Vashegyek” is especially noteworthy thanks to potent guitar harmony section that off-sets the song’s most dreary industrial landscape. From there, the pulsating “Kék ingem lobogó” and tribal “Tar gallyak végül” provide variation and different sonic manifestations from the preceding tracks in a not-so traditional Goth/industrial metal fashion.”

“I just got to know Thy Catafolque with this record, and so I really was unreserved while listening to the record – and I was carried away by enthusiasm for this album. This combination of black metal and folk elements with these electro influences and those really well done clear vocals seems to be quite unique. The sound is ambitious and fresh and the final outcome shows, that it was worth the try. Buy it!”

“It’s dense enough to bludgeon the whole New Zealand front row to death with a single, earth-shaking swoop and contains enough complexity to reduce Mikael Åkerfeldt to the status of a tiny, titty-suckling bairn.”

“In terms of songwriting, I can't say a bad thing about this project really, because their songwriting has been top-notch since day one. Their melodies are extremely catchy, to the extent that I'd call them poppy, and are really easy to get stuck in your head. Songs like Kel Keleti Szél and Trilobita are just so catchy that they're pure sugar to my ears, they're just so fantastically sweet and memorable it's not even funny. Az Eső, Az Eső, Az Eső is as close as you're gonna get to a pure pop song on a metal album this year, or at least a good pop song, in my opinion, as it makes use of almost not distorted guitar and is basically a dancy folk-pop song. I'm not gonna say the entire record is full of these super poppy numbers though, the two longest tracks, opener Fekete Mezők and Vashegyek are more progressive and adventurous than super melodic.”

“Thy Catafalque are billed as “avant-garde metal” which can really be the only way to describe them. With a blend of hard, angry riffs, folk, pop, rock and electronics, Rengeteg catches the ear right away as something out of the ordinary. The one man project of Tamás Kátai really hits massively hard with this record and that’s during the slow parts! When he really rocks out, it’s a blistering wall of cranium bashing noise.”

“Thy Catafalque’s fifth album ‘Rengeteg’ is absolutely one fucking brilliant masterpiece of an album. I listen to my promotional copy more than the last Mastodon and Opeth... together. The "folkish, atmospheric post-black metal" (bla bla bla) is so intensely good that it brings tears to my eyes - even though I can't understand one syllable of the lyrics”

“Putting it simply, this album is fine gourmet candy for your sweet-toothed ears. For all of the introspective aura talk, for all of the quirky weirdness and adventurous shifts mentioned, the most important trait about Rengeteg is that it’s a serious blast to listen to.”

“And this combination works brilliantly in generating a truly unique style of avant-gardish metal which is extremely expressive and darkly melodic. Even at its most brutal moments the focus of "Rengeteg" remains on melody, and the album is rich in lead melodies performed in guitars, synths and more unusual instruments.”

“You may find yourself questioning your vision of musical reality but what comes out on the other side is just delightful and brilliantly innovative. Top quality musical output, cohesion and total invention are what it’s about. I realised when listening to “Rengeteg” that this was one of those rare times when I was listening to a work of total originality. ”

“Rengeteg has some huge shoes to fill, coming off of the back-to-back greatness of 2004′s Tűnõ Idõ Tárlat and 2009′s Róka Hasa Rádió. Both albums verged on the black metal of Thy Catafalque’s early work, but ratcheted the experimental side of things way up, with Kátai’s very unique keyboards and sense of melody heavily on display. Rengeteg is a worthy follow-up, but at the same time, it’s a different record than its immediate predecessors.”

“Slowly and subtly symphonic elements creep in, vocals begin alternating between coming from cavernous depths and clean, the whole track grows Wagnerian and grandiose. Just as Csillagkohó presented a melody eating at your brain like an electric worm, Fekete mezők finds a way to introduce glacial, loopy, fixating melody coming to us from Carpathian Mountains.”

“This is an album for poets and daydreamers; metalheads and non-metalheads; humans, jinn and demons to revel in and get scuttled into the purest sound hailing straight from Hungary's Carpathian Mountains.”

“What hit me the first time I heard this album was the huge amount of experimentation, keyboards and synthesizers used, that are accompanied in second hand with the incredibly dark sounding guitars, distorted or not. Thy Catafalque's style can't really be labeled as simple Avant-Garde Metal: there is a lot of Industrial Metal (combined with Black Metal), Electronic, Ambient, and maybe some Folk elements as well. All the songs have amazing arrangements, even though with a kind of harsh production.”

“...I say that a lot, but this is an adventurous sound, a band forging something original and unique, and doing it very well. It’s unusual, painting a vivid picture of story and music, and this is something to hear. It’s good to hear originality and quality coincide. For a fairly heavy release, metal-wise, I’m still going to throw this out to just about everyone–metal friendly or not. There’s a great deal of fantastic structuring, melody, creativity, and atmosphere being presented here, and it’s quite a trip. It runs the gamut, so don’t expect it to stay long.”

“...There are so many elements at play here that it almost feels impossible to categorize into just one space. Thy Catafalque have created an album that is truly out of this world – it takes you from place to place and time to time and season to season and mood to mood, all in one go. Set course and engage.”

“...Trying to describe Thy Catafalque music verbally is a futile task, I completely realize that. You have to experience it with your own skin, ears and some sixth sense to become a believer. I underwent two states while listening to Róka Hasa Rádió. When the music was post-black and crushingly heavy, my brain went into isolation, trying to ponder my own relationship with the world. Call it catharsis...”

"...An immediate impression of the music is an instant bewitching throughout an hour-long tour de force of grey magic and bright innovations. For this music holds a spear shaped as heart and it is so easy to tackle with the blade every sort of withering emotions and sharp senses of identifying the act of leaving shackles and borders far behind, what we call, avantgarde metal..."

"...This release is one of those records that makes you feel like you’re staring at life through an absinth bottle in an opium den. Everything’s a sickly shade of green, and images seem to swim in the air. Even the trite, behaved kind of muzak beauty one has come to expect of classical begins to reveal pointed teeth, even as eardrum-bursting black metal riffage becomes the sound which lulls you in a trance. Rightside-up and upside-down, up and over Thy Catafalque’s mad mountain we go. Tell me you can get this kind of cosmos-warping sensation from the Stones, even if you happen to be cosmically stoned..."

"...The band's style is defined as "Avant-garde metal" and really, there's no other way to put it. Extreme metal, carefully arranged melodies, electronic/industrial touches, folk-ish passages, all kinds of vocals, all of them of great performance quality, this album has it all, mixed and diluted in ethereal ways to create a certainly corporeal piece of music that's ready to rock the socks off of anyone who's looking to be blown away..."

"...Here, in an album about which I know essentially nothing beyond its name, and ran across in a single random sentence somebody wrote somewhere about some other band entirely, is an effortless explosion of texture and flow and transport and altered perspective, spinning filaments of folk metal and carillon and Vangelis and Zoolook and radio static and alien loudspeaker announcements into an entire involuted universe. We are already standing on the roots of our Tree of Life. We are already the strangest creatures we can imagine, and this is not the limit of our imagination, but its origin..."

" After great debut album "Sublunary Tragedies", group coming back with fresh and very experimental material, without loosing their black metal roots at the same time. Sometimes it's very hard to classify this album, music here in general doesn't fit to any progressive sub-genere, during listening can be noticed a evolution of their music. Kind of progress, that some groups reaching during 10 years of activity, creativity of band members is on the top..."

"...Instead I am drawn to the objective of all their variation; whatever techniques they may choose to adopt, the atmosphere almost indefinitely has a strong ‘time and space’ motif, traversing the stars, travelling back in time and forward once more, and it is this overwhelming feeling of darkness, be it in industrial ambient tones, the slow doom-like pacing of the bombastic drums or the melodic violin and clarinet melodies, this proves the only constant feature of this album with more tricks up their sleeve than Houdini..."

"...This is their fourth album which sets them to high standards. It seems very far removed from Black Metal to an exciting hybrid territory. This is worthy of purchase and Thy Catafalque are a name to watch. But overall they are a shining example of modern metal in all its current multifaceted glory..."

"...As waves splash around the body of a ship, it glides across the ocean with the sirens luring in the unsuspecting sailors. Or, is it the sea beast devouring and pulling in the female traveler?? No matter, as eventually the waters submerge above our heads and we begin the descent. Violin, piano runs, after the huge tribal drumming crescendo we end up at the grot where underwater creatures are rejoicing to the tune of the authentic folk dancing. The descent continues, taking us down the depth where probably only electric eels run amok..."