From the cold coasts of the UK comes a promising 4-piece band that bring an invitingly tasty mixture of icy doom metal and smoky thrash metal on their debut EP. Thuum drop a swift blow to the jaw with Through Smoke, Comes Fire. Though only 4 tracks long, this release is packed with just enough character to get metal heads excited about Thuum’s future. The 24-minute EP is stacked with a nice variety of ideas, accentuated with a few different mixtures of styles here and there, that are fairly well mixed and polished but still keep plenty of rawness a debut EP like this should have.
The high point of the EP to me is how strong this thing starts off. The intro track is a gorgeous doom laden instrumental that starts with some lovely tribal like vocal layers alongside some echoing low percussion and wintery strings, which sets the tone for the first half of the record well. After about a minute, the song builds up around some lavish broken guitar chords and other haunting sounds like distant dissonant chords and reverberating cymbals, reminiscent of the likes of Brutality Will Prevail, Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath. The noise eventually breaks down and strips back a lot of the other noise, leaving only a steady drum beat, the haunting chord progression, and a deep watery bassline. The atmosphere Thuum set here is great, the sound then breaks into a thicker and heavier sound, switching back and forth between soft and empty to loud and full a few times before the last 30 seconds of the song goes in full on with the guitar bends really reigning it down heavy.
With Worthless the EP properly kicks off. The second track coming in at 7 and a half minutes really shows off the weapons at Thuum’s disposal. Their vocalist, known as Bear, literally roars the song into motion, with throttling triplet riffs atop of a fantastic drum sound, which seriously gives this EP plenty of life, the drum hits really strike you and the cymbals sit neatly alongside the strings and the ripping vocals. On this track the band are flexing their louder and brasher side, drawing influences from great metal bands from the other side of the pond like Crowbar, Lamb Of God and High On Fire.
The latter two songs on the EP start with Hafuga. A slightly more thrashier side to Thuum comes out on the last half of the project, and the pace picks up a little. The song is a short 3 and half minute blend of thrash metal and hardcore punk. Giving off some early I Killed The Prom Queen vibes. The song features constant roaring vocals, great guitar work highlighted by a very fitting guitar solo, and thumping rhythms held down by the drums and bass giving off that hardcore kind of feel. Towards the end of the track the vocals change up into more of an old fashioned kind of metal howl, which feels a tiny bit out of place, but more so add a nice bit of diversity to the vocal delivery on the project.
The title track of the record is the last track, and just about tips Thuum into the realm of overstaying their welcome. Things start to drag ever so slightly, and I began to wonder what other direction they were hopefully going to take to keep me hooked. They didn’t really. The track has some hard hitting rhythms across a decent song structure, featuring some half time sections, long repeated swirling riffs, and the closest thing to a hook on the record, with the lyrics “Through Smoke, Comes Fire” being repeated across the track. The track is almost 7 and a half minutes long, and although it doesn’t switch things up too much, it signs the EP off fairly well with a generally hard hitting atmosphere created by repeating the main riff over with a few slight changes dotted every 8 or so bars.
In all, Thuum have a decent enough, hard hitting EP in Through Smoke, Comes Fire. There’s a nice raw feeling to it, some nice ideas dotted around the 24 minutes, and whilst showing off plenty of different influences Thuum aren’t ever drowned out by trying to hard to mix it all together. The title track and closer on the EP is probably the biggest culmination of different styles on the record, and the first half of Through Smoke, Comes Fire is probably more doom compared to the more thrash in the latter half. If anything, they might have compressed the ideas down a little more, but taking in the lengthy doom metal nature of this thing and the freeness of releasing a debut EP, they keep it interesting enough throughout most of it. With a full length album, I think these guys would have enough room to go even bigger and experiment a little, which I think they’d definitely need to do in order to not have their sound stagnate. That being said Through Smoke, Comes Fire is certainly a big, heavy, cold British heavy metal release and Thuum have me interested enough to keep an ear out for hopefully another release.
Favourite tracks: Intro, Worthless
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Through Smoke, Comes Fire is available here!
Reviewed by Harrison Deacon