Thanatophobia is an extreme fear of dying, and usually involves an unhealthy obsession spent compulsively considering ways to avoid your final moments. If you have a fear of death, extreme metal probably ain’t your music of choice. But the subject is perfect fodder for Unendlich, the black metal project from Baltimore blasphemer Michael Connors. Thanatophobia is Unendlich’s third LP, and it swims through the same moonlit waters as the project’s 2018 Misanthropic Sedition EP. But here Unendlich’s compositions are even sharper, sweeping with the same devastating precision as the scythe on the album’s cover. Despite indulging Connors’ most daring whims, the record feels intricately orchestrated and (barely) restrained.
There’s no mood-building ambience padding the run-time here before “Oblivion of Time” roars from the haunted depths of Tartarus. While the rhythms and tempos nimbly shift throughout Thanatophobia, Unendlich largely opt for blackened blasts laced with subtle melodies. But Connors’ riffs are even more versatile on this record, ranging from icy tremolos to Cobalt’s sludgy propulsion (“Death Rights”) and thrashing groove (“The Gods We Trust”). With its fragile string flourishes and Danzigian clean vocals, “Already Dead” remains a highlight introduced on the last EP. But there’s an abundance of inspired moments to obsess over: the somber picking of “Secret of Consequence;” cobwebbed synths that underscore the pitch-black cacophony; the crestfallen leads in “UC3.” It’s an album where Unendlich find new ways to surprise you in each song. Just like there are a myriad of ways to die, Connors has a thousand ways to draw blood with his guitar strings.
So pull off that death shroud and face your fears by pressing play on the exclusive stream of Unendlich’s Thanatophobia below before it’s released from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions on February 1st.
Pre-order Unendlich’s Thanatophobia from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions HERE
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