Death Requisite pick up where Revisitation left off and take their symphonic metal to a whole new level on Threnody, even including orchestral versions of the songs.
Florida’s Death Requisite trace their roots all the way back to when the band members were teens in the late 1990s. The band has a relatively storied past, opening for national acts, signing to a label and releasing a couple of albums before life intervened and the band went on hiatus in 2005. In 2010, the band returned, release two projects, Prophets of Doom and Second Death as well as shared the stage with a number of bands from Norma Jean to Terrorizer to Vital Remains. In 2016 the band released Revisitation to critical acclaim where many noticed the combination of death, thrash, symphonic and progressive elements blended seamlessly into their songs.
Having reviewed Revisitation, I had a fairly good idea of what to expect when I hit play on Threnody, and then a little ways into “Primogeniture” that quickly went out the window. What struck me first was the overriding emphasis on the symphonic side of symphonic metal. Keyboards seemed to take a larger role than guitars in many places on the album. Yes, the comparisons to Antestor and Grave Declaration will remain, but the metal seems to be a lesser component in the overall sound this time. Some of it can be attributed to the mix which is a bit overwhelming to the ears, making it difficult to pick out the contributions of the individual instruments. When you see the layout of the album with the metal versions followed by the orchestral versions, this makes a bit more sense. Interstingly the orchestral versions of the songs do seem to be missing something as the overall sound seems a bit thin and would benefit immensely from the inclusion of the bass and drums from the metal side. Otherwise the two versions are nearly interchangeable.
While “Tormentor” starts out in a very metal fashion, the symphonic side soon takes over and the song goes down a similar path as ‘Primogeniture” where the guitars are largely in a supporting role, until the great solos, that is. On the orchestral version of the song, piano takes over the part where the guitar solos were and again the percussion seems a bit muted, which causes the song to lose that larger sense of power seen in the metal version.
The title track “Threnody” clocks in near 9:30 in both versions and to me is the one song that doesn’t seem to work. Some of the growled death/black vocals are during quieter parts of the song and just seem to stand out in a bad way to my ears. Around the 5 minute mark, the song hits a crescendo following a rather ferocious guitar run and then devolves into a quieter, more atmospheric piece featuring some more great guitar work. As expected, the song picks back up and once that happens the guitars gain a more prominent voice but are still end up a bit in the background compared to the vocals and keyboards.
Overall, this album basically confused me as it was near what I expected in some ways but so different in other ways. For those who were fans of the band’s earlier material, you’ll definitely want to check this out as will those who enjoy complex arrangements and symphonic elements with extreme metal as those abound in the songs. The performances are strong and the inclusion of the orchestral versions adds another level to the songs and lets the listener experience them in a different setting.
Written by John Jackson
4. Primogeniture – (Orchestral version)
5. Tormentor – (Orchestral version)
6. Threnody – (Orchestral version)
Dave Requisite – Guitar
Sir William Lee – Drums
Vincent Saint James – Vocals
Joseph ov Moria – Guitar
Regnal The Just – Bass
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Record Label: Rottweiler Records
“Revisitation” (2016) [review]
Video (audio) for ‘Tormentor’