THY ROW is a relative newcomer on the scene these days and is known in our circles as one of Mikael Salo‘s bands. Knowing that he’s selective with his projects, this self-titled EP has been on our list of albums to look out for since it was announced!
We start out deep and strong with some classic heavy metal guitars to open up “Just Fine.” Of all the bands with Mikael Salo that we listen to, his vocal style perhaps the least experimental in THY ROW; the chorus manages to be strong and catchy, and again he must be praised for sounding different in every band. “The Round” almost has an old-school BLINDG UARDIAN feel to the intro, with a long vocally-accompanied build-up and some really good guitar sound, including a solo by Teemu Mäntysaari [WINTERSUN, SMACKBOUND]. This is a pretty catchy song without relying on pop melodies or electronics to give it is groove.
“Hidebound” has a bit more of a gritty rock sound, though the chorus is a little bit lackluster compared to the rest of the song’s energy. This song gives off a good feel for what the band’s influences are without sounding derivative. “Beyond Reason” feels again a bit different, bringing me back to maybe the MEGADETH area of classic heavy metal, with a hint of AVENGED SEVENFOLD. The strong solos and a powerful vocal performance are really what bring it to life.
It’s honestly nice to go back to pure and simple heavy metal once in a while and this feels like the perfect band to pair with OCEANHOARSE for a mini-festival. No gimmicks, no tricks; just guitars, bass, drums, and a vocalist. It brings you back to the days of IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST and METALLICA… all the founders of heavy metal. While the EP has high and low points, it manages to leave an impression and we’ll have our eyes open for the full album, whenever it comes out!
Written by Bear Wiseman
- Just Fine
- The Round
- Hide Bound
- Beyond Reason