Threads Of Fate – The Cold Embrace Of The Light
Threads Of Fate is an American band formed in 2017. Forging together cinematic, symphonic, and progressive metal while using elements of black and death metal, this is a band capable of weaving a massive tapestry of sound full of everything from tender longing to melancholic morose desires. The three members of this unit are all amazing musicians individually. Putting them all together is something extraordinary. Fused together for this project, they have created something incredibly profound and utterly mesmerizing.
- Jon Pyres – Vocals
- Jack Kosto – Guitars, Production
- Vikram Shankar – Synths, Orchestrations
- Chris Dovas – Session Drummer
The Cold Embrace Of The Light was released on March 11, 2022, via Layered Reality Productions. The compositions on this disc are immense. The songs move from gentle, haunting melodies best suited for an intimate setting to bombastic orchestrations that are capable of filling massive concert halls. There is no limit to what these extraordinary songwriters can design. Each song is full of emotion, taking the listener on a personal journey.
- Beneath a Starless Sky
- A Ghostly Portrait
- The Horrors Within
- Against the Shores of Le Monde
- The Cold Embrace of the Light
- Love Held Hands with Hatred
“Beneath A Starless Sky” is a beautiful instrumental track. There is a slow build starting with a piano, then adding drums, but you just know there is more to come. When the kick comes, it comes with a wave of sound. Jon yells, Jack strums, Chris pounds, and Vikram overwhelms the senses. The result is a beautifully orchestrated piece with longing and hope mixed together. The build is phenomenal, and the crash at the end is excellent.
Next comes “Moonrise.” Drums kick it off, and the piano takes over. The song again builds to include guitars and keyboards and multiple layers of sound that tantalize the soul. The guitar riff is crushing. The ambient keys under the wailing vocals, absent all other music, give a very melancholic feel. Jon has a bit of a natural “cry” in his voice that is just phenomenal. He also has tremendous belting power and a top-notch growl. The drum work is again killer. The rapid-fire double bass with the slow crash cymbal in some places, while the same bass beat and a faster tempo on the snare/toms in others drive the song at different speeds without changing pace.
“A Ghostly Portrait” is a bit slower for tempo at the start. The guitars, coupled with the intermittent piano phrase, are a thing of beauty. The deep, growled vocals are fierce and fit that tone perfectly. The keyboards set a tone and a mood that is a bit angst, a bit forlorn hope. The growls are good, and the clean vocals are sharp and crisp. Again, Jon excels at hitting the right note at the right time. The down-tuned guitar with the lighter keyboard tones is a killer contrast. The lead work on the guitar is a clinic in how to fit a solo into a space. Jack’s playing is both sublime and epic at the same time.
The best song on the disc is “The Horrors Within.” Starting with a measured drum beat, ethereal keyboards, and some epic horns, the piece is amazing from the start. The first shift happens, Jon screams, the strings come full-force to the front, the bottom drops out, and the piano takes the lead. The guitar riff is dark, gloomy, and heavy, everything my inner-terrors love. The orchestration is massive, and my entire mind is filled with this hauntingly beautiful saga.
There are clean and harsh vocals, fast-paced sections, slower areas, everything a progressive, symphonic, melodic death metal song should have. Vikram really let loose on this track, giving it everything he could. This is the song that makes me understand just how much sound can fit into eight and a half minutes of music. The interplay between the vocals, the guitar, the drums, and the orchestration is so calculated and epic. There is even some Jon Lord (Deep Purple) like synth work in the middle that just struck me as perfectly placed. This song is everything to me. It is one of the most complete works I’ve ever heard. I could put this on repeat for hours.
Moving on, we have “Against the Shores of Le Monde.” Fading in gently, the song kicks with a most excellent riff and a great drum pattern. The lead work on the guitar is poetic. Haunting vocals flip to harsh growls, and the guitars shift with voice. The keyboards add a layer of sound that sets the tone for the song. Occasional pops of synth add some playful flourishes. They disappear as the voice comes in with a quick whisper. Another flip to harsh vocals, a few more keyboard fills, and some added horns take the song to new levels.
The title track comes next. This whole album is about death and what might be on the other side. This is the song where the crossover happens. The light at the end of life, that mythical, mystical glow that signals the transition to what is beyond the known, is there to coldly embrace you as you go forth. The voice is both haunted and forlorn much of the time. The harsh tones inspire some fear, which is logical when you know not what happens next. Once again, that guitar solo is fantastic. The pace of it is perfect for what the song needs. It does not overshadow the orchestration, instead melding with it in harmony.
“Love Held Hands with Hatred” is a wild ride. Starting with some lilting piano tones, there is a significant shift when the body of the song rips through. The keys are the contrast here, offsetting the blast beats and shredding from the other instruments. The growled vocals, shifting to clean, then back to harsh, seem to be symbolic of love and hate trying to outshine each other. I’m left wondering if we would even be able to feel love if we were not capable of hate. The music is faster for much of this song. There has been a lot of shifting tempos prior to this. Not so here. And that is why this is one of Jack’s best shredding solos ever. He really gets to let loose on this one.
The tale closes with “Ashes.” In the end, is this all we are? A simple piano lets Vikram set the tone. The gentle melody provides a beautiful foundation for the plaintive vocals. The added strings give more texture as the song slowly grows and builds. The choir is a wonderful addition. The pitch shifts of Jon’s voice with the extra little vibrato at the ends of the phrases is like icing on the cake. The song’s continued build is so well-paced that it’s almost depressing to realize this is the fade out of the album.
Jon’s vocals are so far beyond much of what you hear in music today. The cry, the fry, the vibrato, the runs, all of these things are done with such precision and care that it feels unreal. How does one person do all of this? Jack is one of the most amazing guitar players on the scene today. His ability to weave the rhythms and leads together then add a perfectly timed solo is mind-blowing. And Vikram? The orchestration he layered in is exceptional. Very few people can build this much into a series of songs and not sound completely overblown. He nailed every nuance hit every benchmark. Apparently, even the drums were done in one day, most on the first take.
This record could go on for hours, and I would remain riveted in place. The compositions on this album are almost beyond description. I’ve exhausted my ordinary words and must use a thesaurus. I cannot use common words to describe something so unparalleled and rare. It is going to take something unprecedented to top this record. This record is a rarity, light, and darkness combined into something beautiful and haunting.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 10
- Vocals – 10
- Songwriting – 10
- Production – 10
- Overall – 10