Thanatos has become one of my favourite groups from the Projekt label, and the main reason is that the music deviates from the strong gothic theme, which is a common thread through other Projekt releases, into industrial, progressive, and even metal, realms. Somewhat of a cross between King Crimson noise, Tim Burton darkness, and Danny Elfman ghoulishness, the music is melodic and catchy. There's no attempt made to disguise the use of electronics and the eccentric guitar work and noisy vocals accentuate the contrast between the electronics and the non-programmed instruments. However, on an emotive level, Thanatos' music resembles the mystical aura found in Blue Öyster Cult's music and it's why the cover of Don't Fear the Reaper fits in really appropriately on this album. The cover completely deconstructs the original tune (which may be good or bad depending on how you look at it) in the way Type O Negative redefined Black Sabbath in the Nativity in Black tribute album. The main problem I had with the cover is that the "solo" portion was too short and didn't experiment with the guitars adequately, which I think would've added a lot to this expression of the original song.
The word Thanatos, in a Freudian sense, refers to the death-wish that is inherent in all mankind, and the band's chief architect is Pat Ogl. All too often, I find gothic/doom music makers to be too self-asborbed in the grandioseness of their music, leading to excellent technical pieces without any emotive connection to the listener. That isn't the case here. The instrumentation is very minimalistic and there's a raw edge both in the music itself and in the production, which makes listening to this album a down-to-earth experience.
The Neighbor of the Beast features six songs, and is released in a limited edition set of 665 copies. This is not a release for everyone, but if you're into self-indulgent noise and expression, then this is for you.