Album number three here for this one-man project of North Carolina's Thomas Sankt and it's back to being all instrumental after some vocal experimentations on the second disc, 2011's Witchery And Bloodshed. Sankt has decided to make this the final THOUSAND YEAR RAIN disc, but hopefully he'll continue playing music in some form or another: the beefed-up groove metal of opener 'Gate Opens' rocks despite its demo-level production struggles, and also adds in that element of Sankt's work that I like so much and that separates it from most “groove metal”, which, obviously, stinks: the atmospheric, goth-tinged guitar work. Like a clandestine lover of '80s goth/new wave, he manages to sneak in vibey guitar lines that most bands wouldn't think to add in metal, and it works. Elsewhere, like 'In Darkness', 'Spitting Thorns' and 'The Rapture', the shredfests commence. Bonus track 'Remember' shows off his love of '80s hard rock balladeering, and it totally works. I also dig that these eight songs are completely instrumental, but never drag or get boring (let's be honest: would indie-metal-guy vocals actually ADD anything?). It's a shame about the production on this one, a bit too computer-y and processed and just generally demo-quality, which distracts from the tunes, which rock like KARMA TO BURN meeting ANNIHILATOR, with less of the death metal influence from last time. Sankt is a talented dude; here's hoping he can get a full band situation happening, get some better production sounds, and show the metal world what he's capable of.