Blood Red Throne

Souls of Damnation

Written by: AB on 25/06/2009 18:25:16

When I say "Norway" and "extreme metal", what do you say? Black metal. Yes, black metal is indeed Norway's biggest musical export, but they also know how to craft a heavy piece of death metal. The arch-black metal band Darkthrone started out as a death metal group with 1991's "Soulside Journey" as a clear example of early Norwegian DM. In more recent times, however, Blood Red Throne has been the forerunner of the scene, having churned out some great albums during the last 10 years.

As such, their first three albums are all very solid and close to my heart. Since I first listened to the debut, "Monument Of Death", I've been a fan of Tchort and Død's captivating, groovy and heavy riffs. Add to this the screams, growls and general insanity of former main man and vocalist Mr. Hustler, and the masterful bass guitar work of the talented Erlend Caspersen (who recently joined Spawn Of Possession), and Blood Red Throne have for long been as interesting as brutal.

Sadly, however, the band's latest album, 2007's "Come Death" saw a departure of Mr. Hustler with the advent of vocalist Vald, who, though he didn't do a bad job, just didn't impress much either. Worse still, it seemed like the very sound of Blood Red Throne got diluted; the axes nor the drumming were handled as interestingly as before. So while it's always interesting to hear what Tchort and Død can cook up, I must admit I'm kinda skeptical about this 'new' Blood Red Throne.

It starts out rather nicely with the characteristic chainsaw riffs in opener "The Light, The Hate" and some very nice bass work. However, it is quickly painfully obvious that the focus this time around is on speed and monotony instead of the more varying, atmospheric or spidery riffs of yore. It is easy enough to recognize this as Blood Red Throne, and Blood Red Throne riffs, no doubt, but it is just slightly... boring. This is further underlined by drummer Haave who basically just blasts away, without doing anything interesting; not much variation, not many subtle fills, not much at all really. When they slow down, and they do that sometimes, it isn't to impress with some groovy, atmospheric pieces, nor to play around with shifts in tempo and pace. Instead, the focus is yet again on monotony, not that exciting really.

However, all is not bad. Though Tchort and Død are less interesting than normal, and even though Vald is no where near Mr. Hustler in vocal performance, Caspersen still sits heavily on the bass. Throughout the album one can enjoy his finger work as he slaps that fucker around like there's no tomorrow - a fact that's also supported by the clear and classic bass heavy production. Besides, all of the musicians are experienced instrument handlers, and nothing sounds bad as such. Everything has just been heard before, and better, on earlier Blood Red Throne albums.

6

Download: The Light, The Hate, Prove Yourself Dead
For the fans of: early Deicide
Listen: Myspace.com

Release Date 01.06.2009
Earache Records

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