Blood Red Throne: Blood Red Throne

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Blood Red Throne: Blood Red Throne
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Blood Red Throne: Blood Red Throne

Death Metal
Sevared Records
May 25th, 2013
Release length: 35:41
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Norway’s Blood Red Throne formed back in 1998, though chances are you might not have heard of them, or thought they fell off the face of their earth. Back in 2001, they issued their debut album Monument of Death through Hammerheart Records, eventually moving on to Earache Records with their widely praised Altered Genesis in 2005. After a few more releases on that label, they signed a deal with Sevared Records to issue Brutalitarian Regime in 2011. There have been a good number of line-up changes over the years, leaving guitarist Daniel “Død” Olaisen the sole founding member left, and guitarist Ivan Gujic the only one returning after their previous outing. It’s now 2013, and the band’s seventh full-length self-titled offering is now available. This release also marks the studio introduction of bassist Ole Madsen (Horizon Ablaze) and vocalist Yngve Christiansen (former Concussion), who joined back in 2011. But, does this line-up make this a solid effort, or is Blood Red Throne their weakest outing yet?

With a rich production quality, Blood Red Throne has no problem hammering away with the blunt force traditional Death Metal you come to expect from the group for just over thirty-five minutes. “Soulseller” comes in with a creepy guitar introduction before hammering in with some moderately deep distortions to the groove laced riffs that can easily incite a circle pit. The mixture of some high pitched shrieks and deep primal gutturals stand out immediately, a range that compliments the shifts in music, especially the creepy guitar solo. “Deatholation” mixes up some raspy vocals against a thick chugging Death Metal approach, allowing the twangy bass to really stick out in the main verses before some faster bridges, as well as some two-stepping that shifts in and out nicely. There’s a great deal of enthusiasm found through most of the song, though around the three minute mark it does slow down for a short time to act as a tension building bridge for the climax that isn’t as explosive as you would hope, but does give it some proper closure.

Aside the impressive “Deatholation,” “In Hell I Roam” stands as one of the best the album has to offer. The song kicks things off with a heavy focus on the drumming, pounding away at the bass kicks to keep an approach just shy of fast paced blast beats, but with close enough attention to the cymbals to keep your head bobbing along to the rhythm. Once in a while you can pick up on a snare or bass kick that goes off time, but is usually corrected pretty quick. The deeper chords outside of these passages set up an ominous atmosphere, and the consistent gutturals with lower spoken word segments at just the right spots are a nice finishing touch to the punishing performance. About two minutes in, the pace slows down to just shy of a slam breakdown. It doesn’t feel like filler, but it definitely doesn’t make much of an impact other than be an atmospheric precursor to the brief guitar solo a minute later.

The only track on here a little out of place is “Primitive Killing Machine,” and that’s largely due to how strong a Cannibal Corpse presence it has. This is felt right when it starts off with the bass heavy riffs and slower pace, not limited to just this spot, that fans of the legendary group will instinctively find familiar. Even the later technical chords sound incredibly similar. Thankfully those comparisons end there, as the rest is just crushing mid-tempo Death Metal in the vein of what Blood Red Throne does best. It isn’t too thrilling overall, nor does it capture any excess energy, but it does assert its authority well without sounding like a knock off.

Of course, Blood Red Throne does have plenty of moments that sound inspired by some of the pioneers of groove laced Death Metal, but the band has always been known for their love of traditional Death Metal, and this fifteen year anniversary album is clearly no exception. This album isn’t the most memorable of their discography, but it easily is their tightest and heaviest yet, delivering on the band’s promise of “heavy, brutal, and groovey Death Metal.” Varied atmospheres of eerie aggression and authority laced with solid riffs and drums, twangy bass that makes the impact much more scarring, and their best production quality to date make this a safe bet for fans of Death Metal everywhere. The recent additions perfectly compliment the founder Daniel Olaisen’s goal with this recording, making it one you can throw on any time and not get sick of.

01. Soulseller – 3:59
02. In Hell I Roam – 4:21
03. Hymn of the Asylum – 3:06
04. Primitive Killing Machine – 4:03
05. Deatholation – 3:49
06. Torturewhore – 3:43
07. Exoneration Manifesto – 4:37
08. Dodens Makt – 3:00
09. March of the Undying – 5:04
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Blood Red Throne
Blood Red Throne

Digital review copy of this release provided by Blood Red Throne.