House of Atreus
From the Madness of Ixion

“Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.”
― William Shakespeare, King Lear

Boy, who knew Shakespeare was a prophet?

But I digress. After one self released EP, and a killer debut album, The Spear and the Ichor that Follows in 2015 on Dark Descent Records, Minnesota’s House of Atreus signed with Iron Bonehead Productions and has released the second album, From the Madness of Ixion, and it shows a even more polished and confident take on the band’s gruff, melodic, historical death metal.

Again with Greek mythology and history as the central theme (though lacking the dramatic Shakespearean quotes from the debut) for the lyrics, and a looser Arghoslent, Sacriphyx and Helcaraxe styled take on melodic death metal mixed with traditional heavy metal, House of Atreus have improved the song writing, tightened up the production,  and released and album that should elevate the band into a far higher pantheon within Olympus.

Opener “The Madness of Ixion” (A Greek King sentenced to life on a fiery wheel in Tartarus after making moves on Zeus’s wife) , gets right to it with a galloping, catchy rager of a track that set the tome for the rest of the album, including a nice heavy metal solo and moody close out. First single, “Zealous Iniquity” highlights the band’s development and evolution with multiple time changes and rousing riffs and leads as does third track “Oath of the Horatii”, (The tale of two warring Roman cities sending three brothers each to battle each other) one of my favorite tracks on the album.

“Cordelia” returns to the band’s Shakespearean influences of the debut and slows things down a bit with more of a mid paced march telling the tale from the tragedy of  King Lear but ends with a killer , rousing canter. “Call to Thee , Concubines” is the album’s longest cut at almost 8 minutes, and really highlights the band’s development with a level of depth and range in a long track that has to be on point to keep the listener’s attention. Which the track does effortlessly, especially with the song’s somber slow down at its mid point and its almost melodic black metal closing climax.

Instrumental track “Ad Homineim” breaks things up a bit before pure barn stormer “Prometheus Bound” renders the albums fastest, most direct and shortest track. Closer “Bonded By Supremacy” ends the album with another 7+ minute track, and it ends the release with a perfect mood and pace signalling that House of Atreus are ready for the big time with a Century Media or Metal Blade type jump to the majors.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 22nd, 2018

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