Battle Dagorath
Eternal Throne

The first thing that grabs you with Battle Dagorath is the Christophe Szpajdel  logo. Next is the fact that they fail from California. Sure they have mountains out there but not really the land of Cosmic Frozen Landscapes. Another notable tidbit, at least for us Vinterriket fans, is that Christoph Ziegler is the keyboardist. Eternal Throne is their debut.

This is a fine example of atmospheric black with mid to slowish pacing. The drums are loud in the mix, which is always a plus. Vocals are long drawn out wails and groans in the background accentuated by keys while the main vocals are standard growls. Guitars are a bit low in the mix but clearly heard and not overly distorted. There are lots of slow guitar driven breaks, done electrically instead of acoustically, and it is often the vocals that signal the return of blastbeats. Bombastic leads are absent, a true blessing, as are hokey movie samples. Musicianship is good, not overly sloppy in delivery but not very complex. The style is pretty straightforward and the music is not chaotic or overly layered. They rely on drum rolls and fills for breaks from the monotonousness of blastbeats. The guitars add thickness and ambience.

The compositions are on the longer side with plenty of time for expression. Guitars build subtly  towards climax which usually are realized through drumming rather than riffs. The guitars help slow the pace back down after fast breaks. Some of these songs feel like they could be extended forever in true ambient fashion, with no real forward drive. If you want to stay on your throne in perpetuity the point is more about throwing down your enemies, and lots of monotonous drudgery in battle. You need to reenforce the drudgery. Just as at the end of a long campaign skirmishes along the way is what stands out more so than individual battles, that is what you will take away from Eternal Throne as well, snippets will stay in your head while the songs will blend together.

“Carn Dûm” is an extended ambient holding pattern, awaiting the next part of the journey, which is “In the Forest of Frozen Darkness” and if you have shut off this album before getting here you are doing yourself a disservice. Ten and three quarters minutes short, guitar driven ambience starts you off for the first three minutes then your crossover to another plane is complete and you realize your existence here will be just as it was before, the drudgery of the war knows no cold dimensional boundaries, though the pace is much quicker here it is not maintained as long before the next slow break.

While dethroning Emperor is not foretold, look to the west, California is rising. There is nothing new here, this style is as old as the war in which we fight but more soldiers are always needed. Some years down the road when Battle Dagorath is no more I’ll carve a runestone in their memory, and I’ll make the journey to California to do it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
June 25th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: LoftComplication

    “Next is the fact that they fail from California.”

    I know that was unintentional and im not being a grammar nazi. But that was funny.


  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I thought it was intentional so I left it there before publishing- want me to change it Grim?


  3. Commented by: Grimulfr

    fail, hail makes no real difference


  4. Commented by: Desperado

    I must have been speeding through cause I never caught it and I’m not the oblivious type.Good review dude,I’ll have to check it out.damn you guys know of so many bands…


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