Blood Red Throne
Imperial Congregation

Believe it or not, Norway’s Blood Red Throne has been knocking about for around 25 years and 10 albums now. Initially formed when Tchort of Emperor fame and Død (aka the incredibly affable Daniel Olaisen) met playing in Satyricon, Olaisen is the only remaining member since the band’s formation and Tchort left after 2009s Souls of Damnation. But Olaisen has kept going with a rotating door of various knowns and unknowns in the scene as well as some pretty impressive label hopping  (Hammer Heart, Earache, Candlelight, Mighty Music, Sevared Records respectively).

So now with a somewhat consistent lineup and a deal with Nuclear Blast (Metal Blade or Century Media for the next two?), here is album number 10 and it delivers exactly what you’ve come to expect from the project after a pretty solid run of albums since 2011s Brutalitarian Regime; simple, beefy American styled death metal that leans hard into Cannibal Corpse as well the chunkier Danish scene (Illdisposed, Ferocity, Dawn of Demise, Corpus Motale, etc). And the result is another solid album that doesn’t surprise or out-kick its coverage, and actually plays it kind of safe.

With the release recorded in independent parts and sent to Olaisen’s home studio due to the pandemic, the end result is surprisingly fluid and sounds great with a killer bottom end and nice crunch that allows the album’s increased focus on slower, heftier songs to really hit home. In particular, the likes of “Itika”, lumbering “Transparent Existence”, “We All Bleed”, the Decapitated like, steady double bass assault of standout “6:7”,  rumbling “Hero-Antics” (which even features a nice melodic lead) and moody closer “Zarathustra” have a more deliberate pace that allows the bottom end to really shine. But they can still tear your face off with a little Floridian urgency when needed as heard in the likes “Conquered Malevolence”, “Inferior Elegance” and “Consumed Illusion”.

The only minor gripe is that personally, having recently just picked up 2019s Fit to Kill, (which seemed to have been completely under the radar) other than slight differences in production (and this album’s anti religion centric themes), the albums appear to be somewhat interchangeable, but that worked for Cannibal, Corpse (and still does), and Bolt Thrower and Dismember in their heydey, and you could arguably say that about the band’s last 4 or 5 releases. But it’s still an enjoyable, if predictable, blustery death metal effort that does not mess with the receipt of the last 25 years, even more, impressive when you consider many of their peers have broken, up, reformed, or changed styled multiple times in that time span.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 9th, 2021

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