God Dethroned
Bloody Blasphemy

Am I the only one in metaldom who really, really thought the band’s second album, The Grand Grimoire, was a masterstroke in the death metal arena? Whether not you agree with me, Holland’s God Dethroned returns with inarguably one of the best death metal releases of the year. Again! Masterfully produced by Berthus Westerhuys, the band’s third album sparks a welcome flame under the current glut of death metallers, who, for whatever reason, still cling to Tomb of the Mutilated as their primary source of inspiration.

Taking a healthy dose of Slayer and Morbid Angel, God Dethroned forges a brand of death metal that’s catchy, fast, unrelentingly brutal and addictive. Just think of Bloody Blasphemy as contemporary death metal wrapped in the spirit of death metal’s formative years. Opener “Serpent King’s” expeditious start is nothing short of breathtaking. Jens’ masterful guitar work is reminiscent of the precision of thrash metal axemen yet it contains the brutality of death metal. On the same hand, “Nocturnal’s” venomous delivery is another exhaustive work of blistering guitar work and pummeling drumming, which, like “The Execution Protocol,” explains Euro-death metallers’ longing to exceed standards set on U.S. shores. For God Dethroned it couldn’t be truer than on “Boiling Blood.” More or less a homage to Slayer’s “Altar of Sacrifice” and Morbid Angel’s “Where the Slime Live,” the song displays the sort of craftsmanship and attention to detail that should land the band leagues of rapid fans if they’d only pay attention. It’s not clear if “Soul Capture 1562” will grant God Dethroned the fanbase it deserves, but for such a candid death metal band to compose an atmospheric piece (just call it a ballad) is worthy of praise.

Of all of the songs on Bloody Blasphemy, “Soul Capture 1562” stands out as a crowning achievement, for every blast beat and searing lyric is rendered mute to the song’s well-placed lead work and unexpected use of female vocals. Of course, things return to their demonic state in “Under the Golden Wings of Death.” Although, less forthright in its approach, the song displays slower sections that sound more at home on an Asphyx album than here. I guess it’s another way Henri and company are paying homage to hometown gods.

The remainder of the album contains moments of excellence (like the lead on “Firebreath”) that really don’t need to be expounded upon, but for what it’s worth, they travel along the same fiery trajectory as the album’s faster material. Simply put, Bloody Blasphemy is a death metal album for death metallers. Nothing more, nothing less.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Dick
April 3rd, 1999


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