God Dethroned
Under the Sign of the Iron Cross

Nine albums into their rather underrated career and it’s safe to say that The Netherlands’ God Dethroned have entered into the metal elite inhabited by the likes of Bolt Thrower, Dismember, Obituary and such. No, not quite the genre defining metal royalty, but that small club of bands who have ascended into such a level of quality and consistency that you know exactly what to expect from each release and it never disappoints.

Continuing the war theme of 2009’s excellent Passiondale, Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is unquestionably a God Dethroned album, even with yet another line-up shuffle. Also, even with the band’s recognizable sense of melody and archival death metal, its God Dethroned’s most aggressive album of their career. Whether it’s the addition of drummer Mike van der Plicht (Prostitute Disfigurement, Detonation, Katafalk) and his more extreme background or something else, the band’s invigorated sense of savagery is immediately apparent through the albums first three cuts alone: “Storm of Steel”, blistering “Fire Storm” and “The Killing is Faceless” belt out a consistent machine gun like barrage of blast beats that I haven’t heard from the band ― at least on this level of tenacity. And it really doesn’t let up.

Fans of their more melodic work need not fret though as Henry Sattler and his band of hired guns still manage to make the songs epic and melodic. For example, the almost black metal tremolo picked harmonies and synths in the standout  title track delves into the likes of “Poison Fog” from Passiondale with some somber harmonies and clean vocals, once again provided by Marco Van der Velde of The Wounded). It’s this album’s only instance of clean vocals, though. “Chaos Reigns at Dawn”, amid its relentless throes also manages to inject some simply brilliant melodies at 1:40 and “Through Byzantine” injects some sublet Middle Eastern shreddage to the album’s only real mid paced fray. The furiously excellent “The Red Baron” also delivers some killer leads and melodies.

And while Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is pure unbridled salvo of artillery and shellshock as opposed to Passiondale’s more somber, human element, the album ends with the 7 minute, more melancholy epic “On Fields of Death & Destruction” appropriately closes out the album with some moody synths and fitting sense of loss.

Hail of Bullets and Bolt Thrower may be considered the very pinnacle of war themed death metal, but at this rate God Dethroned are going to be considered in the same context as wel as already being one of metal’s most consistent, respected and reliable acts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 8th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    Great review Erik, this album kills. God Dethroned deserve way more credit than they get.


  2. Commented by: Rabid1

    Excellent review and killer album; one of the years best, imo.


  3. Commented by: shaden

    never been able to udnerstand why anyone likes this band.i’ve got over 2000 cds and not one of theirs for a reason.to each his own i guess.


  4. Commented by: Reignman35

    This album is straight mean but catchy… actually found myself singing some of the choruses after listening to this. Criminally underrated band that continues to put out solid stuff. They can hang with Hail of Bullets any day.


  5. Commented by: goremageddon4

    I wouldn’t say they’re as good as Hail of Bullets or Bolt Thrower…in fact, I thought all hope was lost after The Toxic Touch; I hated that album. But then along came Passiondale and made me a believer, and what I’ve heard from this looks to be as good. But I’ll admit I’m a Hail of Bullets fanboy, and I doubt it’ll live up to either of their albums in my eyes.


  6. Commented by: Andy Synn

    Great band who (thankfully) have yet to disappoint with one of their cds.

    Tight and vicious live too.


  7. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Haven’t heard this one yet, but Ive enjoyed every God Dethroned album since the debut except “Lair of The White Worm” , which I just couldn’t get into no matter how hard I tried. Looking forward to hearing this…. even though I know they shall never top the mighty “Grand Grimoire” !!


  8. Commented by: appollyonx

    this album fucking shreds.period.


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