Incantation Rites

I am new to the Thronehammer camp of doom metal and their 2019 debut Usurper of the Oaken Throne was quite a display of monolithic heaviness and plodding doom-laden dirge.  The band gets into doom/death moments with some low vocals and man, Thronehammer are heavy, with a capital H. The band is an international act with members residing in England and Germany.  I have developed a friendship with vocalist Kat Shevil Gillham (Winds of Genocide)and her and I continue to have many communications.  I love new friends!  She decided that I was the chosen one to review the brand new Thronehammer album Incantation Rites and I am very pleased to present the review to all you readers out there.

Thronehammer does ask a lot from the listener since the band is not intent on really writing short songs, with each of their individual albums clocking in at 75 minutes a piece, well you’d better like doom metal ya bastids.  But as I stated above they put some death into their metal and thank the dark lord they do not play funeral doom.  That style of doom metal, puts this writer to sleep with a snap of the fingers. The band is rounded out by: Uwe Void on Bass, Stuart West on guitars/synths, Tim HammerSmith on guitars, and Markus Ströhlein on drums.

Opening with the 14+ minute title track, there’s a little intro before the ultra-heaviness comes in at the 1.20 mark with an emotive, memorable and as I said, heavy riff….  I mean seriously this is the shit that causes sinkholes from here to Saturn, collapsing atmospheres far and wide.  Kat’s vocals are extraordinary and the range belted out will knock you through multiple doors and then flip you upside down and shake all the change lose from your pockets.  Emotive, excellent enunciation and her phrasing and tones are super catchy.  They are excellently placed with the music and Markus throws in some nice drum rolls.  He is pretty dynamic because doom metal does not really change gears all that much.  So with him throwing in drum rolls and hitting those toms with such force really adds to the punishing sound.  The song gets into some atmospherics and spoken word moments and then after a bit Kat throwing in some deeper register growls bringing forth the death metal influence.  This is insanely awesome.

“Thy Blood” is up next at 8 minutes.  Kat is a huge Kreator fan and to hear her belt out “The Flag of Hate” in the lyrics to this song, brings a huge smile on this reviewer’s face.  The song is super catchy with more monster heaviness.  About halfway through the song, some light melodic atmospheric moments with some of the vocals isolated over this part you can truly hear Kat’s vocal range.  The main catchy riff again repeats itself and I can hum this song all damn day.  The albums I enjoy most are the ones I can remember, so having catchy riffs, vocal patterns are very important to me.  Thronehammer has won me over with their style.

“Eternal Thralldom” at under 5 minutes is a surprise in its short length.  Markus throwing in more killer drum rolls and Kat alternates between the higher register tones and then dipping back into the low death growls registers.  Excellent! “Of Mountaintops and Glacial Tombs” at over 15 minutes is a lumbering beast of a closing song, if there ever was one.  Varying vocal patterns, monster heaviness, atmosphere – yet another epic tune.

The production on Thronehammer’s Incantation Rites is great.  Punch you in the gut heaviness and it’s perfect so you can hear this heavy rhythm section in action.  Vocals are top notch and so much variety in the tones, I love it.  The album cover with that red eyed demonic bastid soldier is extremely striking.  Their revamped band logo blending in nicely with the theme.  The background of soldiers are a bit of a tie in with the debut album.  If you want ultra-heaviness, outstanding vocals, long epic songs and are into doom and death metal coming to a head to explode chest cavities upon impact then this album is a must have.  Please like their FB page, pick up the album and Kat already knows when their merch arrives give me a holla.  Incantation Rites is a definite Buy or Die!


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 9th, 2021


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