Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blood Red Throne - Souls of Damnation (2009)

Tchort and crew have had quite a productive decade with this death metal project. I feel as if I've blinked and they're already on their 5th full length. Blood Red Throne offers a blend of both US brutality and the European skill for riffing power, with a dash of melody. Souls of Damnation is a decent, if not groundbreaking release. Few of the individual tracks stand out enough to be memorable, but if you find yourself in the mood for some solid headbanging and reasonably composed death metal that won't bore you to pieces, it's worth a go.

The album is incredibly consistent throughout its 9 tracks (11 if you have the limited edition). "The Light, the Hate" opens with a punishing riff and some thrashing verse rhythms. This is Vald's 2nd album as vocalist, and he has a blunt and directy deliver which fits the style, but never exceeds the grasp of the material. Which is perfectly alright here, because while I found myself briefly slamming my head against my desk for "Throne of Damnation", "Your Cold Flesh" and "Ten Steps to Purgatory", nothing on the album seems to rise beyond pleasant and well written to the realm of an immediate desire to re-listen. As for the bonus tracks, "Manifest of Lies" is new whereas "Affiliated from the Suffering" is a remake from the album of the same name.

Manipulate the beast. Serving, control
Swallow the praise of dirt
Salvation for me
There is no such thing as salvation
Chaos supreme...
Cut out my tongue, and I will tell you the truth.

Soundwise, Souls of Damnation excels. The tones here are crushing but clear, with every nuance of the guitars directed at the forefront. The leads burn through the rhythms like hot knives in butter, and the drums and bass create a concrete foundation, as in: bricks hitting you in the face. Truly, the album is successful in most aspects, it just doesn't have the timeless riff power to stick its neck out from the pack.

Verdict: Win [7/10] (you will wake up, just to see a piece
of hammer inside your eye)

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