For some reason ENTHRONED come in for some derision from some quarters, I really don't know why because I have not listened to one of their albums and come away thinking that I have wasted an hour of my life. ENTHRONED albums entertain, that might be a dirty word for some but in my book, that's what it's all about.
So “Prophecies Of Pagan Fire” is a hoot, it rockets along with an occasional Thrash accentuation and leaves me charged for the day. Swathes of guitar daisycut along back-slapping the constant battery of the drums whilst lightning bolts of lead solos cauterise the tears where all this tumult tries to burst out from. Predominantly fast and certainly relentless, this album contains all manner of contrivances to prevent staleness creeping in, tedium is kept at bay by the sparse use of atmospheric keyboard such as on “Under The Holocaust” where they add an imperious air. Slower passages, though few and far between, give a chance for a quick breather before all hell breaks loose again and the band aren't afraid to use the odd semi acoustic motif if the moment needs it.
Whilst ENTHRONED are not ground breaking, they are distinctive in their sound. They have an engaging, you might say “warm” guitar tone which actually adds a claustrophobic aspect to the rush and rumble, it reminds me of the close heat you experience deep in a mine, closer to the burning pits of Hell? Those drums certainly have a sense of the apocalyptic about them, there is an organic feel to them, quite evident in these days of mechanical sounding percussion. Though they clatter and blast, there is plenty of rolling and none of the kit is left out. No one can complain about the lack of audible bass either, it grumbles incessantly throughout, well to the fore
Distinct from other bands lumped into the speed merchant bracket, ENTHRONED tracks are quite lengthy when compared to someone like MARDUK. The band manage to hold interest throughout, adopting some traditional Metal effects and beefing them up before weaving them into the fabric of the song. Catchiness plays its part as well, this horde could be a drag net trawler scooping all in its path. “At The Dawn Of A Funeral Winter” despite the dodgy title sweeps you along with some gloriously infectious riff work as well as some inviting uncomplicated keyboard embellishment. Really, I envisage the band with meat hooks sticking out of their arm bands rather than six inch nails.
I hardly ever read lyrics but I am aware that some of the overly pious comments made to ENTHRONED'S detriment come from that area. I have to say that the song titles aren't the best in the world and having had a quick look at the lyric sheet, it ain't Shakespeare. So – fucking – what? I couldn't string a sentence together in a foreign language and so refuse to look for amusement in the writing of those that use English as a second language. I also have to say that these lyrics are nowhere as bad as some suggest. What does matter though is how they are presented and on that count there are no complaints. The snarling vocals that fleck spittle and spite over the listener are the perfect compliment to the racing fury of the instrumentation.
So, whilst ENTHRONED do not have the depth of some other bands, it has to be said that we all know of scene luminaries that have excited us and yet ultimately left us disappointed. I am thankful then for honest, hard working bands like these Hell hounds that can stir up a hornet's nest of driven Black Metal time and again and leave me satisfied each time and though they don't take me to cloud nine, neither do they leave me far to fall. (Online August 28, 2006)