If I had to choose one word to describe “Death Triumphant”, it would invariably be “tired”, “dated”, or “bland”, any of the above in any combination would do. The 90’s DIMMU BORGIR symphonic Black Metal sound is in full force and one could easily mistake SETHERIAL for the former project, for better or for worse. Frantic blast beats, bombastic buried riffing and absolutely boring melodies never came together in such a grand fashion.
I’m hard pressed to completely write off this album, as it is far from abysmal. The main problem is the fact that the mid-paced axe-work, care of Choronzon and Kraath, does absolutely nothing for me. The drumming is repetitive and far too reliant on double-bass rolls, the bass is buried and vocalist Magnus Ödling is the very essence of the typical Black Metal rasp. Thinking outside the box is not mandatory, but restraining yourself to a worn and damp portion of that cardboard home in which a bum has not slept in over a decade is far from genius. It’s simply so boring and uninventive that I have a hard time fathoming the fact that someone could keep their attention focused on this release for the duration, much less be daft enough to shell out a couple hours worth of pay for the damn thing.
There are a few instances where I began to stir from my sonically induced coma, more notably when the band slowed things down. Every once in awhile you’ll get a restrained section such as that found in “Relinquishment From The Unlighted Chambers” where the melodies will be expanded and the riffing will be allowed to breath. These moments approach that realm of “solid” but unfortunately are often obscured by the fact that Alastor Mysteriis continues to pump the double kicks; because, well, what else would you do with two bass drums besides repeatedly hammer them?
Why are you still reading this? Mediocrity, especially the lower end of it, is not to be supported within this scene if progress is ever to be made. “Death Triumphant” should be avoided like a festering corpse lying face down in the gutter which serves as a host for the AIDS virus. (Online September 3, 2006)