Last year I named this as my favourite record, I guess I was high on Norway or something when I did the selection. I’m not saying that it is a bad record, read the score, but record of the year was pushing it a bit too far.
BLOOD RED THRONE is one of the few, if not only, band(s) in Norway that play Death Metal with no traces of Black Metal in the mix. BLOODTHORN is another band pretty close to playing music of this calibre but they have some Black Metal in their music even on “Genocide”, not much, but it’s there. On “Altered Genesis” there is little to none Black Metal influences, none I would say. Not that there were any on “Monument Of Death” or “Affiliated With The Suffering” either, pure Death Metal all the way. I haven’t heard “Monument Of Death” for quite a while, so I don’t if it still sounds good, but I listened to “Affiliated With The Suffering” yesterday and that album still holds the fort. I think it’s better than “Altered Genesis” as well, both albums being played frequently by me.
“Altered Genesis” is indeed a violent record. You won’t get blood in your face while listening to it but it certainly sounds like Mr. Hustler gargles on blood while doing the growls, it could be me only. It’s a hard hitter due to the powerful and punch-y production, best enjoyed with a fairly sized/prized stereo. At the moment that is not what I have but I’ve played the album on one and I’ve also listened to it at max volume on my Mp3-player. If you are a Death Metal fan who owns a hefty stereo, including a lot of punch in the bass, I urge you to obtain “Altered Genesis”. This is what Black Metal can never be. All due respect to Black Metal but there are hardly any bands in the genre that feels like a kick in the stomach when played loud and why should there be?
The guitars sounds absolutely right on “Altered Genesis”, heavily distorted yet clear. No riffs are muffled here. Another thing that makes me smile is the appearance of the bass guitar, it does interesting stuff. By Odin, this is almost original. It can be heard and felt throughout the whole record, which could possibly be a new experience for some of you. Anyway, what the bass guitar does on this album enhances it, makes it more interesting. On some occasion you have these bass lines that could almost be counted as bass guitar solos as far as I’m concerned. It’s nothing like PRIMUS or anything but pretty eccentric compared to many, most, other Metal bands. I know about SADUS as well. Steve DiGiorgio did a great job on “Human” and “Individual Thought Patterns”.
My favourite part of the album is the first half of it, roughly estimated that is. I suspect this is just me getting a bit tired of the formula at the end but it could also be that the songs are weaker. I choose to believe that the songs are getting a bit weaker or else it’s just me getting old. I find solace in the fact that Harald Hardråde (Harald The Hard Ruler) went to England at the age of 50 to lay the country under Norwegian rule once and for all. Obviously something went very wrong but his attitude wasn’t lacking at all. The story says that when Harald and his men tried to take England it was at a very hot time. While camping the Vikings threw of their armoury and went bathing. They shouldn’t have done that. They where surprised by the Englishmen and many of the Vikings had to fight with barely no armoury at all. They were slaughtered and the Viking-era ends with them. Still, the Vikings fought so fierce that England was an easy prey afterwards. A couple of days after, three I’ve read, a guy named Vilhem Erobreren (Vilhem The Conqueror) attacks England and takes the crown/throne rather easily. I think he lived in Normandy, a piece of land given to the Norsemen in a deal to end their plunder and pillaging of France. I doubt it immunized them.
BLOOD RED THRONE and BLOODTHORN, the names are quite similar in fact, are without doubt Norway’s two best Death Metal bands. Both of them are brutal but they aren’t much similar just because of that. BLOODTHORN lends from MORBID ANGEL and ANGEL CORPSE where BLOOD RED THRONE takes a bit of DEATH, SUFFOCATION and CANNIBAL CORPSE.
The best album in 2005, nah. Damn good, yep. (Online October 8, 2006)