Talk about a vast improvement. I will be honest, GOD DETHRONED was one of those bands that I wanted to check out eventually at one point, but never got around to it, and I thought that this was no big loss on my part. Sometime early last year, I got the promo for their previous album, “In The Lair Of The White Worm”, and I liked it quite a bit, but it didn’t leave much of a mark on me. So I get the new one as a promo, and I expected the band to thread the same old semi-melodic Death Metal as before, with me merely liking the album but with it leaving me cold afterwards.
Instead of having the focus on creating lots of aggression with little bits and pieces of melody and groove, GOD DETHRONED instead shifted the focus on the melodic aspect of the riffing, yet still keep the punchy and violent nature of the music. Furthermore, the groove-laced are mixed nicely with all the melodies, making this album very accessible and memorable with hooks aplenty while still being very heavy and very much Death Metal. The best comparison to make is with HYPOCRISY, with the band adopting a very melodic approach to Death Metal without copying the Gothenburg sound.
There are a couple of songs that threw me a curve ball. “Away From Emptiness” is an instrumental (gasp!) that uses plenty of clean guitars (GASP!!!!) and a very DREAM THEATER like Progressive melodic riffing style (not too much, though); and “Typhoid Mary”, which is very slow and almost atmospheric with the very simple and dark main melody.
This was one hell of a surprise! Worth checking out.
(Online December 17, 2006)