What strikes the listener immediately upon hearing the opening track from BLOOD RED THRONE’s “Come Death” is how tight the Norwegian Death Metal purveyors are. Every note is crisp, clean, and readily discernable. Even the bass guitar, which is often indistinguishable in the genre, is clearly heard throughout the album, adding some genuine rhythmic qualities to the band’s assault. Those who desire a muddier or more atmospheric sound in their Death Metal will probably not enjoy “Come Death,” but that should come as no surprise since BLOOD RED THRONE mostly sticks to the formula that has served them well in the past.
The album is certainly a genre exercise, yes, but it is done with enough skill that fans who may have heard similar albums dozens of times before will still find more than enough to pump their fists to. There are passages where the band deviates from their formula, usually with notable success. “Guttural Screams” contains sections that are more akin to atmospheric Black Metal, complete with appropriately strained vocals. Such variations may be a rarity here, but they are still pleasant surprises. BLOOD RED THRONE also finds success in variations of the Death Metal they deliver; from the thick, meaty riffs found in “No New Beginning” to the frantic technicality of “Rebirth In Blood,” the band ably navigates through forty minutes of auditory violence. Despite this, there are times when the tracks begin to blend with each other and it becomes a surprise that one song has finished and another started. There is a GORGUTS cover here, but it sounds like such an amalgamation of everything else on the album that the band would have been better served to either omit it or make it sonically separate from the original compositions.
It is no matter, all you need to know is that BLOOD RED THRONE does one thing: make Death Metal. And they do it well.
(Online November 9, 2007)