Thursday, May 09, 2013

Blood Red Throne-Blood Red Throne

Severed Records

For the uninitiated among you Blood Red Throne, who call Norway home, are a death metal act that was formed in 1998 by  (Daniel “Død” Olaisen) & Tchort (Terje Vik Schei), both of whom were playing Satyricon at the time. Over the course of 7 albums (with this self-tiled affair being album number 7 quite obviously) the band has undergone numerous line-up changes with only Død remaining as the sole original member of Blood Red Thorn (or BRT for short from here on out). With this new album Død is joined by Yngve “Bolt” Christiansen (vocals), Ivan “Meathook” Gujic (guitar), Ole Bent Madsen (bass) and Emil Wiksten (drums). Previous to their joining BRT in 2011, and from the sounds of this new album strengthening the unit in the process, lead vocalist Yngve “Bolt” Christiansen played with the thrash metal band Concussion and bassist Ole Bent Madsen contributed to fellow Norwegian death metal band Horizon Ablaze. Here, with anticipation no doubt high among BRT's rabid fan-base, Yngve “Bolt” Christiansen manages to add a sickening exclamation point to BRT's already furious death metal onslaught. One could reasonably fear that with so many line-up changes (for example I this is Blood Red Throne's 3rd lead vocalist) any sense of consistency would be tossed out the door. To Død's credit he has managed to keep Blood Red Throne grounded and on track as evident by the strength of this self-titled release. As I do count myself among the ravenous few who are old enough to have Death when they first came out with "Scream Bloody Gore" (yeah, I'm getting up there) I've always enjoyed good death metal while steering well clear of the monotonous kind. It should be clear enough the kind of groups I'm talking about. We'll dive into what makes Blood Red Throne more of the former then the later in a bit, but I've got to admit that, while I was aware of this act going into this review (I've heard their music numerous times over the years) the last time that I remember listening to this band all the way through (album-wise) they had opted for a style not that far removed from the early Florida death metal scene (and doing it remarkably well!). As I was practically spoon-feed Florida death metal that was fine by me! Here though we get to hear the group nail the listener's ears to the wall with these added sprinklings of groove, thrash metal riff-age and the sonic appeal of modern death. First off no worries about that term "groove" as these Norwegians just slay the dragon as it were. This is heavy and sick death metal that is relentlessness and brutal. The main difference between BRT  and the bulk of what passes for death metal these days is that guitarist Død  keeps his band fresh and interesting by mixing things up with splashes of color. True, that color is mostly blood red...blood dripping red...but with these guys you never sink back into your chair and say "well, that track sounded just like the track before it". While you can still hear some of the band's roots on album number 7 it's killer to see how this group has evolved and adapted to today's modern scene. Martin Berger, who mixed the album at Skar Productions, helps in that sense as it pulls everything together nicely. Everything from the thrashing guitars, which are monumentally aggressive, to the possessed lead vocals of Yngve “Bolt” Christiansen (great guttural, death/thrash-style shrieks come flying out of this guys mouth in almost scary fashion!) are right in sync. Through and through there's simply nothing to complain about with "Blood Red Throne". For fans of BRT it's worth noting  that there will be a special limited edition LP box set coming out with a t-shirt featuring the cover art, a poster, and other "secret goodies". It's limited to a mere 250 copies so if you're a die hard Blood Red Throne fanatic I'd suggest snagging it sooner then later. This one is definitely recommend for those of you that like your death metal fresh and original while still intense and brutal!

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