Beating you into submission as the blood runs from your ears…
Unleashed by Candlelight Records on 15 July 2016 staving the head of Stephen Brophy
Scandinavian death metal fiends Blood Red Throne have been crushing skulls since just before the turn of the century, and despite numerous lineup changes over the years have always managed to be an interesting band to follow. Initially formed by Tchort and Død (guitars) while both were working with Satyricon, Død remains a key member of the band today, with Tchort having to leave the band in 2010 due to family and work commitments. Now back with original drummer Freddy Bolso, the band is releasing their eight studio album Union Of Flesh And Machine.
The last release, 2013’s self-titled album, was the first with Bolt on vocals and was very well received, with many saying it was their best album since 2005’s monster Altered Genesis. And so to the new release, nine new slabs of Norwegian death metal, a re-recording of “Mary Whispers Of Death”, and as seems to be the case with most albums now: a cover. This time out it’s of Judas Priests ‘Leather Rebel’, and although it’s a very decent cover there are just too many bands doing it which makes you wonder what time point is. But like I said it’s a good cover, done in their own style rather than just playing through the Priest arrangement, and a minor grumble on what is otherwise a really good album.
Albums sometimes take a little time to move through the gears, but BRT waste no time at all with the foot on the throttle from the first second of the excellent ‘Revocation Of Humankind’. Dirty riffing and dirty guttural vocals are complimented and contrasted by some screaming solos and backed up by the thunderous drums of Bolso, a welcome return from him.
Tracks like ‘Legacy Of Greed’, with its constant punchy jabs to the face, as with most of the album there’s no let up, the band play at a consistently fast and aggressive pace, and that is the underlying memory here, a classically styled DM album from a band that excel in making it sound as it should. Another highlight here is ‘Homicidal Ecstasy’, where Bolt mixes up vocal styles to great effect, as with everywhere else on the album the excellent guitar work and superb drumming, with fast and gut wrenching riffs split by soaring and whaling solos.
The title track ‘Union Of Flesh And Machine’ is very much a different tempo, a feel of sludge to it, and that just works really well to break things up a bit, there is often the chance with a DM album that too many tracks are the same pace and feel, this one is pretty grim. Just as it should be.
Another well made, well put together album from BRT. Hopefully, this lineup will be the solid unit that takes the band forward as they continue to create extreme music with no bullshit. This is their first release on Candlelight Records and already looking forward to the next release with this lineup. Norwegian death metal is very much alive and kicking and BRT continue on a legacy of pain that’s needed.
8.5 out of 10
- Revocation Of Humankind
- Proselyte Virus
- Patriotic Hatred
- Homicidal Ecstasy
- Union Of Flesh And Machine
- Legacy Of Greed
- Exposed Mutation
- Primal Recoil
- Leather Rebel (Judas Priest cover)
- Mary Whispers Of Death