Passiondale: God Dethroned

Rating: 80%

Passiondale_(album).jpgRather than creating albums dealing with satanism, ancient ones, death, and war, God Dethroned went to create something much different. So in 2009, God Dethroned brought us the first of a trilogy of World War One concept albums. The main concept on this album is about the Battle of Passchendaele of 1917. But before writing material for the an album concept like this, Henri Sattler had to do a lot of research. So writing songs that tell the stories of World War One isn’t easy. But Henri did it in a manner that was honorable, and bringing attention to a forgotten subject in world history. 

The musicianship is very tight. Vocalist and guitarist Henri Sattler sounds amazing. He recorded all of the guitar parts as well on the album. He throws out some massive riffs. Bassist Henk Zinger and drummer Roel Sanders just add to the thunderous tone of them music itself. As far as Blackened Death Metal, the entire band sounds original and solid. 

The music is what you would expect from a Blackened Death Metal band. Lots of fast paced guitars, excellent guitar solos, bass, blast beats. I think what you have here is a strong, and memorable concept album. Musically, it’s well balanced and sharp. This album to me is is well focused and I think that lyrically, it’s well thought out and researched.

Tracks:

“The Cross of Sacrifice” – 1:05
“Under a Darkening Sky” – 3:59
“No Man’s Land” – 3:14
“Poison Fog” – 6:39
“Drowning in Mud” – 3:44
“Passiondale” – 4:05
“No Survivors” – 3:51
“Behind Enemy Lines” – 3:38
“Fallen Empires” – 4:49
“Artifacts of the Great War” – 2:57

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The World Ablaze: God Dethroned

Rating: 90%

dethroned.jpgLast year in 2017, God Dethroned released another World War One themed concept album. Because of that, looking through the lyrics, this album is well thought out, researched, and written. I love the direction that God Dethroned has taken with the approach of the music.

This Blackened Death Metal album has a lot to offer. Lot’s of blast beats, killer lead solos, and tons of heavy guitar riffs. This album is also a bit different sounding compared to their last album “Under the Sign of the Iron Cross.” It’s not as brutal and has many tempo changes that lean into the realms of Thrash or Speed Metal. But, it is heavy as hell. I think you hear more of a classic Death Metal style that looses the Black Metal element, despite the other influences. Even the vocals are not as harsh. The riffiness of the guitars is also a dead give away. But, this is a great album.

The musicianship is very tight. You have the harshness of the vocals by Henri Sattler. Although, he is more growling with more cleaner parts to his vocal approach. This album is full of great guitar work from the riffs to the leads. That is because of guitarists Henri Sattler and Mike Ferguson. Jeroen Pomper’s bass is just thundering behind the music. Throwing out the blast beats and speed on the drums is Michiel van der Plicht. Although, the sound has a change to it, those blackened elements are still there. The band is just expanding it’s horizons. This is just another fine example of Heavy Metal and what Death Metal should be like.

Tracks:

A Call To Arms
Annihilation Crusade
The World Ablaze
On The Wrong Side Of The Wire
Close To Victory
Königsberg
Escape Across The Ice (The White Army)
Breathing Through Blood
Messina Ridge
The 11th Hour

Precis innan gryningen: Just Before Dawn

Rating: 85%

a0633640764_10.jpgIn 2013, a new project was launched called Just Before Dawn. I am not going to review the musicianship due to the fact that almost every track has a different vocalist. Some of which also play the guitar. The only real band member here is the guitarist and bassist Anders Biazzi. He also the song writer. Other than that, this is a good project, one I really like. Lyrical themes are mostly about war, especially World War Two.

Musically, this is a classic Swedish Death Metal album. The songs are well thought out. The lyrical writing is pretty good. This album is fucking brutal. It has plenty of harsh guitar riffs and solos. I love the sound of the guitar tone itself. It’s aggressive, raw, and heavy. The bass is just thundering right along with the excellent drumming. The instrumentation is well balanced and the source of the power is engaging and compelling.

Tracks:

Precis Innan Gryningen 4:00
As Death Breaks The Surface 4:11
Unders Wheels Of Death 4:23
Pulverised 3:59
Ten Megaton War Machine 3:41
Raped Soil 4:58
Slagfält Efter Slagfält 4:38
The World Burning 5:42

III: The Rommel Chronicles: Hail Of Bullets

Rating: 90%

Rommel_chronicles.gifThis 2013 album is the third and final album by Hail of Bullets. Just like the other two, this is also a concept album. This time, rather than focusing in on battles of World War Two, the band felt that a different approach was needed. The album reflects the life of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Before everyone digs in and says that these guys are glorifying Nazi Germany, think again! Rommel was one of the highest and most respected Wehrmacht Generals of World War Two. Just ask General George Patton. The concept of the album follows his story, including the African theatre of World War Two

So let’s break it down. Musically, this is another outstanding album. Great lyrical themes that are well thought out. It’s great to hear how engaging this is with regards to history. It still retains that classic Death Metal sound and vocal approach. The album features some outstanding guitar riffs and leads as well as some excellent rhythms and tempos. There’s a lot of good vocals too. The overall sound, heavy as it is, still provides that deep crunchy tone. This is about as original as any Heavy Metal album can be.  

The musicianship is also great. The band is playing very tight. Vocalist Martin van Drunen is outstanding on his deliverance. Although, his growls are not low and somewhat higher pitched, he nails it. The riffiness of the guitar work by both Stephan Gebedi & Paul Baayens is brilliantly done. I love the bass work by Theo van Eekelen and the drum work by Ed Warby. It’s very sad though, to know that this band broke up. Three solid albums down for the history books and hopefully, their music will shine on for years to come. 

Tracks:

1. “Swoop of the Falcon” 5:20
2. “Pour le Mérite” 4:14
3. “DG-7” 6:25
4. “To the Last Breath of Man and Beast” 3:11
5. “DAK” 3:45
6. “The Desert Fox” 5:20
7. “Tobruk” 4:26
8. “Farewell to Africa” 2:51
9. “The Final Front” 4:45
10. “Death of a Field Marshal” 5:31

On Divine Winds: Hail of Bullets

Rating: 85%

Hail_of_Bullets_On_Divine_Winds_cover“On Devine Winds” was released in 2010 and was the second album to be released by Hail of Bullets. This Death Metal is done in traditional old school Death Metal style. The album’s concept with the Pacific theatre of World War Two is brilliant. The lyrical themes take you on a journey that not only makes you head bang, but learn about world history too.

The musicianship is outstanding. The skillful performance of the band shows great talent and imaginative. To be able to research history and then apply that to music, is extremely hard to do. But Hail of Bullets pull it off once again. The vocals of Martin van Drunen are outstanding. He’s been around since the mid 1980’s and hasn’t lost it yet. The guitar riffs and leads are performed by Stephan Gebedi & Paul Baayens. The guitars are a huge part of the album. I also like the overall sound of the guitars themselves. They are exactly what you expect to hear when listening to classic Death Metal. The rhythm section is very strong. Drummer Ed Warby and bassist Theo van Eekelen provide that additional heaviness that forms the backbone of this band. 

Musically, this album is heavy and exciting. The music is very tight. There is not one dull note being played here. For a concept album, I think these guys nail it. Lyrically, this album is very creative. So grab those history books and read up on World War Two history and crank this album up.

Tracks:

1. “The Eve of Battle” 1:06
2. “Operation Z” 4:37
3. “The Mukden Incident” 4:12
4. “Strategy of Attrition” 4:57
5. “Full Scale War” 5:19
6. “Guadalcanal” 3:25
7. “On Coral Shores” 5:10
8. “Unsung Heroes” 5:14
9. “Tokyo Napalm Holocaust” 5:20
10. “Kamikaze” 4:27
11. “To Bear the Unbearable” 4:16

Melana Chasmata: Triptykon

Rating: 100%

Melana_Chasmata.jpgTriptykon’s second album was released in 2014. It’s a perfect example of Extreme Metal that blends everything from Death Metal, Black Metal to Doom Metal with some Gothic Metal influences thrown in. The end result are songs that are well written out with an amazing and original sound.

The musicianship us top notch and tight. You have former Celtic Frost and Hellhammer guitarist & Vocalist Thomas Gabriel Fischer. He has proven that he still can write quality music and lyrics. This album is well thought out. His vocals are both harsh at times, and clear the next. I do like his more spoken vocals on many of the songs. Guitarst V. Santura, just like Tom knows how to create great riffs. There is plenty of great guitar work throughout this entire album. The leads are so atmospheric.  Bassist Vanja Šlajh is such a great bass player and backing vocalist. Her voice compliments Tom’s work. Her bass lines with providing that drive and tempo is outstanding. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite Heavy Metal bassists. Drummer Norman Lonhard is also a great. 

So musically, you have a strong and well shaped solid record. The vocals are very strong and distinctive. The instrumentation as I already covered is outstanding. It’s well balanced, rich, and compelling. For the artists themselves, they are imaginative, skillful, and creative. 

Tracks:

1. “Tree of Suffocating Souls” 7:56
2. “Boleskine House” 7:12
3. “Altar of Deceit” 7:32
4. “Breathing” 5:50
5. “Aurorae” 6:17
6. “Demon Pact” 6:07
7. “In the Sleep of Death” 8:10
8. “Black Snow” 12:25
9. “Waiting” 5:55

Imortality’s End Demo: Exmortis

Rating: 85%

39278.jpgHailing from Frederick, Maryland was Exmortis. I remember picking up this demo on cassette and was blown away. After listening to this one sides cassette, I recalled how these guys were along the line Obituary and Death in sound.

This demo was recorded and released in 1989 at Zax Trax in Frederick, Maryland. Although, this band didn’t gain major national attention, it is important piece of the local Death Metal scene. The musicianship was overall tight. you had lead vocalist and guitarist Brian Werking, bassist Chris Wiser, lead guitarist Ted Hartz, and drummer Lee Coates.

Track listing:

1. Intro 01:39
2. Immortality’s End 02:22
3. The Resurrection 02:44
4. Beyond the Realms of Madness 03:22
5. Casual Killing 02:46
6. Outro 00:47