Hailing from the rural village of Beilen in the Netherlands today we delve into the new album from Death Metal titans God Dethroned.
Formed back in 1991 to say that God Dethroned’s past isn’t cloudy would be like pulling shrapnel from your face. From images of dead dissected rats to multiple line-up changes this is a band that has had its fair share of detriment. Despite all this the band are back with a new album The World Ablaze.
Produced by Swedish multi-instrumentalist Dan Swanö notably being the driving force behind Swedish progressive metal outfit Nightingale. God Dethroned deliver the third in their trilogy of concept albums based around World War I.
Listening to 2009’s Passiondale and 2010’s Under the Sign of the Iron Cross prior to going into this filled me with a lot of anticipation. This is a band that can paint uniquely dark and twisted images in one’s head with their lyrical content, acid burn like guitar tone and pulverizing blast beats.
So, The Word Ablaze, fading in with a very melancholic guitar riff accompanied by drummer Michiel Van Der Plicht hard hitting drums A Call to Arms may give the listener an impression that the band are going for a more melodic shift. Very much like pulling the pin on a hand grenade only 1 minuet and 54 seconds passes before a sludgy Morbid Angel Esque riff explodes into life. Annihilation Crusade bulging with technicality from start to finish really shows that after a 7 year gap this band are still as tight as a choke hold with the intent to kill.
We then get to the title track, The World Ablaze. Opening with a swirling riff which is very promptly backed up by a stomp on the bass drum. Live you can picture fists pumping in tandem with the drums before the place going bat shit. Lyrically Henri Sattler has a very articulate way of describing the realities of what a soldier would have had to endure in World War I. This backed up with his guttural abilities add to the intensity with On the Wrong Side of the Wire being a highlight.
Production wise Dan Swanö does a stellar job of making everyone heard on this album, from Henri and Mike Ferguson fast paced riffs, Jeroen Pomper’s crushing bass and Michiel machine gun drumming, it truly sounds like everyone is giving it there all on this record. Escape Across the Ice (the white army) is the one to bang your head too. The song opens with a chugging riff before breaking into a colossal chorus that you can see slaying live.
The album draws to a haunting close with The 11th Hour, which has a grinding feel to it before it crescendos into a thunderous guitar solo.
It’s hard to believe that God Dethroned are not seen in the same light as bands such as Carcass and Morbid Angel, as the musicianship is off the scale on this album and now that we’ve reached the end of this trilogy, where do they go from here?
The World Ablaze out May 5th on Metal Blade Records.