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Beyond Death’s Throne – Haphazard Ethos Award winner

Beyond Death’s Throne
Haphazard Ethos
by Andrew Graham at 18 March 2022, 10:20 PM

I remember writing in one of my very early reviews that Black metal has had to evolve and adapt to be truly scary and menacing. The lo-fi bombast and fury that characterised the very early outputs of bands like MAYHEM or DARKTHRONE is frequently emulated by modern, young Black metal acts trying to recapture that early sense of upheaval in metal music, but these days it largely comes across as goofy. Developing the sound in order to refine it into something legitimately unsettling and disturbing takes experience and time to do – except when it doesn’t! BEYOND DEATH’S THRONE, hailing from Catalonia in Spain, have, on their debut EP, managed to present something that bears the hallmarks of musicians well-seasoned with age and wisdom. And yes, it is legitimately unsettling and disturbing.

Opening track “A Threshold Of Harrowed Chants” commences with deeply unsettling synth notes and background sound effects. There is atmosphere aplenty here and it is in no hurry to prove anything – nearly two and a half minutes of this precede the main event. When it does finally erupt, the effect is devastating. Blastbeats and pace-changes do not allow the listener to become fully ‘settled’. It is truly remarkable for a debut release; it sounds like they’ve been doing this for years!

“Diaphanous Lethargy” commences with plenty of dissonance, which carries through the whole track. This dissonance changes in character yet remains constant in theme. The blastbeat section just shy of two minutes is one of the best moments on the EP: staggering drums, a veritable wail of background guitars, complete with sinister tremolo riff just encompasses everything that’s great about Black metal. The bridge in the middle also slays, creating a palpable sense of menace even at what is ostensibly a moment of relative calm (only comparatively speaking of course!)

“The Endless Will” is a slow burn to start, building up some suspense. This strategy of tension-release is used to great effect by these guys, it’s a horror staple and is utilised expertly to craft a canvass of heretical menace which ends just as abruptly as it began. By the time “Perpetual Glow of the Risen Wise” crashes into view, none of the original potency has been lost. Though the individual tracks are quite long for this genre, they never become boring or stale. There’s plenty going on and a thoroughly enjoyable unsettling atmosphere to soak in. I cannot wait for a full album from these guys.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. A Threshold Of Harrowed Chants
2. Diaphanous Lethargy
3. The Endless Will
4. Perpetual Glow of the Risen Wise
M.Ptah.Smrt – Vocals
Kzanhagr – All instruments
Record Label: Signal Rex


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