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Enthroned - Cold Black Suns

Cold Black Suns
by Chris Hawkins at 24 June 2019, 2:50 PM

Tradition and legacy are two important themes within Heavy Metal.  In fact, it is through tradition that legacies are established.  There is no other band from Brussels, Belgium that plays from the left-hand path with a richer legacy than ENTHRONED.  Existing since 1993, the band have played Black Metal consistently over the years, broadening the genre along the way.  Their eleventh album, “Cold Black Suns,” has just been released by Season of Mist.

Ophiusa,” though a near four-minute instrumental track, nefariously tackles the innate mood(s) explored afterwards.  As a setting foundational song, it succeeds even pulling the listener in if in the proper mood.  I listen to a lot of Black Metal as evidenced by many of the bands I cover here, but it will be further discovered how though I could not wake up to this album daily, it hits a proper vibe in many parts.

The following track, “Hosanna Satanas,” shows the full band going to war.  Like a charge uphill to face a bloodthirsty enemy, the track blasts relentlessly.  It hits like the heaviest blasts written by MARDUK yet with its own seasoned martial tone.  The mood preferences mentioned before would probably best e elaborated or rather summed up by saying that one has to approach this album openly without out preconceptions or any agenda no matter the catalyst.  I came back to it later and felt I absorbed the material more fully.

Despite the fact the band retains no original members, there is an air from the past inherent in the writing.  This manifests itself with a blatant dissonance, a giant middle finger to musical conventions sewn from the past.  Many of the chords simply ring out with that ghostly fog, a haze that can only be emitted from the dark side.  An example of this is the very first riff in the fourth track, “Vapula Omega”.  It has an abrasive, corrosive surface that compliments the furious rhythm.  The double bass is super-slick, perhaps even overproduced for it exhibits a metallic tone that clanks along cohesively with the tightly-picked rhythms.  True, the production is a bit too clean, though it does lend itself to a more digestible, marketable palate.  The solo towards the end is vicious, maniacal musical indulgence played in the most violent manner.

Around the middle, unfortunately, the album starts to slow down.  The fifth track, “Silent Redemption,” is a very slow song that contains a similar feeling as the tunes that precede it but just lacks a solid hook.  “Beyond Humane Greed,” the seventh track, has a mid-paced tempo with a strong droning quality.  The band uses a lot of delay and reverb along with other studio effects to try to expand the atmosphere but when the song nears the three-minute mark, the band returns to serious blasting doing what they do best.

Some may consider “Cold Black Suns” to be a concept record.  Since I didn’t receive a lyric sheet, I’ll concede that it is a toss-up.  Overall, though, it is very, very moody.  This isn’t that MOTORHEAD or VENOM record to throw on for a party.  Should some of the concepts be reined in along with a scaled back production, the band would have had a better end result.  Ultimately, this album is an acceptable release in the catalog of a quite legendary Black Metal outfit.

Songwriting:  7
Originality:  7
Memorability:  6
Production:  6


3 Star Rating

1. Ophiusa
2. Hosanna Satanas
3. Oneiros
4. Vapula Omega
5. Silent Redemption
6. Aghora
7. Beyond Humane Greed
8. Smoking Mirror
9. Son of Man
Nornagest – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Neraath – Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Norgaath – Bass, Backing Vocals
Menthor – Drums
Shağal - Guitars
Record Label: Season of Mist


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Edited 02 December 2022

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