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Sorrow Enthroned – Thelemic Grimoires

Sorrow Enthroned
Thelemic Grimoires
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 January 2021, 6:36 AM

SORROW ENTHRONED is a one man extreme metal band from Hartford, Connecticut.  The project combines black and death metal with elements of the two genres’ more melodic and brutal sides.   “Thelemic Grimoires,” is his second full length album; an EP was released in 2019. This album is such a give and take experience The production and mixing of this album is a double edged sword.  On one hand, this style of dark, evil, black metal craves a soundscape of raw power and filthy atmosphere.  “Thelemic Grimoires,” straight up nails this. On the other hand, the mixing is terrible. The bass and drums (especially the double bass) are buried and lack power. The vocals are also too loud, often times overpowering every other element around it.

I do appreciate how much focus is on the guitar—this is definitely a riff based album which is something I wish more black metal would do. There aren't any fancy keyboards, clean vocals, or post metal passages to be found here. It is just straight up raw black metal. Unfortunately, all that stuff I just mentioned would have made the album much more interesting. After a few songs in, it all just starts to blend in. Without any real variation, I quickly grew bored before I could finish the album—-it took me several listens to make it through to the end.

Thankfully the songs are on the short side—only the last track is over four minutes.  This works well to jam out a few songs here and there. These songs wouldn't hold up if they were any longer so they are the perfect length. “Sins of the Carnal Man,” is a decent opener as it fires right out of the gate. The vocals are well done consisting of throaty blackened growls and screams. “And it was Night,” has a bright spot a little over the halfway mark when the guitar just hammers the riffs over and over. I didnt find the rest of the song all that great but, much like the album as a whole, it does have a few catching moments.

Artem Satanismus,” the best song because the lead guitar shines thru with some decent melody—-I wish the album expanded upon this approach more often. Likewise the last track, the title track, is rather expansive and heavy on atmosphere in the beginning and loaded with more shadowy melodies throughout the song.  Perhaps a future release will see them take this song's sound further. As it stands, this isn't a bad album but I didn't find it very engaging although fans of the more raw straight forward style of black metal may find themselves enjoying it more that I have.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Sins of the Carnal Man
2. Winter Winds Wept
3. …and It Was Night
4. Black Horned God
5. Inutterable Darkness
6. Artem Satanismus
7. Rituals for our Whore
8. Hand of Aiwass
9. Congress with the Demon
10. He Who Devoureth Abyssal Wanderers
11. Thelemic Grimoires
Lee – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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