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Throne of Heresy - Antioch

Throne of Heresy
Antioch
by Danny Sanderson at 15 June 2016, 12:33 AM

Sweden is a country with a reputation for great Death Metal, and some of its Death Metal acts rank among the best on the planet. THRONE OF HERESY aren't your average Swedish Death Metal band; the Linkoping based quintet have, since their debut full length, "The Stench of Deceit", which was released in 2012, taken the melodic and aggressive edge of their forebears and have added their own spin to it. Their second full length record, "Antioch", builds on the strengths of their debut album and sees the band begin to formulate their own sound and style, one which bridges the gap between classic and modern Death Metal.

"The God Delusion", which opens this record, is an eerie and ferocious piece of polished, tight Death Metal. The drums are precise and driven, the vocals sound completely demonic at points, and the guitar lines are eclectic and interesting in equal measure. It's a solid opening track, setting the tone for the rest of the record. "Serpent Seed" is a much more groove-laden affair, with some brilliant guitar hooks providing a focal point for the music on this particular song. It has plenty of great gutturals and hideous shrieks, showing that Thomas Clifford is a talented vocalist with an impressive range. "Nemesis Rising", the records third offering, is a very straight forward piece of Melodic Death Metal with a few Black Metal flourishes. "Flagellum Daemonum", is a really impressive song, with a vicious, chaotic edge that makes it all the more appealing. There's plenty of brilliant Death Metal guitar hooks and concentrated, monolithic drumming that makes this the best track on the record up until this point. "Exordium", with its creepy, avant-garde musical approach, and primal, rhythmic drumming, interlaced with some great melodic guitar lines, is a great piece of instrumental music that does an excellent job of breaking the album up, closing the first half of the record on a high note, and setting the listener up for the second half of the album.

"Black Gates of Antioch", which opens the second half of this album, is, initially, a mid-paced, tightly performed piece of Death Metal, which quickly gives way to a much more speed-driven and ferocious approach to the music. All of the music, from the vocals to the drums, is played confidently and inflected with some impressive melodic hooks that are imbued with a thick, tar-like groove that sounds brilliant. "Blood Sacrifice" continues in very much the same manner as its predecessor, with dirge-like Death Metal riffs and thunderous drumming providing an impressive and intense focal point for this song. "Phosphorus", a short, sharp shock of bestial Death Metal brutality, is one of the most powerful tracks on this half of the album, with huge, monolithic guitar hooks and booming vocals giving this brief slab of brilliance of a dark yet epic feel. The albums penultimate offering, "Souls for the Sepulchre", is a really ample piece of Death Metal that, although fairly good, and with plenty of great instrumentation, doesn't have that climactic feel that a track at this point on the record should have. The final and longest track on this record, "Where Bleak Spirits Pass", makes great use of some cleaner tones and gloomy, foreboding guitars, dense bass lines and some very catchy, dramatic leads that are melodious and ingrained with emotion. It's an excellent way to close this record, and stands as one of the records best tracks.

This is a fairly solid record, with a lot of great musicianship and a great, polished production. There are a few points on the record that feel like they are lacking something that could make certain tracks more engaging for the listener, but these points are few and far between, and overall, the high points on this album outweigh the lows. This is a good example of modern Death Metal done right.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The God Delusion
2. Serpent Seed
3. Nemesis Rising
4. Flagellum Daemonum
5. Exordium
6. Black Gates of Antioch
7. Blood Sacrifice
8. Phosphorus
9. Souls for the Sepulchre
10. Where Bleak Spirits Pass
Lineup:
Mathias Westman- Drums
Tomas Goransson- Guitars
Bjorn Ahlqvist- Bass
Thomas Clifford- Vocals
Michael Edstrom- Guitars
Record Label: The Sign Records
     


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Edited 23 July 2019
 

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