Thursday, September 14, 2017
God Dethroned: The World Ablaze (2017)
God Dethroned has found something of a niche in crafting their albums around the atrocities of World War I. It started with their amazing Passiondale album in 2009 and continued with Under the Sign of the Iron Cross. This is their third release in that vein. This is never more apparent than on the terrific, heart-pumping "On the Wrong Side of the Wire". Ah, trench warfare.
The lyrical content is not the only thing that has been re-created on each of the last three albums. The general sound of the albums is also very similar. No one will ever accuse God Dethroned of being mainstream-friendly (talking mainstream metal obviously), but the music is similar to the lighter material by Behemoth and tends more to melody than brutality this time around. It is like the band took some of the more epic, dramatic moments that appeared on Passiondale ("No Survivors"), and stretched them out into an entire album. Most of the black metal-leaning elements have been stripped from their sound, leaving a more streamlined approach similar to the melodic death metal stylings of Amon Amarth, just with a different historical period as a focus. They have been trending in this direction for awhile now and this is definitely the closest to mainstream-friendly as God Dethroned has ever been.
The band can still dial things up when they really want to, and a lot of the time, they still sound like a well-oiled machine of warfare. "Annihilation Crusade" is a loud, bulldozer of a song with riffing that sounds like heavy artillery firing. And as mentioned, "On the Other Side of the Wire" is a monster track, with a fantastic lead melody. The vocals are delivered in Henri Sattler's standard gruff bark throughout the album.
I enjoy this album quite a bit, though it is not as impressive as Passiondale. It is a strong comeback album, even if it is significantly more melodic than we are used to from God Dethroned.