"The World Ablaze"

By Lord Randall

I first heard GOD DETHRONED at the beginning of their second mark, the solid-as-Hell’s-walls "The Grand Grimoire". While by no means groundbreaking, ‘The Somberness Of Winder’, ‘Colosseum Serenades’ and unexpected CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN cover of ‘Fire’ showed a band able to knuckle under and get primal, yet willing to take chances. And those leads. Founding vocalist/guitarist Henri Sattler was a workingman’s Kirk Hammett, exhibiting just the right amount of technical proficiency without the loss of memorability. The band hit their pinnacle for me, however, with the addition of Isaac DeLahaye for "The Lair Of The White Worm" and "The Toxic Touch". Something about that duo recalled how Holt//Hunolt and Hanneman/King played off of each other so brilliantly, and those albums shined for it. And then…

As much as I hate to think DeLahaye had become so integral to Henri’s playing as to leave him – and by default, GOD DETHRONED – sounding like the musical equivalent of a body missing a major appendage, that seemed to be the case with what followed, culminating in HENRI SATTLER’S GOD DETHRONED (as it maybe should’ve been called by the time) calling it quits again in 2011. "The World Ablaze" is the first new material from the camp in seven years, and sadly, we could’ve waited longer. Henri’s voice has never been fantastic, but on opener ‘Annihilation Crusade’ he sounds more like a small-town TV news reporter out to cover a story he couldn’t care less about and, while the title track manages to lift the aggression needle a tad, it’s not until ‘On The Wrong Side Of The Wire’ that this old dog’s ears pricked up, hearing what might be a sign of life. ‘Konigsberg’ is an abbreviated instrumental, something GD is known for, and shows the benefit of having a second guitarist – in this case, Mike Ferguson – for Sattler to play with. That the high point of the album is a single riff progression within the otherwise pedestrian ‘Escape Across The Ice (The White Army)’ both saddens me when I remember what GD could be, and, if you’ve hung on this long, probably tells you all you need to know. 

The world may be ablaze, but this album is a candle in a rainstorm of hungrier, better ones out this year.