BLOOD RED THRONE “Imperial Congregation”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Seeing BLOOD RED THRONE in my review queue is like seeing an old friend pop up. These Norse death metallers have plied their craft with stolid determination for what seems like decades. They’ve kind of come full circle now, landing at Nuclear Blast after a long trek in the wilderness.

“Solid” is the first word that comes to mind when describing BRT. “Imperial Congregation” is not hyper brutal slam death or goregrind, for which we can breathe a sigh of relief, but neither do they fiddle around with “atmosphere”, progressive detours or strange deviations. It’s “just” straight forward death metal built on easy to absorb but punishing riffs, clear production and guttural vocals. But that “just” should in no way be taken as a put-down. This is the kind of pleasant beating that death metal was built on.

Some tunes stand out. “Itika” is a really well constructed beast, a tad more involved than usual but sticking in your head. “We All Bleed” is a groove monster while “Transparent Existence” and “Conquered Malevolence” are the SINISTER-like crushers BLOOD RED THRONE built their name on. “Consumed Illusion” has a snappy speed to it that reminds one of prime thrash as much as death metal. The album ends with the longer than usual “Zarathustra”, where there is a bit more atmosphere than usual including a bit of synth. There are a couple of tracks that are just kind of “there” but even these are inoffensive to the ear.

Happy to see the band back getting the kind of attention they deserve. “Imperial Congregation” will not disappoint any prior fan of BLOOD RED THRONE.