Blood Red Throne – Come Death Review

Originally written by Jason Jordan.

Tchort (Carpathian Forest, Green Carnation) and friends have returned with Come Death, which happens to be the fourth installment in the ongoing Blood Red Throne series, and in accordance with the BRT schedule, their latest has arrived two years after their previous outing. And to be perfectly honest, experienced listeners know exactly what to expect from this Norwegian crew: cold, clinically calculated crushing metal of death that, despite its razor-y lacerating nature, comes up short in the long run. In other words, similar to my listening habits regarding Affiliated With the Suffering and Altered Genesis, I don’t envision returning to this album all that much, except, perhaps, when I’ve a hankering for riff-centered, emotionless devastation, which is surprisingly not too often.

Even considering the replacement of Mr Hustler with Vald, who runs the extreme metal vocal gamut of deep, meaty growls, raspy screams, and various miscellanies, plus Haave standing in for former drummer Moen, the premise and modus operandi of Blood Red Throne remain the same. Opener “Slaying the Lamb” is a platter of double-bass-littered brutality with plenty of icy riffs that occasionally construct melodious passages which continue to embrace emotional detachment over emotional involvement. Nonetheless, Come Death is refreshing in the sense that the instruments can be easily distinguished from one another, and follower “Deranged Assassin” lends credence to that claim via animated bass work. One must not overlook the instrumental section that spans 3:13-3:39 since it’s arguably the most compelling and arresting of the bunch, along with its similarly patterned outro. Others such as the predominantly fast-paced “Rebirth in Blood,” likeminded “Guttural Screams” (is that you Behemoth at 1:12 and 1:42?), and angular blur “Taste of God” meet BRT standards, mostly, as do riff-spewers “No New Beginning,” “Come Death,” and “Another Kill.” “Disincarnated” is a Gorguts cover, however – the original version of which can be found on the latter’s 1991 effort Considered Dead – and is actually one of the most memorable tunes here. Speaking of another North American unit, the self-proclaimed Suffocation influence can be intermittently detected, in addition to a smattering of Polish-inflection (i.e. Behemoth, Decapitated, et al.) that is always more welcome than not.

Sadly, Come Death is not an album that bears repeated listening – at least not on a regular basis. Regardless, both veterans and neophytes alike will derive a reasonable amount of enjoyment from this, even though it doesn’t live up to prior efforts and is also a tad monotonous. It is simply bereft of true, knockout-caliber blows that several of their Polish competitors possess in spades. And because it appears to lack staying power, too, Blood Red Throne’s latest can be deemed gratifying yet inessential.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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