posted on 4/2009 By:
Journey, once again, to the Tolkien-inspired realm of heavy metal: a Middle Earth where glory-bound travelers traipse through thicket and across seas to the sweeping 'scapes of Summoning; pointy-eared albinos fashion arrows and bedazzle robes and headbands to the tunes of Rivendell; arm-locked drunkards pound Mead Jaeger-bombs to Battlelore; and all good-hearted men, women and their allies skirmish with the dark hordes to the rousing ode's of Blind Guardian.
But what of those sinister ranks of Mordor? Do Balrog's jam Cirith Gorgor as they crack the backs of prisoners with their flaming chain-whips? Does Sauron posture before a mirror to Gorgoroth, and do Orc's march to the tune of Amon Amarth despite the fact they're related only through name and not lyrical content? Beats the shit outta me, but I have a pretty good idea what those creepy Nazgul crank as they shriek their corrupt breath aback inky, massive wyverns: Battle friggin' Dagorath.
This band could actually be Ringwraiths, as far as I'm concerned. Murky, heavily robed fiends birthing long, hypnotic tunes completely devoid of the "pretty" elements often infused by the more progressive black metal bands of today. No melodic leads, no folk, no tinkling keys (apart from the intro/outro), no orchestration, and no cleanly sung passages: just loads of Burzumic buzzing guitars, poisoned howling and stumbling (real!) drums that push and brake the pace from flailing to mid-pace on nearly every tune. And despite the fact that I believe the record becomes even stronger once the midpoint hits, there's no one song that truly shines as a "stand-out track." Perhaps a case could be made for either "The Marching Shadows of Eternal Death" or "Under the Warlord Spell", but only because they emphasize a bit more of a "groove" with a couple short breaks into near death metal riffing: 2-minutes into the prior and 4-minutes into the latter. But the general mood of Eternal Throne, from start to finish, is definitely focused on enhancing a sinister aura that mixes equal measures of drawn-out razorbuzz riffing and dismal atmospherics embellished by the vocalist's distinct Malefic-styled scraped wails, resulting in a work that sounds like a mingling of fellow American devil's Nightbringer as filtered through the hangman's noose of Xasthur.
I've been personally pushing this release on friends since it first flew from the black maw of Mercenary Music back in early '08, and it doesn't surprise me one bit to already see it reissued by the often-interesting Cold Dimensions. Eternal Throne, while not exactly essential, is something I'd certainly call a welcomed addition to any "mesmeric" black metal fan's collection. Definitely recommended.
"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the Houses of Lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye." ~ The Witch-king of Angmar
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