Black Throne of All Creation
posted on 7/2012 By:
There’s a never-ending argument, revisited ad nauseum, about the nature of originality and quality, specifically about whether a lack of originality automatically begets a lack of quality.
If you’re of the narrow mindset that music has to push boundaries or break new ground to be worthwhile, then you’d best just move along now. There’s nothing for you here.
But if you’re a fan of the golden days of death metal, particularly of the period where classic primitive death began to spread its wings and embrace a more technical approach, and you’re willing to accept a twenty-year-late re-exploration / retread of that moment in time, then Black Throne Of All Creation might well be one for you…
Overall, Dehuman sounds quite a lot like Death, standing just the first few steps past the point where that bigger and better band moved beyond its bloodthirsty beginnings and became one of the most brilliantly boundary-pushing outfits in history. These riffs are of a technical bent without being wank-ish or overly masturbatory, twisting and ripping in equal measure, but still nothing flashy compared to the arpeggiated work-outs that define modern technicality. The inspiration for these tunes is decades old, mostly Floridian, though a significant portion of European melody has infiltrated the works. Most notably tying Dehuman to Death are Andrea Vissol’s vocals -- he sounds eerily akin to Schuldiner, although not wholly alike; other influences come into play, all of them classic-era. The production isn’t as dry as a Morrisound effort, but it’s definitely leaning towards the old-school – there’s no thick tones here, no modern sheen – it’s capably executed, although a bit muffled in its pursuit of aged values.
Of course, there’s more to classic death metal than vintage tones and a potent (if borrowed) growl: A heavily Death-influenced homage will live or (ahem) die on the strength of its riffs and songs, and in those respects, Dehuman both lives and dies. Moments of Black Throne are undeniably solid – the introductory “Apocalypse And Perdition,” the chunky riffing of “Eyes Of A Thousand,” the catchy break in “Cast Of Assassination,” the twisting guitars of “Black Mamba.” Of those, the first one and the latter two are among the album’s most well realized tracks, separated by lesser ones – Black Throne opens strong, settles into a rut, and then returns to strength almost at its end. The remainder tends to blur into a wall of respectable but undifferentiated semi-progressive death metal – there’s nothing technically wrong with any of it, but those lesser tunes break from neither 1992’s pack, nor from their own, falling short of their better brethren and well short of their inspiration.
Dehuman has talent – there’s little doubt of that, but they lack a distinct sound; their approach is wholly lifted from earlier greats. Still, flaws or no, Black Throne Of All Creation remains an enjoyable listen, though it’s not at all an original one. Given a bit more expansion and experimentation outside the established extent, a step or three beyond the realms of Death, Dehuman could create something equal parts old and new, or at least something different. As it stands now, Black Throne is another spin ‘round the same old circle, and your acceptance of it depends upon your need for another something else pre-Human in your life.
Black Throne is undoubtedly not original, but it’s far from devoid of quality. In fact, it’s one of the better throwback efforts I’ve heard lately – true, it’s not a new sound, but it’s (re-)done well enough to warrant a listen from dedicated fans of the golden days.
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