December 4, 2010

Music Review: God Dethroned - Under the Sign of the Iron Cross

Very, very good, possibly great. That is a good way to start of describing God Dethroned's latest. It is a death metal record that includes all the usual ingredients but has seemingly come out tastier and catchier than many of their brethren's releases. It is a record that I hesitate to call great, but there is something terribly infectious about this music, brutal in its melody, melodic in its brutality. Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is a blast of metal that caresses your ears while it punches a hole in the top of your skull. If you like metal, you will like this. It may not be the best thing you'll ever hear, but it is likely one of the best new albums you've heard of late.

This is God Dethroned's ninth album and their follow up to last year's Passiondale. This is my first real experience with the band, although I do have a copy of their last album and have listened to it, I just haven't given it that good "pay attention" listen, but I am thinking I am going to have to now. This really is a solid album that is sure to enter my regular rotation.

There is something else I like about this album that is a bit of a side note, it has been a great antidote to my last couple of reviews. They were a couple of grindcore releases and with this I am glad to be hearing fully fledged songs again. The fact that it is a really good album is just a bonus.

Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is a concept album that focuses on World War I. You can almost smell the stench of death and the smoldering embers of war emanating from your speakers as you play this. It is amazing how well they capture the feel of the battle field and the tone of the era in a modern musical style that was unheard of in the day. Perhaps they should go on tour with Iron Maiden for a World War tour, God Dethroned would open with their WWI material while Bruce Dickinson will lead the charge for the WWII material. Sounds like a winner to me.

Big, crushing, and melodic. I would love to hear these songs live. They have the body and heft to fill an arena. The twin guitars deliver some great melodic riffs while never losing the aggression, solos scream in over the riffs, double bass drum blasts keep the forward momentum, while the growled vocals paint pictures of war horrors.

The songs' titles tell you what you need to know, listen as the music expands on said title. Highlights among these include: "The Killing is Faceless," "Chaos Reigns at Dawn," "Red Baron," and "On Fields Of Death And Desolation."

You know, the more I listen to this album, the better it gets. The death metal touches on black metal at times and has a rather epic feel. There is no denying that this is a band to be dealt with and they have to be riding high, this record is one to be proud of. Poised to take on all comers, this is a band to be reckoned with.

Bottomline. Like metal? Like it heavy and speedy? Interested in WWI? This brings it all together under one roof. You will want to check this out. Trust me.

Highly Recommended.

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