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God Dethroned - The Grand Grimoire

1998 Metal Blade Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

More incredible technical metal from Europe. God Dethroned manages to mix the aggresiveness of At the Gates with the technical wizardry of Dissection, forming a crunching pin-point accuracy attack on the senses. The opening track just blows me away every time I put this on. There's definitely something here which elevates The Grand Grimioire above the hordes, probably a combination of the fluidic guitar lines over uncommonly subdued keyboard passages to give a truly epic feel. Each track rages, no problems there, but added are the finesse touches which succeed in holding my interest past the first half of the album (which is lacking in most releases, where each track bleeds into the next). It also grows on me more after each play, which is a very promising sign indeed. Some longer tracks showcase the use of mood and emotion, adding the intended "grandness" to the picture. Actually, this album has it all, blast beats, anthemic riffs, heart tugging interludes, etc... The only drawback for me may be the lyrics, but then again, they are quite secondary to the music here. Truly strange "band photos" and bio, which are intended to give a "dark ages" feel, but just succeed in kinda freakin me out. One kickass album, and evidently one of the most played albums on college radio stations, so I'm not alone in recommending this release. Just don't play it at Sunday School!

God Dethroned - Bloody Blasphemy

1999 Metal Blade Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

Platter number three for these heretics, and while I completely got into last year's The Grand Grimoire immediately, Bloody Blasphemy has required a little extra time to sink in. The major elements of TGG are still here, and if anything, Bloody... is even faster and more intense than that release. I'm really not sure why I find fault with this release, it's just that like Children of Bodom's last release, it's good, but something is definitely missing. The performances have all improved since the last outing, especially in the drum department, undead pulse initiator Roel just decimating everything around him. The guitarwork is slick, vocals sick, and the production dead on, but I'm left kind of dry. Granted, I did start to lose interest after a few tracks on The Grand Grimore, and there is quite a bit of good material here, perfect if you're a "hit" listener. Me? I like to hear an album in it's entirety, not fast forward or press stop after the first couple of tracks, which is what I guess I find happening here. The strongest parts for me on the album are when things slow down a bit, as in the mid-section of A View of Ages, or during the truly remarkable Soul Capture 1562. Introduction of some weird vocals on opener Serpent King are way off the mark in my opinion, but hey, at least they're experimenting, I guess. I know I'm being really critical here, but I'm just a little disappointed overall by this album. I do like the bald look though, and I'd give money to know how "Beef" got his moniker. Unless it has something to do with "Boogie Nights", in which case I'll just keep thinking that it's cuz he works for the Dutch meat trade.