Enthroned - _Prophecies of Pagan Fire_
(Evil Omen, 1995)
by: Henry Akeley (
Here we have yet -another- new black metal band who seemingly comes out of nowhere (actually, Belgium) to deliver an excellent debut. Enthroned aren't scoring any points for originality - but then I don't suppose they're really trying to, do you? Nope, they're scoring points for their totally ripping delivery of fast black metal, interspersed with some very good leads and even some crunchy riffing. Vocals are the standard high-pitched harshness, and keyboards add an extra dimension to the sound without becoming overbearing. How does this trio stack up against the competition? Well, they're posing here with a big sword, an ax, and a pretty mean looking flail. So let's see: that means they could probably hold their own against Abigor in a fight, but might have a tough time with Marduk - who, besides being a quartet, have two -very- large and sharp-looking axes. But seriously, when it comes to the music, Marduk's excellent _Opus Nocturne_ is a good point of comparison, although Enthroned generally go in for a bit less breakneck speed and a bit more metallic punch. They also change tempos with more frequency than a lot of other black metal bands do, which makes their ferocious delivery that much more impressive. Check out "As the Wolves Howl Again" for proof. As I said, musically there's really nothing new going on here, but there's still a great deal of skill and conviction on display. I give it high marks for achieving just what it sets out to achieve: blasting out of your speakers like the shockwave from a hydrogen bomb.
(article published 4/18/1996)
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