Blood Red Throne - _Monument of Death_
(Hammerheart, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (8.5 out of 10)
Now here is a surprise! A brilliant Norwegian death metal release which is not in the neo death/black fusion style of Zyklon or Myrkskog! Mainman Tchort seems to be another north-European workaholic who manages to almost simultaneously release multiple albums of astonishing quality (e.g. Green Carnation, reviewed elsewhere in this issue). _Monument of Death_ mainly hails the death metal style of the early '90s while avoiding to sound close to a single band in particular. This record is fast-paced, but there's no speed for the sake of speed here, no note-by-note Suffocation / Morbid Angel rip off, and no stupidity Six Feet Under style. _Monument of Death_ blazes along when necessary and throws elements from Florida death metal, thrash and, occasionally, Norwegian black metal ("Dream Controlled Murder") into a fiery melting pot. Whenever the pace settles to mid or up-tempo, Blood Red Throne come up with riffs of truly murderous proportions that can put everything Slayer have done since _Seasons in the Abyss_ to shame. Just listen to the insanely grooving and crushing riff-fest of "Mary Whispers of Death" or the last minute of closing track "Path of Flesh". _MoD_ features nine clearly distinguishable tracks of consistently great quality and its production balances clarity and heaviness exceptionally well. Bloodbath's _Breeding Death_ EP [CoC #48] might be the most valid point of reference when it comes to comparisons to other recent records. Like _Breeding Death_, this does not redefine the genre but is one of the few really entertaining death metal releases of 2001.

[Pedro Azevedo: "In abstract terms, _Monument of Death_ is cold, precise and methodic in its brutality, albeit somewhat sterile -- as indicated by its cover art. The practical side is that even though it is far from revolutionary, it is among the most impeccably executed and unpretentiously enjoyable death metal records of the year. Hammerheart's gimmick of having a limited special edition featuring "a suicide kit with blood from all the bandmembers" seems to be the only real novelty here, but _MoD_ nonetheless remains damn good fun."]

(article published 12/4/2002)

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