Blood Red Throne - _Souls of Damnation_
(Earache Records, 2009)
by: Paul Williams (7 out of 10)
Before _Souls of Damnation_, Blood Red Throne's fifth album, I had never bothered to give their previous releases a spin, but from the general approval that people seemed to be giving this album I thought maybe it was about time to kick off my shoes, relax in a bean bag and get sodomised by some American-ised death metal from Norway.

It doesn't take long to realise that this band's heart isn't promised to the same malevolent affair that many of their forest dwelling, troll impersonating brethren take up as a past time, but instead their musical preferences seem to be the forefathers of brutal death metal.

After the first couple of songs this album seems to become nothing more than an ode to bands like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Suffocation; there is a realization that BRT isn't influenced by these bands. No. Blood Red Throne worships these bands and even has a tendency to re-create some of their riffs -- and by re-create I mean rip them off. While "Human Fraud" is very much based on Morbid Angel's "Where the Slime Live", Cannibal Corpse's "Make Them Suffer" is pretty much played note for note in "Demand". Now, I tend not to get all high and mighty about stuff like taking a few notes here and there, but the fact that this band says CC and MA are huge influences, they couldn't have not realized that they were pretty much covering those two riffs.

Apart from that "small" matter BRT are, and I hate having to admit this, a decent band compared to other modern death metal acts. I mean this isn't particularly interesting death metal, but I'm sure that regular old Joe Metalhead would find it at least acceptable, with its sufficient yet bland guttural vocals, heavy bass driven walls of sound, and at times technical guitar lines. If all you're looking for is a band that plays some of the good old brutal stuff and that offers up a few good opportunities to bang your head, then you won't find anything less here.

(article published 24/10/2009)

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