Date Released: April 15th 2014
Label: Agonia Records
Sovereigns - track listing
2. Sine Qua Non
3. Of Feathers and Flames
4. Lamp of Invisible Lights
5. Of Shrines and Sovereigns
6. The Edge of Agony
7. Divine Coagulation
8. Baal al-Maut
9. Nerxiarxin Mahathallah
The Band Members
Nornagest: Lead Vocals & lead Guitars
Neraath: lead Guitars
Black metal. A genre of metal that is legendary for so many reasons: church burnings, Satan worship, ritual murder, weird facepaint… all of which adds to the mythos of the genre, but tells you little to nothing about the most important aspect of all: the music. If you are new to black metal’s icy tones, then let me say that Belgian black metallers Enthroned’s new album ‘Sovereigns’ is a great way to dip into the brackish waters of a much-maligned metal subgenre. For those who have the black metal swimming certificates to proves their veteran status, Enthroned’s latest offering is a blood-freezing triumph of great dark music that not only shows off the qualities of this occult-driven genre, but also is enjoyable for the casual metal listener.
The music itself sounds like an Aleister Crowley counter-culture party: the grind of the guitars, the relentless pounding of the drums, the howl of Nornagest all adding to this outsider image of black metal. It’s good. Very good. Stripped of its label as black metal it is still a spooky, doom- and death-laden affair; couple the music with the mythos, and it transmogrifies into a pale figure of darkly twisted proportions, his arm outstretched towards you, his hand open, awaiting yours to reach out and touch it. With such tempting songs as the rolling and tolling ‘Baal al Maut’ and the out-and-out shredder that is ‘Of Shrines and Sovereigns’, you’d be a fool not to take the hand and be transported into Enthroned’s devilish Wonderland.
A prime pick of occult majesty from this album has to be, in my opinion, ‘Nerxiarxin Mahathallah’. Not only is the song title imposing as Hell, it’s a shrieking, titanic tank, hauling doom-dynamite, with a pentagram painted on the chassis and a crew of the most tortured souls known to man. Seriously, how drummer Menthor manages to keep up this breakneck pace without losing a foot to extreme repetitive strain injury I’ll never know. But he does, and this track is made all the more mighty because of it. It’s a triumph, not only as a black metal song, but as a balls-to-the-wall metal song. And when a song can transcend genres, you know it’s a powerful entity.
Enthroned are staples of the black metal genre, and have been for many years. ‘Sovereigns’ is a release that will please their loyal fanbase, while at the same time entice new listeners to check out what the fuss is all about. The dark side of metal never sounded so good, ladies and gentlemen: come to the Court of Black Metal and get Enthroned!
Written by Chris Markwell
Sovereigns is now available to buy from all good stockists from Agonia Records. Thanks to Agonia Records for sending us a promo to review.
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