The Comeback continues onward as God Dethroned carry their torch from 2017's ‘The World Ablaze'! Taking a hiatus of longer than 10 years since their 2006 release ‘The Toxic Touch’, many thought the legendary Netherlands death metal act was hanging up their bibles when year after year had passed and the air was filled with silence. But, alas, all was not lost! God Dethroned returned and are solidifying that their 2017 efforts were not a standalone reunion act. Henri Sattler is back once again, with Michiel Van Der Plicht on drums, who joined the group as far back as 2009, Dave Meester on lead guitars (replacing Mike Ferguson), and Jeroen Pomper on bass. Henri is on rhythm guitar and lead growls. Let's dive in shall we?
I am happy to say that jumping in from end to end repeatedly for the past few weeks, there are no true weak points to this release. The album, as a whole, flows eloquently and bludgeons your soul with gorgeous hatred and sensational pain, with 'Illuminati', 'Broken Halo', and 'Eye of Horus' being the more ambitious efforts. If there would be any hesitation to crown this a perfect achievement, it would have to be that most of the rest of the tracks (other than two that I would like to discuss in the next paragraph) feel a bit filler, to be honest. Not generic filler tracks that sound added to give it extra fluff mind you, but filler that they feel a bit more of the same. I have to remind myself the standard of God Dethroned was established in the 1990s and fact is, if you loved that sound, you'll be pleasantly surprised that most of that theme is still intact.
Track 3 on this release gives us our first ‘killer track’ with 'Book of Lies'. It is absolutely rare when a songwriter can piece together magic like this, to invoke beauty while also dooming you to eternal damnation as you journey through. It's true art, and should be celebrated. I just wish they added more depth and length to the song so it lasts longer. Put this 4 minute romp on repeat, you won’t regret it.
Few tracks can spit gravel into your ears and leave you begging for more punishment like 'Gabriel' opens with a unique guitar bend that feels more complex than it really is. This continues to build with cryptic lyrics and keyboards escorting you to an uneasy journey to the chorus. The machine gunning riffs carry on the transition around the loop. Wondrous!
'Blood Moon' is an excellent choice to close out 'Illuminati' as it evokes a tremendous amount of nostalgia for the first time I heard God Dethroned all those years ago. It's classic death metal through and through. Overall, that's what you really should expect from this classic ensemble: a few twists along the way with 'Book of Lies' and a great harkening back for fans of their earlier works, in addition to those looking for something with a bit more tradition. Recommended!
Review by Joshua Jaeger
7th February 2020
2) Broken Halo
3) Book of Lies
4) Spirit of Beelzebub
5) Satan Spawn
7) Eye of Horus
8) Dominus Muscarum
9) Blood Moon Eclipse
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"The album, as a whole, flows eloquently and bludgeons your soul with gorgeous hatred and sensational pain..."