"Into the Lungs of Hell" (Metal Blade; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

My first introduction to God Dethroned's latest effort, "Into The Lungs Of Hell," was when I threw the title track on my mp3 player for requisite up-tempo inspiration while working out at the gym. I'd forgotten that "Into The Lungs Of Hell" was on the player and when it came on I was impressed with the song's ability to capture my attention immediately. When I checked to see the song and band I was listening to I almost did a double-take when "God Dethroned" was scrolling across my player. I decided right then that after my workout I would scramble back home to finally review the CD.

As my reviews of "Bloody Blasphemy" and "Ravenous" might indicate I wasn't thoroughly impressed with either disc upon my initial listen. However, I had warmed up considerably to both "Bloody Blasphemy" and "Ravenous" over the last few years even if I only listened to each disc two or three times over the course of each year. As such, I've come to more fully appreciate God Dethroned's brand of death metal. Prior to reviewing "Into The Lungs Of Hell," I gave both "Bloody Blasphemy" and "Ravenous" quick spins and realized that my heightened awareness of the band's solid if unspectacular style had slipped into the recess of my memory more than I remembered. It didn't take long before I began to fully re-appreciate God Dethroned's ability to employ the start/stop motion-sickness inducing switches between speedy death metal and extraordinarily eloquent melodic passages.

So with the full effect of the title track ringing in my ears how did the rest of the album sound? Pretty damn good I must say. "Into The Lungs Of Hell" is not radically different that the band's prior two efforts, but it just seems sharper, more catchy, more confident, and (dare I say it?) infused with a swing not often found in death metal. God Dethroned, already pretty nimble in their songwriting dynamics, have taken their craft to even greater heights on "Into The Lungs Of Hell." Additionally, a decidedly Viking metal type of sound has been incorporated into their songs which probably lends an added sense of aura to the album's eight tracks.

"Into The Lungs Of Hell" sounds more like "Bloody Blasphemy" than "Ravenous" - the new album ratchets the speed down just a couple of notches to the overall pace of "Bloody Blasphemy." I find this to be a great facet as it allows the band's dynamics and melodies to shine even more brightly. Highlights include the aforementioned title track, "Enemy Of The State," "Soul Sweeper," and "The Tombstone."

The double-CD version of "Into The Lungs Of Hell" includes a re-recorded version of "God Dethroned," a cover of Possession's "Satanís Curse," two video clips, and six live tracks. If you are a fan of the band, it's worth your while to seek out this expanded package.

"Into The Lungs Of Hell" was produced by Henrik Larsson.

God Dethroned: Henri on vocals and guitars, Beef on bass and vocals, Jens on guitars, and Arien on drums. Assisting on keyboards is Danny Servaes.

For more information visit http://www.goddethroned.com/

"Ravenous" (Metal Blade; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I'd first heard God Dethroned on their "Bloody Blasphemy" release a few years ago. At the very same time, I'd also had the chance to hear Immolation's "Failures For Gods." It didn't take long for me to prefer God Dethroned over Immolation. Not that I should be comparing those two bands or anything, but circumstances will forever link these two bands together in my mind.

Circumstances once again played their fateful tricks as not too long after hearing Immolation's "Close To A World Below" I was given the responsibility of reviewing God Dethroned's "Ravenous." What was true then is still true now. While neither Immolation or God Dethroned are high on my personal list of must-listen bands, I still prefer God Dethroned over Immolation any day.

God Dethroned deploy their brand of hyper-kinetic death metal on "Ravenous" much as they did on "Bloody Blasphemy." As on God Dethroned's previous efforts, I much prefer the songs that slow down the death metal material to a reasonable pace such as "The Iconoclast Deathride" (one helluva song title, I gotta admit) and "Autumn Equinox." 

Hardcore God Dethroned fans need not fret. Songs like "The Crown For The Morbid," "Swallow The Spikes," and the title track don't let up their intensity for one second. Another nice touch is the dual lead guitars that creep in the mix giving a God Dethroned a sinister Iron Maiden-type of sound during the instrumental breaks. Covers of Macabre End's "Consumed By Darkness" and Death's "Evil Dead" round out the CD quite nicely.

The slower overall pacing of "Ravenous" makes it a much more enjoyable listen and the willingness to alter the arrangements from track to track is a nice touch as well. However, I have a funny feeling that some hardcore God Dethroned fans may be just a little bit upset about the greater prevalence of slower material. 

"Ravenous" was produced by God Dethroned and engineered by Berthus Westerhuys. Overall, I much prefer the production of "Ravenous" over "Bloody Blasphemy." I can actually hear the cowbell (!!!) in the drumming frenzy.

God Dethroned is The Serpent King (aka Henri) on vocals and lead guitars, Jens on lead guitars, Beef on bass and vocals, and Toby as the session drummer. Keyboards were once again played by Danny A. Servaes.

For more information visit http://www.goddethroned.com

"Bloody Blasphemy" (Metal Blade; 1999)goddeth.jpg (13603 bytes)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Holland's God Dethroned release their demons with a hybrid brand of technical death metal on their third disc "Bloody Blasphemy." Combining elements of thrash, death, and black metal genres, "Bloody Blasphemy" is an overflowing avalanche of harmonic aggression, mystery, and aural nightmares.

It would be too easy to say that God Dethroned play very fast; hyper-kinetic is a much better description. However, God Dethroned is not a one-dimensional death metal outfit. "Bloody Blasphemy" contains variety and diversity in their musical excursions to the dark depths of the human condition.

The disc starts off with two standard thrash-like numbers before it starts to get really interesting. "The Execution Protocol," the third track which is about the Inquisition, contains a simple keyboard intro that makes the song seem even more brutal when the guitars, bass, and drums kick in.

However, the power of the band is best served when it slows the music to a discernible growl. This is best evidenced on "Under The Golden Wings Of Death" (about a psychopathic killer), which recalls the intensity and fury of early Metallica. "Firebreath," also echoing early Metallica, updates the thrash sound with late '90s death influences.

The epic "Soul Capture 1562" tells the tale of man whose eternal life leads him to challenge God to kill him knowing full well that his eternal life exceeds God's capacity to create and destroy life. The slow doomy beginning provides a sonic respite before the song blasts into a cacophony of swirling guitars and thunderous drums and bass.

"Boiling Blood" sounds like Slayer outtake (even the song title would sound perfect on a Slayer disc), yet at the same time gives the disc a sledgehammer of subtlety with its slow and heavy parts.

God Dethroned are yet another European band that deserves more attention in the United States. While it is clear that the metal masses won't flock to "Bloody Blasphemy," there is a certain audience that won't be disappointed by what God Dethroned have to offer.

Vocalist Henri Sattler plays guitars and writes most of the lyrics, Jens van der Valk plays guitars and most leads, Beef is the bassist, and Roel Sander is the drummer. Danny A. Servaes contributed keyboards to the disc. Also contributing to the effort is Reoland Wubbs (piano on "The Execution Protocol") and all female vocals by Nienke de Jong. "Bloody Blasphemy" was produced by Berthus Westerhuys; Westerhuys also produced "The Grand Grimoire" the band's sophomore effort.

For more information visit http://www.goddethroned.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2003  by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400 .