God Dethroned

Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross

Written by: MST on 13/03/2011 12:43:51

Choosing "Under the Sign of the Iron Cross", the latest album from Dutch death metal brigade God Dethroned as my first review gives me some mixed feelings. Only a few hours before writing this review I learned that lead singer and guitarist Henri Sattler has chosen to end the band at the end of this year, more precisely when they've played Eindhoven Metal Meeting in December. I did get to see the band in 2009 though, at Aalborg Metal Festival, although I was severely disappointed by the band's movement, interaction with the audience and especially their facial expressions which were almost empty, and definitely did not make the band members look like they enjoyed playing.

Thankfully the band played plenty of great songs from their vast discography and especially their latest album (at the time) "Passiondale" got its share of the blame for my pain in the neck the following day. Their current latest (and sadly their last) album "Under the Sign of the Iron Cross" follows in the vein of "Passiondale" with less melody than 2006's "Toxic Touch" which I didn't like all that much, but plenty of speed and death metal brutality, and lyrics about the horrible battle at Passchendaele. Intro "The Declaration of War" kickstarts the album with drums sounding like a marching army, and riffs promising lots of delicious guitar riffs in the upcoming songs, including some German that sounds like it was recorded during one of the World Wars. And then the first real song kicks in with blasting drums, ripping guitars and Sattler yelling "DIIIEEE!". "Storm of Steel" is an excellent start to the album, introducing the blazing speed of the drums and the diversity of the guitars that change from brutal death metal riffs to melodic passages and solos. Sattler's vocals do not vary much in the vocal department, but he does not have to either since his death metal snarl fits the music so wonderfully. Next song "Fire Storm" is another highlight with its verses that demand heads banging and the excellent singalong chorus. Fifth song is the title track and the best song on the album according to this scribe, perfecting the incredible drums and the equilibrium of brutality and melody. It also continues the band's use of clean vocals sung by one Marco van der Velde which as EW described in his review of 2009's "Passiondale" amazingly do not ruin anything at all.

Describing the whole album would be like writing half a novel, because weak point of the album "Through Byzantine Hemispheres" is still a very good song, so I am unable to say anything bad about the album whatsoever. The album marches on as an unstoppable death metal force, and although album closer "On Fields of Death and Desolation" is not as epic as it strives to be, it works as an excellent final song to an album that is millimeters from perfection. If the band must call it quits, they at least provided us with their best album to date that we can all enjoy for decades to come.


Download: Storm of Steel, Fire Storm, Under the Sign of the Iron Cross, The Red Baron
For the fans of: Bolt Thrower, Amon Amarth, Belphegor, Aeon
Listen: MySpace

Release date: 23.11.10
Metal Blade Records

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXI Rockfreaks.net.