Album Review – Thron / Dust (2023)

Behold the majestic fourth album by this unrelenting German Black Metal horde, explicating the undeniable fact that everything will turn to dust someday.

Forged in 2015 in the deep darkness of the Black Forest, a mountainous region in southwest Germany, bordering France, the unrelenting Black Metal horde Thron is back with a fantastic new opus, titled Dust, their fourth full-length album following up on their 2021 effort Pilgrim. Currently formed of Samca on vocals, PVIII and Raven Dust on the guitars, SXIII on bass and J on drums, the band incorporated new elements to their sound in Dust by going back to their very roots which lie in the early 80’s, when bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate ruled the field, while at the same time taking inspiration from the 90’s when bands like Tiamat, Edge of Sanity and Sentenced expanded their horizons. This fusion of sounds, combined with serious dedication to the glorious Progressive Rock dinosaurs of the 70’s, the love for the dark extreme musical arts with blasting fury and aggressive vocals, the crisp recording at Black Halo Studios Rheinfelden, Chäuer Studios Bärn and RL Studios Freiburg, the first-class mixing and mastering by Christoph Brandes at Iguana Studios, and the sinister artwork by Khaos Diktator Design, turn Dust into a must-listen for admirers of the music by Dissection, Watain, Necrophobic, Unanimated and Tribulation, just to name a few.

The devilish guitars by PVIII and Raven Dust will send shivers down your spine in Dying In The Mud, kicking off the album on a beyond dark note with Samca gnarling nonstop in the name of Black Metal; and such talented German horde puts the pedal to the metal in Return…, delivering classic Black Metal spearheaded by the massive drums by J while the band’s guitar duo keeps firing sheer obscurity from their axes, sounding furious, insane and evil just the way we like it. SXIII adds his share of heaviness to the music through his bass lines in The True Belief, leaning towards Melodic Black Metal while Samca keeps vociferating manically, being therefore perfect for some vicious headbanging, whereas back to a more infernal mode the band will demolish our souls with The Golden Calf, once again showcasing a superb guitar job and demonic blast beats, not to mention its welcome breaks and variations. And not a single second of peace is offered to us all in Monologue, another straightforward, Stygian Black Metal extravaganza showcasing the usual demolishing drums by the infuriated J.

The intro in The Eve is certainly spine-chilling, and that sulfurous, demonic vibe grows in intensity before exploding into old school Black Metal with hints of Death Metal. Needless to say, Samca sounds utterly grim on vocals, whereas Into Oblivion is another very harmonious and piercing creation by Thron venturing through the realms of modern-day Melodic Black Metal where all riffs and solos are absolutely incendiary. More of their razor-edged riffs will penetrate deep inside our psyche in The Tyranny Of I, with J dictating the song’s venomous pace with his intricate but also violent beats; followed by Face Of Despair, darker and more demonic than its predecessors thanks to its hints of Doom Metal while remaining loyal to the band’s core essence, presenting another superb vocal performance by Samca and overflowing desperation, hatred and sulfur. Their second to last breath of blasphemy comes in the form of The Wrong God, with PVIII and Raven Dust cutting our skin deep with another flawless riff attack, while lastly the band still has time to fulminate our senses with Martyr, where J is bestial behind his drums supported by the rumbling bass by SXIII throughout the song’s almost seven minutes of pure Black Metal awesomeness.

In summary, Thron more than nailed it with the apocalyptic Dust, delivering a collection of eleven Black Metal anthems that will undoubtedly place it among the best Black Metal albums of the year. Furthermore, such sensational blast of extreme music made in Germany can be appreciated in all of its obscure glory on YouTube and on Spotify, and if you consider yourself a true servant of the underworld you should definitely purchase a copy of it from the Listenable Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, or by clicking HERE. Don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on, keeping the fires of Black Metal burning bright until the very end. Because you know, as the band itself stated, everything will turn to dust someday.

Best moments of the album: Return…, The Golden Calf, The Eve and The Tyranny Of I.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Listenable Records

Track listing
1. Dying In The Mud 5:08
2. Return… 4:52
3. The True Belief 4:06
4. The Golden Calf 6:13
5. Monologue 3:31
6. The Eve 5:52
7. Into Oblivion 3:58
8. The Tyranny Of I 5:42
9. Face Of Despair 4:20
10. The Wrong God 4:48
11. Martyr 6:55

Band members
Samca – vocals
PVIII – guitars
Raven Dust – guitars
SXIII – bass
J – drums

Album Review – Bròn / Pred Dverima Noći (2020)

Embark on an atmospheric voyage to the mysterious and untamed nature of Serbia’s wilderness adorned with enthralling, majestic soundscapes and endless streams of melodies and harmonies.

Through the cosmic mists it descends upon us, Pred Dverima Noći, the new (and fifth) full-length album by Atmospheric Black Metal/Ambient act Bròn. Formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2014 as a sonic chronicle of the wanderings of New Zealander KG (from Barshasketh), but currently based in Belgrade, Serbia, Bròn (which by the way means “sorrow” in Gaelic Scottish) has already released a handful of ambient, down-tempo albums exploring life within a sprawling urban expanse since the project’s inception, but now with the addition of drummer GH (from A Forest Of Stars), Bròn has permanently left urbanity behind and has returned to the mysterious and untamed nature of Serbia’s wilderness in Pred Dverima Noći. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Sonorous Studio, and featuring a grim artwork by Khaos Diktator Design, Pred Dverima Noći is adorned with enthralling, majestic soundscapes and endless streams of melodies and harmonies, propelling the listener into the vast expanses beyond the conscious mind throughout its three sprawling tracks, all clocking in at over 15 minutes, being therefore recommended for lovers of the music by Limbonic Art, Evilfeast and Darkspace, among others.

The atmospheric keys by KG grow in intensity in the opening track Dverima Noći, darkening the skies and preparing our senses for an onrush of Stygian and captivating Black Metal spearheaded by KG’s devilish gnarls and the fulminating drums by GH in a 16-minute journey through the bitterly cold lands of extreme music, changing its shape and form as the music progresses while showcasing stunning keys intertwined with venomous riffs. If that wasn’t complex enough for you, Bròn offers us all Usnulu Zlobu Razbudi, which already begins in full force like an infernal tempest, filling our ears with scorching riffs, vicious blast beats and endless obscurity while once again presenting elements from classic Black Metal, Atmospheric Black Metal and even Symphonic Black Metal for our vulgar delectation. Moreover, KG sounds like a true beast with his hellish roars and riffage, supported by the talented GH and his unstoppable drums in this full-bodied, dense and very detailed aria. And the third song from such grandiose album, entitled Zastore Skrai, brings forward more of Bròn’s thrilling and epic fusion of heavy and austere sounds with the finesse of atmospheric music, also presenting elements from Blackened Doom and Depressive Black Metal to make things even more somber. In addition, GH pounds his drums slowly and steadily while KG keeps gnarling with tons of anguish and pain, flowing darkly and embracing our souls majestically until the very last second.

In the end, after the three songs (which offer an impressive combined running time of over 52 minutes of music) from Pred Dverima Noći are over, you’ll definitely feel trapped in the vastness of the Serbian uncharted lands forever and ever, going back to the start to savor every second of such imposing album of Atmospheric Black Metal again and again. Hence, don’t forget to follow KG and his cryptic Bròn on Facebook and to purchase your copy of Pred Dverima Noći from his own BandCamp page (or you can also click HERE or HERE and select your favorite version of the album), inspiring the wanderer KG to keep exploring the most desolate, uninhabited and serene regions of the world armed with his idiosyncratic music, bringing a paradox of peace and violence to our souls just like a feral creature trying to survive in the cold and dark nights out in the wilderness.

Best moments of the album: Usnulu Zlobu Razbudi.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Nordvis Produktion

Track listing
1. Dverima Noći 15:57
2. Usnulu Zlobu Razbudi 19:31
3. Zastore Skrai 16:56

Band members
KG – vocals, guitar, bass, keys
GH – drums

Album Review – Godless / Swarm EP (2018)

Committed to pure, unadulterated, lightning-fast, ear-shredding, thrash-influenced Death Metal, this promising Indian act is ready to kill with their crushing and groovy sophomore EP.

From their inauspicious origins in 2015 in the city of Hyderabad, the capital of southern India’s Telangana state, within a very exotic metal music scene, Death/Thrash Metal squad Godless slowly rose to the very top of the country’s Death Metal class thanks to their unapologetic commitment to pure, unadulterated, lightning-fast, ear-shredding, thrash-influenced Death Metal. Comprised of Kaushal LS on vocals, Ravi Nidamarthy on the guitars, Abbas Razvi on bass and Aniketh Yadav on drums, Godless had an amazing year in 2018, having won the Wacken Metal Battle India, having played at the iconic Wacken Open Air as the great prize of the competition won, and having released their sophomore EP, a thrashing and groovy beast entitled Swarm.

Featuring a dark and devilish artwork by Khaos Diktator Design, Swarm deals with controversial themes such as zombification, cosmic horror, reanimation of the dead, occultism and religion. “We actually started to work on the Swarm EP right after our debut EP Centuries of Decadence. We didn’t really have any direction in mind but wrote the song Infected by the Black. Things naturally took on a more aggressive, thrashier and faster direction, and we just continued the flow from there on for the rest of the EP,” commented the band about their new album, inviting us all to slam into the pit and roar together with them on their quest for extreme music.

The soothing sound of water blended with cryptic, otherworldly noises in the intro Exordium set the stage for Godless to decimate our senses in Infected By The Black, blasting a more demonic version of the already heavy-as-hell Trash Metal by their countrymen SystemHouse33, and with Kaushal barking and roaring like a beast in a true Death Metal style while Aniketh pounds his drums frantically and with tons of groove. Following such pulverizing start we have From Beyond, another brutal tune blending the most electrifying elements from Thrash, Death and Groove Metal where Ravi’s riffs sound as metallic and piercing as possible, accompanied by Abbas and his menacing bass punches.

Then growling deeper and deeper like a rabid creature, Kaushal leads his henchmen in the fulminating Deathcult, presenting a crisp and thunderous sonority thanks to the fantastic sync between Abbas and Aniketh, not to mention Ravi’s incendiary guitar lines. Put differently, this is old school Thrash Metal infused with the most carnivorous elements from Death Metal, for the absolute delight of fans of extreme music. And last but not least, with the help of guest guitarist Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager (Obscura, Despotic, NYN), the quartet unleashes hell upon humanity with the thrashing and infernal tune Empty Graves, where Kaushal goes full Death Metal on vocals while Aniketh sounds like an unstoppable stone crusher on drums, bringing total chaos in the form of music to end the EP on a high and visceral note.

All the devastation and groove brought forth by Godless can be better appreciated by following them on Facebook, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, by listening to more of their music on Spotify, and obviously by purchasing Swarm from their BandCamp page or webstore,  as well as from iTunes or Amazon. Because you know, whenever you feel the urge to slam into the circle pit and scream like a beast to the sound of crushing Death and Thrash Metal, you can count on this promising Indian act to provide you the perfect soundtrack to that.

Best moments of the album: Infected By The Black.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2018 Independent

Track listing
1. Exordium 0:51
2. Infected By The Black 3:33
3. From Beyond 3:44
4. Deathcult 3:24
5. Empty Graves (feat. Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager) 3:50

Band members
Kaushal LS – vocals
Ravi Nidamarthy – guitars
Abbas Razvi – bass
Aniketh Yadav – drums

Guest musician
Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlaeger – guitars on “Empty Graves”