Thursday, March 29, 2012

Enthroned - Obsidium

Enthroned are a Belgian black metal group who have been around since the 90s. This is their 9th full-length release.

Enthroned have produced a steady stream of material since their 1995 debut, and in that time they have remained reasonably consistent. This is good, hostile black metal. It doesn't have the thin, low-fi sound of a second wave Norwegian group, instead having a fuller, more solid production. It's certainly not over-polished by any means, but it doesn't sound like it was recorded on an old tape deck sitting in the middle of the room, either. The guitar riffs are solid black metal fare, clinging together in a cold, distorted string. They aren't all reed-thin tremolo picked, but they maintain the typical aesthetic. The bass is, as usual, not a real factor. The drumming is good, though not an all-out assault.

Vocally, Enthroned have come down somewhat from the high hoarse sound on their earlier albums into a slightly meatier tone. As with other aspects of this album's sound, the new variety lose a little cold harshness but gain a heavy, faintly death metal edge. They change up in the album's more melodic passages. These are conducted in something like a Viking metal style, with background chanting accompanying the slower riffs.

I don't have anything especially negative to say about Obsidium. It was a good product released by an experienced band who knew what they were doing and did it well. It didn't have that "it factor" that just really grabs the listener, but it had no real holes to speak of either.

Grade: B+
It won't change your life, but this is a very good black metal record.

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