It has been thirty years since the inception of Dutch extreme metal band GOD DETHRONED and what better way to celebrate than to release a crushing new studio album in the form of Illuminati which comes out February 7 via Metal Blade Records. This 36-minute genre-blending masterpiece of an album kicks off with title track “Illuminati,” a notably diverse tune that has a slow start until it kicks into gear around the 49 second mark. That’s when the vocals of rhythm guitarist/lead vocalist Henri Sattler kick in. This one in particular feels like a mix of thrash and black metal with slightly harsh, yet fairly decipherable vocals which allows things to be more sonically pleasing to some listeners.
The band switches genres and lyrical concepts over the course of the next few songs, leaning towards a more straight black metal approach with their not so subtle anti-Christian lyrics and titles such as “Broken Halo”, “Book of Lies”, “Spirit of Beelzebub” and “Satan Spawn.” The latter two are fast-paced tracks that show off the skills and diversity of drummer Michiel van der Plicht and powerful lead work from guitarist Dave Meester. “Gabriel” serves as the last of the satanic-themed songs yet has a slower pacing and more prominent bass that allows it to stand out from the other songs. Mix that with the slower, clearer vocals of Henri Sattler and the song really feels like a breather.
“Eye of Horus” finally breaks the trend of satanic-themed lyrics and imagery. There’s a nice guitar and drum intro plus the addition of chanting in a foreign language for roughly 80 seconds before the song fully kicks in, giving it some added flair. Once that happens it keeps such a steady pace that lasts until the chants from come back into the mix while Meester shows off more of his impressive lead work to bring the song to a close.
The album ends with a short interlude “Dominus Muscarum” which smoothly fades out into final track “Blood Moon Eclipse”, a fast-paced rager of a song and also the longest on the disc, coming in at just over six minutes in length. While the number itself is dark themed it isn’t quite as bold as other tracks and yet it still serves as a great way to end the record itself. Overall IlluminatI is a great combination of multiple genres while still being heavy as hell and overly dark where need be. If this record is any indication GOD DETHRONED will remain a force to reckon with for years to come.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Illuminati”, “Gabriel”, “Eye Of Horus”, Blood Moon Eclipse”
-BRIAN “TORCH” IDELL