Released: 2007, Earache Records
I wasn't aware Norway was now part of the state of Florida. Or maybe it's really not, but as far as the members of Blood Red Throne are concerned, oldschool Floridian death metal can be done just as well - if not better - by Norwegians. On COME DEATH, their fourth full-length release and second for Earache records, the death metal monsters are bringing to bear a new vocalist, a new drummer, and a whole new level of raw aggression. Tighter, heavier, and sounding more organic and less trigger-dominated than previous releases from the group, the album delivers brutality by the truckload while still managing to remain surprisingly catchy.
Recorded at Dub Studios in Norway, COME DEATH has a monstrously heavy sound with a strong and clear bass presence - all the better for Deeds of Flesh / Vile / Incinerate bassist Erland Caspersen's superb bass lines and fills, many of which sound reminiscent of the early days of Monstrosity. Actually, Monstrosity isn't a bad comparative reference, as new vocalist Osvald Egeland (from Norway's Trioxin) sounds a great deal like George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher both in tone and style of delivery. New drummer Anders Haave (from industrial metal group Ground Zero System) hammers, pounds, barrel-rolls, and blasts his way through the album with explosive energy to spare while the seemingly indefatigable Tchort (Green Carnation, Carpathian Forest, ex-Emperor, ex-Satyricon) and Daniel "Død" Olaisen (also from Trioxin) deliver viciously heavy and punishing riffs in a style blending elements of Cannibal Corpse and Deicide while injecting a hearty dose of Swedish-style death into the mixture. I'm a sucker for a solid headbanger of a riff and the crushing breakdown in the middle of personal favorite "Deranged Assassin" nearly dislodged a few vertebrae in my neck. "No New Beginning" is another high point, blending slow and brutal segments with wild thrash grooves and razor-sharp gallops, while "Gutteral Screams" unleashes a full-speed ahead late-90's Cannibal Corpse-like face-melting assault and "Taste Of God" alternates between steamrolling speedy rhythms and a fist-pumping, horn-throwing deathgroove similar to the type fellow Norwegians Grimfist are well-known for churning out. Apparently not satisfied with just American and Swedish death influences, Blood Red Throne even dips into the Canadian blood-tainted wellspring a bit, delivering a superbly-performed cover version of an old Gorguts tune, "Disincarnated" (from the CONSIDERED DEAD album). Clocking in at just over forty-two and a half minutes, COME DEATH never wears out its welcome, and really the only major complaint I have is the almost complete lack of guitar leads - not that the music absolutely needs them to be effective, but I found their absence a bit of a disappointment.
Call them a supergroup, call them a side project, call them a retro band, call them whatever you want - it doesn't change the fact Blood Red Throne is a top-quality outfit or the fact COME DEATH is their best album to date. Brutal death metal the way it was meant to be played - what else needs to be said?