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Enthroned
Sovereigns
April 2014
Released: 2014, Agonia Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos

Enthroned is one of the most respected pure and real black metal acts out there. After 20+ years they are active and dashing. They could bear easily the title of black metal sovereigns. For the moment they unleash their 10th black-hearted album, SOVEREIGNS, which is full of aggressive no-frills straightforward black metal backed by dying growls straight out of the deep black depths of Hell.



They have never conformed to trends. And they are proud of it. I am proud of them too. They didn’t undertake to create a symphonic black mess like other (of course there are very good symphonic black albums), but they are not in that musical direction or intention. SOVEREIGNS is an album that can compared to other black metal milestone albums like Mayhem’s DE MYSTERIIS DOM SATHANAS, Darkthrone’s A BLAZE IN THE NORTHERN SKY, Emperor’s ANTHEMS TO THE WELKIN AT DUSK or Marduk’s OPUS NOCTURNE.



If you didn’t know that SOVEREIGNS is an album of 2014, you could easily put it in 1993. This is the seventh band (alongside with Immortal, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Emperor, Darkthrone and Burzum) that complete the absolute Norwegian second wave of black metal (Enthroned are from Belgium, but their musicianship is still Norwegian).



SOVEREIGNS album contains evil guitars, up-tempo tracks (like ‘The Edge of Agony’, ‘Baal al-Maut’) and high-grade epic mid-tempo diamonds like ‘Lamp of Invisible Lights’. Quorthon would have been proud of those tracks and would envy them. This album is a great piece of pure old school black metal without any fancy crap or cosmopolitan features or symphonic elements. It’s just a black metal album.

SOVEREIGNS is a strafing run of burly, hammering riffs, a high-energy drum attack, and howling/shrieking vocals that will stand your hair on end. And, it has a powerhouse epic element that will keep you coming back for more. This is top-shelf black metal from a band worth watching closely.
Track Listing

1. Anteloquium
2. Sine Qua Non
3. Of Feathers and Flames
4. Lamp of Invisible Lights
5. Of Shrines and Sovereigns
6. The Edge of Agony
7. Divine Coagulation
8. Baal al-Maut
9. Nerxiarxin Mahathallah

Lineup

Nornagest - Vocals, Guitar
Neraath - Guitar
ZarZax - Guitar
Phorgath - Bass
Menthor - Drums


Next review: » Enthroned - Sovereigns
Previous review: » Enthroned - Pentagrammaton

Enthroned
Sovereigns
May 2014
Released: 2014, Agonia Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Having been on the road for 21 long years and leading their native Belgium in the international black metal scene, Enthroned have returned with their tenth studio album. An album that shines out for its back-to-roots sound, emulating the classic blasts of Mayhem in their ‘De Mysteriis’ days.



SOVEREIGNS features new drummer Menthor, who sounds very much like Hellhammer on more than one track. The militant drums opening ‘Anteloquium’ set the scene for a spine chilling thrill ride. The album then takes a turn for the best on Sine Qua Non with its wall of sound. Plus, there are moments of ambience on ‘Of Feathers and Flames’ and howling winds on ‘Lamp of Invisible Light’ which made me wonder if these guys have been listening to a lot of DSBM or Dark Ambient lately.



SOVEREIGNS borders on the ambient and atmospheric in its first half but does not step over the boundaries to be classified as an experimental release.



Vocalist Nornagest expels raw guttural vocals that go from slow screams of inner pain to rants about occult worship on ‘Divine Coagulation’. Most of the sound on this release is minimal and remains true to the origins of European black metal. I was reminded of Celestial Bloodshed and Tsjuder more than once. All in all, this is an excellent showcase of a brand new line up, showing how a veteran band can still deliver bone crunching anger after two decades of touring.



If this is the first time you’ve heard of Enthroned, SOVEREIGNS will be one damn good welcoming present. Belgian black metal at its most putrid.



Review by Demitri Levantis
Track Listing

1.Anteloquium
2.Sine Qua Non
3.Of Feathers and Flames
4.Lamp of Invisible Light
5.Of Shrines and Sovereigns
6.The Edge of Agony
7.Divine Coagulation
8.Baal al-Maut
9.Nerxiarxin Mahathallah

Lineup

Nornagest – Guitars/Vocals
Neraath – Guitars
Phorgath – Bass
Menthor – Drums
ZarZax – Guitars


Next review: » Enthrope - Silenced Earth
Previous review: » Enthroned - Pentagrammaton





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