Released: 2002, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
When I first heard Throne of Chaos’ debut, MENACE AND PRAYER in 2000, I found them to be a pretty damn good imitation of Children of Bodom. At that point, it was hard to mention Throne of Chaos without mentioning their fellow Finns, and “big brother,” so to speak, CoB. Now, Throne of Chaos has grown up to develop their own sound, and I find myself wishing for the “CoB’s Little Brother” days. PERVERTIGO is quite the eclectic album taking the band’s former style of melodic blackened thrash-death-power metal into a new direction, not unlike Soilwork’s A PREDATOR’S PORTRAIT or NATURAL BORN CHAOS.
One one hand, we have straight up thrash-death metal on tracks such as the leadoff, “Johnny B. Dead,” “The System,” and “Sleep,” which include clean vocals, provided by Niklas Isfeldt (vocalist for Dream Evil) on the choruses while Pasi Nykänen handles the lead growls. On these songs, we have the straight-ahead raging metal of a good Soilwork track. “Johnny B. Dead” features some absolutely killer lead-riff combinations by Taneli Kiljunen and Joiku Harmaja , though I find the clean chorus to be quite out of place. “Sleep” is also a very good track in the same style; I really dig the acoustic breakdown halfway through. We also have the melodic power metal approach on songs such as “Fistfucked and Alienated,” “Truth and Tragedy,” and the album’s title track. Here, the keys come into full play in CoB fashion, though the overall sound is more typical clean power metal. The biggest surprise, however, comes from the almost completely prog-styled “No Nothing” and “Game.” The prog elements and structuring are incorporated in most of the tracks, so the band is on the right track here.
In the end, it is this mangling and mixing of styles that hurts Throne of Chaos on this album. Taken on a track by track basis, the majority of the songs are quite good (with the exception of the awful slow and plodding “Reason to Be”), but the album as a whole seems like it was just thrown together in a jumble. In short, it gives the impression of a band that is lacking in focus. All the fixings are here for a great album. We have slick guitar work, plenty of speed, a good sense of melody, and the right amount of pounding aggression. After taking a two year hiatus (due to the requirement of all Finns to serve in the national army), Throne of Chaos is ready to regain their momentum and redefine their style. The drive and musicianship has been laid down, and with a better developed talent for writing purposeful, tight songs, the next Throne of Chaos release can be quite an album.
Choice cuts: “Johnny B. Dead,” “No Nothing,” “Sleep”