Armoured Bestial Hell
It's been quite a long time since I last heard a release by Belgium's ENTHRONED. Well, to be even more precise, I already lost track with them after their Evil Omen Records debut "Prophecies Of Pagan Fire"... Two more albums, some line-up changes and a shitload of liveshows followed until they finally went back into to the studio last year to record "Armoured Bestial Hell", which has now been unleashed upon the Black Metal hungry masses. It's cool to find out that they are still going strong, delivering their furious Black Metal in the same traditional way as always. And because of the fact that many bands of this genre either wimped out or progressed (?!) into other musical territories, this hateful release sounds extremely refreshing to me, without coming up with anything new. This is just very well composed, executed and produced, blasphemous Black Metal with strong vocals and lots of aggression. Only the rather stupid artwork (a drawn scenario of a tank on a battlefield) doesn't appeal to me at all as I totally disgust those kind of covers on Black Metal records (there's nothing Satanic, blasphemous or evil about a tank, so where's the point in using things like that in this genre...). Apart from that, a very basic, solid and most important of all quite convincing album!
Armoured Bestial Hell
This album should be labeled with a warning sticker: attention, this CD is empty, it contains nothing. This is what the music of ENTHRONED is nowadays, empty, lifeless and soulless. It should not be a secret that good songwriting makes an album special. Pounding drums and some shrieky vocals (which in case of the first song sound really ridiculous) are not enough to deliver a good record. In the past ENTHRONED used to come up with great albums ("Prophecies Of Pagan Fire" and "Towards The Skullthrone Of Satan"), which were filled with a dark, sinister and obscure atmosphere and likely emotions, the result of intense and tight songs. On the new album there is nothing left of this, the music just passes by without being that exiting. I totally miss the dark atmosphere and the special songwriting skills that causes deep emotional feelings. And both are from my point of view essential ingredients of a Black Metal record. So "Armoured Bestial Hell" is just another superficial product to me. Unfortunately!!!
- ENTHRONED - Obsidium - by Luxi Lahtinen