Blood Red Throne: Nonagon

Blood Red Throne

Soulseller Records
Released: 1/26/2024

I was saying this previously to a friend, but 2024 is shaping up to be a fine year year in metal. Already, we had the release of the new Master record and now we get new music from Blood Red Throne. What's not to like about the onslaught of early January, despite the frigid temperatures here in Canada. At least you can stow away at home and blast this sucker of a release until your ears are either blitzed or bleeding profusely. Take your pick.

This is the band's eleventh studio recording and boy does it ever brutalize your soul. The album is entitled Nonagon and it's a curious title for a death metal record because it's meaning indicates a plane figure with 9 straight sides and 9 angles. Funny to me, but when you make a cursory glance at the tracks listed there are nine in total. It's probably just a coincidence, but it's a banger of a record regardless of how many songs are on it. Every number exudes killer riffs; while basking in the glory of the brutality and I have to hand it to these Norwegians for the effort.

Blood Red Throne started out in 1998; originated in Norway and released their debut album in 2001. Two of their members (Dod and Tchort) played in Satyricon (a black metal band) previously, but decided to form their own band in honour of playing death metal. I know this history lesson is brief, but it's enough to give you a taste on what this band is about. Besides, I'd much rather talk about the songs, so let's get right down to it.

Firstly, singer Yngve Christiansen is out and replaced here by Sindre Wathne Johnsen from melodic death metal band Deception. He brings in a fresh set of brutal pipes and is playing bass on the live set in lieu of the recent health issues with Stian Gundersen (dealing with a recent leukemia diagnosis in October 2023). Now with that out of the way, "Epitaph Inscribed" starts up first and hammers down hard. The drive is relentless and you get those brutal Dying Fetus vibes right away, so I'm stoked right off the bat. I like the ominous tone of the guitars at the start of "Ode to the Obsence" before it breaks into a relentless pace and accentuated by Johnsen's guttural roars dominating the entirety of the song. This is probably my favourite track so far.

Johnsen's roar continues to be a big theme here and I love how he controls the pacing of "Seeking to Pierce". The riffs are meaty in every sense of the word and it's guaranteed to get bodies slamming in the pit. This is definitely another standout track for me and it gives way to an absolute beast of a track in "Tempest Sculptor". There's a spiralling riff that stands out and it's wrapped around a brutal raucous of guitars and vocals. The tone doesn't let up and it's never boring in any part of the composition. Then the pace strikes violently with "Every Silent Plea" until the breakdown midway through and proceeds into a steady chug. You can't go wrong with this track.

The title track "Nonagon" is a steady banger and is the second longest track on the record. Johnsen's vocals tend to fall into a similar pattern of cookie monster growls and tortured screeching. I also detect a bit of a groove creeping in here, so it's something different. I do love the relentless pace of "Split Tongue Sermon", but it follows the similar pattern of grinding brutality and fast paced guitars. The main riff exhibits a blistering tone overall and is the best moment on this track. I really dig the soaring guitars and overall nastiness of "Blade Eulogy, but yet again the riffing is a real treat to my ears. This then brings us to the final track and longest on the album. It's called "Fleshrend" and it comes in just a bit shy of the seven minute mark, but it sways and moans along, crushing it at every turn. It's a bit bluesy and groovy in parts, but there's no mistaking the killer chug coursing through. It's the best way to end off a rip-roaring affair.

I really enjoyed this album immensely. Blood Red Throne have been around for over twenty years and they still find ways to keep the music fresh and brutal. The new vocalist brings in a different dynamic and still fits right in like a well worn glove. The music isn't inventing anything you haven't already heard before, but you won't go wrong here at the same time. I love the intensity and killer attitude they bring to every song, so this is a big recommendation for fans who enjoy bands like Dying Fetus and Aborted and want brutality in heaping amounts. Give Blood Red Throne a try.

Best Songs: Ode to the Obscene, Tempest Sculptor, Blade Eulogy and Fleshrend

I'm giving this a solid 9 out of 10 skulls.

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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More band info here:

Blood Red Throne are a Norwegian death metal band. They were formed in Kristiansand, Norway, in 1998 by former Satyricon guitarist Daniel "Død" Olaisen and Emperor bassist Terje "Tchort" Schei. – Wikipedia