It's one thing for a guy like Tchort (ex-EMPEROR, GREEN CARNATION, CARPATHIAN FOREST) to be involved in so many different extreme music projects, it's quite another for every one of them to be quality acts. Such is the case with the man's rabid American-style (read: Floridian) death metal band, BLOOD RED THRONE. "Affiliated with the Suffering" was the group's plunge into the DM deep end, taking an established style, playing it extremely well, and coming out the other end (interpret that any way you wish) bloodied and battered (and I mean really bloodied)."Altered Genesis" isn't any kind of a level jump, but it is a better album than "Affiliated with the Suffering", itself a solid release; the grooves are meatier, the jagged riffing more interesting, and the arrangements more varied. The drumming is brutally percussive, loading up on plenty of well-placed blast beats and crackling fills, the tight production giving the sound an extra kick in the ass. Erlend Caspersen's bass lines are actually audible, and he even throws a few twists into the arrangements. Mr. Hustler's mid-register growls are either relatively unique or somewhat one-dimensional in a grating sort of way, depending on your point of view. Aside from the few moments where he puts a little more character into the style (as is the case with the vitriol spewed forth on "Arterial Lust"), I'm lukewarm about his chops in the same way that I find Stan Blonck's (HOUWITSER…R.I.P.) vocals irksome. But I'm just splitting hairs at this point; we're not talking major issue here. The bottom line is that if you're a fan of this style of death metal, you'll want to pick up "Altered Genesis", as it's easily a better-than-average release. Eleven tracks (plus one intro) of traditional death metal can get boring, even for the diehards, but BLOOD RED THRONE keeps things moving along, certainly not becoming NILE at any point, but offering up a putrid buffet of raw meats to chew on.
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