Norway's BLOOD RED THRONE has always done a fine job of playing a decidedly American (Floridian in particular) style of death metal, but stopped just short of breaking into the upper echelon of the genre. Consider "Come Death" the breakthrough for which we've been waiting. Tchort (ex-EMPEROR, GREEN CARNATION, CARPATHIAN FOREST) and company took their time and did it right. In so praising the album, I am not saying that it raises the death metal bar, only that is a damn strong release that fans will thoroughly enjoy.What makes "Come Death" so appealing is the obvious care taken to write impacting riffs that range from sickening crunch to staccato blasts, not unlike what is heard from SUFFOCATION. Speaking of the New Yorkers, on "Come Death", BLOOD RED THRONE has mastered the art of the seamless changeup. Switching from up-tempo bashing, stopping on a dime, launching into monster a breakdown, and ending with a section of airy guitars and an ominous, throaty vocal line is what makes a track like "Guttural Screams" so effective. There is plenty more where that came from too, as evidenced by the perfectly executed tempo changes and riff switches on "Taste of God" and "No New Beginning". Erlend Caspersen offers some of the best bass playing I've heard on a death metal album this year too. Not only is the bass audible, but he is doing a hell of a lot more than simply holding down the rhythm lines; there are some seriously cool bass parts on this baby. Credit Valle Adzic's mix for bringing out the organic sound and clear instrument separation. "Come Death" also succeeds by incorporating a pinch more melody, most notably on "Slaying the Lamb". Vocalist Vald enhances the effort by making these tunes groovier and relatively more accessible, as his commanding patterns and more intelligible growls, interrupted in just the right places with blood curdling screams, demonstrate. The influences here are obvious, and BLOOD RED THRONE makes no bones about it, even going so far as to offer an extra chunky rendition of GORGUTS' "Disincarnated". The key is to take those influences and incorporate them into a style that does not equate to lazy imitation. On "Come Death", BLOOD RED THRONE gets the job done admirably. The rules have not been broken on this one; the guys just know how to write a good death metal album.
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