With the current state of metal, Europe is dominated with black metal bands, but BLOOD RED THRONE tries extremely hard to take the “Norwegian” feel out of their music and inject some pure “U.S. death metal” influence in their albums. With their new full length album, Souls of Damnation, they have finally perfected that sound. Unfortunately for BLOOD RED THRONE, the actual U.S. death metal bands they are trying to emulate have already done this over 10-15 years ago.
“The Light, The Hate” starts off well with a catchy opening riff, but it quickly degenerates into a generic DEICIDE-like riff; all is not lost right away, as there are some good ideas reminiscent of the simpler, groovy riffs which DECAPITATED once wrote. A nice thing about Souls of Damnation, and something that all death metal albums should have, is audible bass in the mix, and bass lines that don’t just double the guitars the entire time. “Harme” still feels a bit European, and while nicely executed, the song, much like the album, does not stand out in any way. Souls of Damnation relies too much on a mid-paced, generic feel, rather than expand either the melodic or brutal parts the band is aiming for. The album trudges along slowly, and “Human Fraud” does not break the predictable mid-paced/groove formula.
“Demand” starts off plagiarizing CANNIBAL CORPSE’s “Make Them Suffer” note for note, and one may think that BLOOD RED THRONE is taking the CANNIBAL influence way too seriously. “Not Turgenjev, But Close” continues the CANNIBAL onslaught with full on “Cannibal blasts”, and the band pounds the old school U.S. death metal riffs into place. The final track, “Ten Steps To Purgatory,” seemingly takes a solo straight from DEICIDE’s debut album. Fortunately, it ends with some promising riffs and solos that they can (and should) capitalize on with the next album.
Although Souls of Damnation is not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, this style has been done to the point where there are too many bands that play this style…and with more emotion. There is still a lot of potential for this band, as the clear production and excellent bass playing show to be quite top notch, but with so many great releases coming out annually, one must prioritize which bands to choose from. (Earache Records)