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Album Review: Blood Red Throne – Union of Flesh and Machine

With their latest album out this Friday, Blood Red Throne solidifies themselves as heavyweight champions of the Norwegian death metal scene. Founded in 1998 by Død (guitars) and Tchort—who both played with black metal band, Satyricon—Blood Red Throne have demonstrated their commitment to the genre across 18 years, eight albums, and several lineup changes.

Aptly titled Union of Flesh and Machine, Freddy Bolsø shines as the sheer tenacity with which he plays the drums lends an almost inhuman speed to the quintet’s work. That is not to say that Bolsø is the only star throughout the album’s 11 tracks. Rather, it is difficult to pinpoint any flaws in terms of each band member’s musicianship.

Bolt’s vocals alternate between two extremes, as he unleashes booming growls and high-pitched shrieks—lending a hint of black metal to the sound—from one moment to the next. Meanwhile, the bass and guitar are hard at work building one atmosphere and then another, setting the listener up for a brutal meltdown before kicking into groove riffs that are impossible not to sway along with.

All of these qualities are part of the first track, “Revocation of Humankind,” which immediately bursts into a merciless and adrenaline-fueled tempo punctuated by the changing pace of the other instruments. By the time Bolt begins his shrill screeches of “Die!” the listener is screaming along. Then the grooves begin and in a moment, the mood shifts. Other standouts include “Patriotic Hatred,” “Union of Flesh and Machine,” and “Exposed Mutation.”

Union of Flesh and Machine is aggressive and unrelenting, and exactly what one would expect from a band that numbered “suicide kits”—limited edition packages of their first album—using band members’ blood as ink. It is a prime example of what death metal should be and as such, an utterly satisfying treat.

Want to know more about Blood Red Throne? Check them out on Facebook or via Candlelight Records’ or Spinefarm Records‘ webpages.

Død – Guitar
Ivan Meathook – Guitar
Ole Bent Madsen – Bass
Bolt – Vocals
Freddy Bolsø – Drums

Track List:
1. Revocation of Humankind
2. Proselyte Virus
3. Patriotic Hatred
4. Homicidal Ecstasy
5. Martyrized
6. Union of Flesh and Machine
7. Legacy of Greed
8. Exposed Mutilation
9. Primal Recoil
10. Leather Rebel
11. Mary Whispers of Death


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