I often complain to my close friends that I'm tired of death metal. I often wish I could go back to the life of a high school Matt Bacon where death metal still impressed me the way it did then. Where all that was heavy and fast was deemed acceptable and Slayer was easy listening. The truth is that I got bored with that kind of stuff. Yet every once in awhile a record comes along that summons back up that internal fifteen year old, it's the record that have riffs that are the sickest of the sick and gargled death growls that count among the vilest of the vile. In other words, I find records that take me back to days of yore and drown me under a strangely comforting death metal onslaught. Such is the case with Blood Red Throne and their latest offering, the almighty, the demented, Union Of Flesh And Machine, a death metal record for the ages if there ever was one.
The thing is, Blood Red Throne deliver everything you want to hear from a good death metal record on Union Of Flesh And Machine. While many of their peers might try to get a little experimental and expand on what death metal can be, Blood Red Throne focus down on their songwriting and go for the throat. There is nothing outwardly surprising about what this band do, other than how goddamn GOOD they are. The riffs are all perfectly executed and sound absolutely monstrous. The devastating assault on these songs is delicious, and throughout the record you find yourself skipping back to listen to a riff again because "holy shit you guys". I mean yes, there are occasionally moments that feel a little silly and over the top (I mean – just listen to the intro of "Patriotic Hatred" or simply contemplate the album art!) but at the same time you have moments like the intro to "Martyrized" which I maintain is the sickest death metal intro since Fisthammer's "Evoking The Wrath Of The Revenants". What I'm trying to say is that in a world of boring death metal, Blood Red Throne fucking rip.
There is a certain fundamental chaos to death metal that Blood Red Throne understand perfectly. Everything about Union Of Flesh And Machine seems perfectly calibrated to make it one of the best death metal records of the year. I'm not even a Blood Red Throne fan. I just went into this record thinking "Candlelight generally have good taste" and here I am going absolutely gaga! This is an album that has it all, punishing grooves, brutal riffs, and growls that range all over the spectrum. These guys speak to the soul and bring us back, time and time again to a band who have the ability to make us suffer. Blood Red Throne are twenty first century death metal titans and diving in with them to suffer under a storm of swords is far too much fun. It's rare that I find myself willingly circling back to the same death metal record time and time again, but Blood Red Throne has me certain that this record will be in regular rotation for years to come.