Review Summary: Jucifer finally recreate the sonic devastation of their live experience. A hellish look at human nature for the stoned and doomed.
Finally Jucifer captures the malevolent energy of their live show. The two piece band has probably confused or offended some people expecting to hear the eclectic tracks on previous albums that ranged from grunge to folk and doom. Their live show is usually a harsh display of doom, drone and sludge. Everything else is stripped away and that is exactly how Jucifer decided to record “Throned in Blood”. As with their last album, there is a concept behind all of the songs. They cover different conflicts and atrocities committed by humanity throughout history. The holocaust (Work Will Make Us Free), atom bomb (Hiroshima) and the exploitation of Native Americans (Return of the Native) are some of the more blatant subjects in the album. Vocalist/guitarist Miss Valentine sums up the album’s themes perfectly in this quote from an interview with Noisecreep: "So much of human existence is war -- war with the self, war with fate and war with others. I think our music is always about war in one or all of those veins. 'Throned in Blood' is specifically about the failure inherent in victory and the way that atrocities are 'excused' by a so-called noble result. And yeah, that's part of our current war -- and also part of all other wars."
War is exactly what you find on the opening track as Amber bellows “To wear the blood! Of Elder sons!” and the rough distorted riffs begin to fire off. The production is definitely on the lower end of the spectrum which might bother some people but then again, this a doom album. The vicious assault of the first minute or two gives way to a thick, slow riff with melancholic, howling vocals before collapsing back into the fires of battle. “Contempt” is keeps things pretty sludge but throws around some thrashy riffs and drumming at parts too. “Work Will Make Us Free” slowly comes into focus, bringing everything into horrifying reality with it’s spiraling guitar intro. The vocals on the album are very messy but I don’t find that to be completely negative. A few parts seem a bit “off” to me but this is part of the live experience. “Return of the Negative” surges forward with a great black metal riff before wallowing back into the sludge. Invoking Geronimo’s name never sounded more evil.
The vocal melody over the thick guitar on “Disciples of the Expanding Sun” is a beautiful and eerie prelude to the apocalyptic madness of “Hiroshima”. The distortion here is great and it’s easy to imagine the horror it could cause the non-elite at a show. After the carnage of “Rifles”, “Good Provider” (59 seconds of brick heavy grind) and 7 minute mammoth “Spoils to the Conqueror” there is unexpected peace on the final track. “Armageddon” is a mesmerizing banjo tune sung to a lover as both face certain death. It’s a stunning, bleak yet uplifting end to a crushing album. If sonic destruction is what you are looking for, get “Throned in Blood”.