Review Summary: Pure death metal with repetition as its only flaw, Altered Genesis is one of the defining modern death metal albums.
Blood Red Throne are a band that hasn't failed to deliver a solid death metal album once since their inception in 2000, and while they've not expanded their sound at all since then, the quality has been taking a steady increase from the get go - save for one exception, their defining album, Altered Genesis. While all of their albums are worth a listen, Altered Genesis is an essential listen for the modern death metal fan, and a good starting place for any death metal fan.
First of all, this album is pure death metal; no Swede-death pretensions, no awkward progressive sections or inappropriate melodies; just crushing tremolo picked riffs and vigorous attack. The guitars will brutally pummel you, using pretty much the genre's bare essentials, while the bass is handled excellently by Erlend Casperson, later of Spawn Of Possession
fame; his technicality shows through with some neat fills, and he's quite audible in the mix. The drums are your death metal standard, but are unquestionably tight and heavy as hell, and the vocals are even more guttural than the majority of death metal vocals. All in all, the prerequisite components are there for a brutal album.
And that's what is delivered. Straight from the "proper" opener, Incarnadine Mangler
, the album makes no attempt to divert from an unrelentingly heavy direction, more-so than one could reasonably expect. While occasionally diverting to catchier tracks like Tortured Soul Appearance
, an album highlight, the album spends the majority of its time on visceral tracks like Mephitication
and Ripsaw Resentment
, the latter also being a highlight due to its excellent bass licks. Sadly, that's where the album's main fault lies. Due to this rather singular focus, and also due to the album's intimidating length (by death metal standards) of 50 minutes, the album isn't so much dull as overwhelming and difficult to digest in its entirety. It's a shame given that the quality of tracks like State Of Darkness
and Altered Genesis - Creation And Sudden Demise
is so great that they have to be swamped by other ones that makes them seem more repetitive than they should.
Conversely, if you like what you find from the first few tracks, you certainly won't find the rest of the album lacking. As such, it's pretty hard to find much else wrong with the album. It does it's job phenomenally well, and while not innovative in any sense, it's hard to find albums that deliver pure, visceral death metal as effectively as this.