Review Summary: Throne of Reign is simply the next chapter of the same story for the band.
At this point in time, it would be foolhardy for any Pathology fan to expect a huge deviation in style. Deep, gurgling vocals are matched up against inhuman drumming and lightning fast solos, and Throne of Reign
is simply the next chapter of the same story for the band. That's obviously a good or bad thing, depending on what you are expecting. Fans of brutal death metal in general will find much to enjoy here, as this is one of Pathology's strongest offerings to date. The album is filled to the brim with absolutely gargantuan riffs and earth-shattering grooves, and the brevity here is one of the saving graces of Throne of Reign
. The terrifying trio of Matti Way, Dave Astor, and Tim Tiszczenko certainly know how to play to their strengths after seven albums, fine-tuning a formula that won't get much better than what is on display here. The frantic solo that rips out from under the acrobatic riffing in first track "Above Atmosphere" in less than two minutes sets the expectations early on, and the destruction never lets up from there.
Even with the strong musicianship present throughout Throne of Reign
, the whole affair begins to muddle together around halfway through, becoming a chore for the listener. The blistering pace does not relent until "Relics Past" hits, providing a stop-start heaviness that morphs into the most varied songwriting on the album. The virtuosity displayed on the solo halfway through the song helps to give the track a more defined feel, and it would have done Pathology well to create more in this vein to break up the one dimensional attack. This ends up being a minor qualm instead of the huge problem it would be for a death metal band not as well-seasoned as this one, if only because Pathology know how to not overstay their welcome for the listener. The 35-minute runtime allows for a few tracks to stand out ("Bavarian Illuminati", "Above Atmosphere") and for the album to end without the fans struggling through the inevitable monotony. It seems as though the band has perfected their craft and have no intention of branching out; whether that is a positive or negative is entirely up how much you enjoy brutal death metal.