God Dethroned’s last album Under the Sign of the Iron Cross came out seven years ago now. That is a long time in anyone’s book, but in the musical world no matter how great you are, that is enough time to be forgotten when everyone wants the next big thing in an instant.
Good thing this band is hard to forget if you are lucky enough to know who they are, starting out as a very blackened beast in the early 90s before settling into a sound that was best described as melodic death metal. Until, that is, the band’s journey into what has become their opus to human suffering, a well thought out World War I trilogy completed by the release of this album, where they come full circle to their black/death musical roots.
This begins with a quiet theatrical intro track ‘A Call To Arms’ with its eerie battlefield pre-attack feel and lush guitar solo, before hitting full pace with ‘Annihilation Crusade’. From here the album becomes the shining light of the trilogy preceded by Passiondale and the aforementioned Under the Sign of the Iron Cross. In parts heavier and more frantic like the opening salvo of tracks, while also being more melodic as particularly exemplified by ‘Close to Victory’ with its fast but memorable riff and the mid section guitar that can only be described as wonderful.
Then there is the almost doom ‘Escape Across the Ice (The White Army)’ or the short guitar intermission of ‘Konigsberg’ that gives you just enough time to catch your breath after the pummelling first half of the album, all rounded out by the powerful ‘The 11th Hour’ where all the best musical parts come together bringing the opus to a fitting close.
This is a great introduction to a great band, a band that in my opinion have never released a faulty album and have always deserved a bit more attention than they have received. If you have never heard or heard of them, now is as good a time as any. What are you waiting for?
1. A Call to Arms
2. Annihilation Crusade
3. The World Ablaze
4. On the Wrong Side of the Wire
5. Close to Victory
7. Escape Across the Ice (The White Army)
8. Breathing Through Blood
9. Messina Ridge
10. The 11th Hour