God Dethroned have made a name for themselves over the years as one of the Netherlands prime death metal exports, sitting somewhere on the spectrum between Amon Amarth and Asphyx. Now on their third incarnation the band is coming at us with their first release in seven years, promising for a bold new future from a group who always understood the fundamental spirit of death metal and have no trouble borrowing from a wide variety of heavy music subgenres in order to achieve the greatness that is The World Ablaze.
The bands obsession with war, alongside there tendencies for doom-death helps to make this latest offering strangely mesmerizing. The songwriting is, as usual, top notch and the sense of beauty in nihilism and hope beyond the darkness of the battlefield is strangely inspiring. The pummelling assault of this album along with the devastating growls of Henri Sattler show us a band who are more pissed off with the world than ever before, they see us facing dark times and their music reflects that. There is a sort of inherent bitterness here that helps to make The World Ablaze an endlessly addictive listen.
When it comes down to it, a lot of death metal obsessed with war is kind of hoky, tries to get off on shock value and generally falls a little short of the mark. Hell - that's criticism that might even apply to some of God Dethroned's earlier releases. Yet The World Ablaze stands loud and proud a statement to the power of death metal to touch on more serious themes and a mesmerizing listen that will capture your imagination and carry you off into unique soundworlds. You will suffer through the trenches and struggle for absolution and in the end find meaning.
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