God Dethroned - The Toxic Touch
Metal Blade
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (39'19")
Release year: 2006
God Dethroned, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Alex

Dutch band God Dethroned to me is like an aged veteran player of your pickup (insert your favorite type)ball game. They will not dazzle you with the unheard of moves or score the home run. Yet you get a reliable competitor here who will play their collective guts out without taking a play off. New album The Toxic Touch seems to logically continue onto the path God Dethroned stepped upon with Into the Lungs of Hell and The Lair of White Worm. Here is European refined death metal with a great sense of groove and melody, but devoid of early years’ brazenness and Satanic blasting attitude.

In one of Mr. Henri Sattler’s interviews I once read that he thinks groove and melody go over extremely well live, especially with the European crowd, while North American fans expect more brutality from a death metal crew. Well, it looks like Henri is about to embark on the long tour of Europe. The Toxic Touch is loaded with grooving melody and strong leads, while fast drumming and, especially, blastbeats have taken a back seat. It is though as if God Dethroned is planning on relocation from Netherlands to Gothenborg, The Toxic Touch sounding very reminiscent of Arch Enemy’s Wages of Sin.

Alongside rhythmic groove many songs spring to life catchy thrash riffs God Dethroned has become known for. Hating Life in that regard reminds me of Last Zip of Spit. Such catchiness alongside simpler minded headbang choruses as in Falling Down will definitely score points in a live setting. To switch gears and inject brutality, there are even a few Kataklysm-like breakdowns, which I find less suitable to my own image of God Dethroned.

The dark sense of melody discovered on Into the Lungs of Hell is the mantle God Dethroned showcases proudly these days. Typhoid Mary and the chorus of 2014 roll alongside unhurried rumbling beat and the no less rumbling downtuned guitar tone (courtesy of the little known studio Soundlodge production). The closer Fail to Exist is yet another gloomy statement of melody lurking underneath the churning double bass, replete with solos and personal lyrics. You will love this song if you enjoy Amon Amarth.

If you were a fan of Bloody Blasphemy and Ravenous I would have to disappoint you. The God Dethroned of the last two albums is not about to retreat. Distorted bass is back and, sure, Macabre World may bring back some memories (awesome drumming on this one, by the way!), but these are short-lasting episodes. Whatever the pummeling Arien gives you at the beginning of The Day You Died is going to end up with an atmospheric chorus.

As I mentioned, blastbeats are extremely rare on The Toxic Touch, God Dethroned having completed their conversion to be a guitar oriented band. In that regard, lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye has made tremendous strides. He is not Michael Amott yet, but he is coloring The Toxic Touch songs, adding maraschino cherries atop of the meaty sundae. He is putting further melodic emphasis onto God Dethroned death metal anno 2006. Typhoid Mary, Fail to Exist, Hating Life and 2014 (which at time sounds like Arch Enemy Spain) are the best examples. And who would expect a clean guitar crescendo instrumental Away from Emptiness 10 years ago from God Dethroned?

The lyrics make sure the transformation is complete. Satanic gore has yielded to something what Sentenced might have sentiments about, personal stuff, depression and questions about one’s existence (Hating Life, Fail to Exist).

Unlike Arch Enemy, where a lot of changes were motivated by the desire for commercial accessibility, God Dethroned, and Henri Sattler specifically, seem to be a lot more genuine in their evolution. Yet, if The Toxic Touch starts bring commercial success to God Dethroned, as I think it should, it better not get to band’s head. Otherwise, the Arch Enemy-sized slide will propel the band onto the MTV and Ozzfest stages and out of the hearts of the loyal fans. Mr. Sattler and Co. have got to remember that the modern generation is fickle and will drop them faster than they will discover them. The Toxic Touch is far as it can go, before atmospheric catchy choruses and slamming rhythmic soulless riffs start taking over.

Killing Songs :
Hating Life, 2014, Typhoid Mary, Fail to Exist
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by God Dethroned that we have reviewed:
God Dethroned - Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross reviewed by Khelek and quoted 82 / 100
God Dethroned - Passiondale (Passchendaele) reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
God Dethroned - The Lair Of The White Worm reviewed by Danny and quoted 80 / 100
God Dethroned - Into The Lungs Of Hell reviewed by Danny and quoted 95 / 100
God Dethroned - Ravenous reviewed by Danny and quoted 92 / 100
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